Siem Reap Chronicles: Day 2

After a very long day, we just had dinner and then went back to our hotel again as we have to wake up early for our sunrise date at Angkor Wat.

Tips:

If your accommodation offers breakfast, you can ask them the night before to pack it for you so you can eat it while waiting for the sunrise. 

Unfortunately, it was a cloudy day so the sun didn’t show itself over Angkor Wat. So if you really want to witness this, it’s best to go here during summer  when there is least chance of raining.

After breakfast, Reah bought us to a modest Buddhist temple and school. We were able to speak with the man who converted himself to be a monk and dedicate his life to this place.

Buddhist temple

The man sold everything he owned and had this temple and school built . We came at a time when he was preparing for the memorial of his son who died in a motor accident.

The interior of temple is consistent with the overall simplicity and serenity of the compound.

Some few minutes later, we bade him farewell and headed off to our first major trek of the day.

Kbal Spean

After presenting your Angkor Pass at the base, you can now proceed with the 1500m trek. For someone who does not regularly exercise, I felt that this has compensated for all those times I’ve been lazy to run and play badminton. It really is quite a trek especially when your tour guide leads you to the more difficult trail. Crazy, humorous Reah. :)

The sandstone in this area has a pinkish overcast; the same material used in building Banteay Srei, likewise known as the Pink Temple.

The sandstone in this area has a pinkish overcast; the same material used in building Banteay Srei, likewise known as the Pink Temple.

This is what awaits you at the end of the 1500m trek.

This is what awaits you at the end of the 1500m trek. It’s nothing spectacular but after the trek, the cool water is a welcome treat to wash off my face and extremities.

Kbal Spean is also referred to as the River with a Thousand Lingas. ‘Linga’ is a Sanskrit word which means “mark” and is often represented by a phallic symbol. I’m no expert in Hinduism but I’m sure the Shiva linga is more than just a structure resembling a phallus. It may mean great power or something that is very distinguished mark.

The riverbed

Some meters from the waterfalls is the riverbed with the stone carvings related to Hinduism.

One of the preserved stone carvings on the riverbanks of Kbal Spean.

One of the preserved stone carvings on the riverbanks of Kbal Spean.

Few minutes later, we decided to go back down but Reah led us once more to the more adventurous route.

The current is pretty strong but it sure compensated for this rather ho-hum place.

The current is pretty strong but it sure compensated for this rather ho-hum place.

Tips:

  • Make sure you start off your day here as it’s bound to get really hot. That way, you’ll be out of here before noon.   
  • If you’ll ask me, you can skip this place but if you don’t mind the climb, go ahead and explore.
  • Don’t forget to bring water and extra shirt. :)

The airconditioned van is a welcome refuge after that tiring climb. But we were already at our next destination before we can really bask in the comforts of our seats.

Banteay Srei

Among the temples we have visited, I find this temple the most charmingly exquisite. It’s another Hindu temple that has been standing since the 10th century and fondly referred to by the locals as the Pink Temple or Lady Temple.

The temples we have visited did not have the same intricate carvings as that of Banteay Srei.

The temples we have visited did not have the same intricate carvings as that of Banteay Srei.

What it lacks for in size, is very much compensated by its sheer exquisiteness and elaborate design. Come to think of it, its miniature size is actually a huge chunk of its charm.

Very charming indeed.

Very charming indeed.

It’s getting crowded again so we took that as our cue to proceed to our next destination.

East Mebon

This is a five-tiered Hindu temple built in the 10th century and dedicated to Shiva.

There are guardian elephants posted on the corners of the first and second tiers of this temple.

There are guardian elephants posted on the corners of the first and second tiers of this temple.

Structures here are made of sandstone, brick and stucco.

Structures here are made of sandstone, brick and stucco.

Up close, one can see the detailed work on the lintel.

Up close, one can see the detailed work on the lintel.

With the heat enjoying beating down our back, we headed off to our last stop.

Preah Khan

Part of the Grand Circuit, this temple is built in the 12th century and translated as “sacred sword”.  Much like Ta Prohm, this site has been left unrestored except for clearing the area and other maintenance works.

Preah Khan

Most of this temple has been left unrestored; the paths were just cleared and the overgrown trees atop structures were left as is.

Preah Khan is built on the 12th century and this is all that remained of its library.

Preah Khan is built on the 12th century and this is all that remained of its library.

The gateway to Preah Khan. One uses a specific doorway depending on his status. I cannot remember who enters on the left and right but I'm sure that the central doorway is only for royalty.

The gateway to Preah Khan. One uses a specific doorway depending on his status. I cannot remember who enters on the left and right but I’m sure that the central doorway is only for royalty.

With one last look at Preah Khan, we hopped on the van and went back much earlier than we did the first day. That night however, it started to rain already. Though it didn’t stop us from dining over at Pub Street, it certainly was a prelude to what lies for us the following day.

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Filed under Photography, Travelogue

One response to “Siem Reap Chronicles: Day 2

  1. Pingback: Siem Reap Chronicles: Day 3 | Jumbled Coffee Thoughts

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