Thursday, January 2, 2014

Cambodia Trip 1.6a

Having a watch with an alarm is a big plus when travelling. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t travel with jewelry on, including watches. Well, a five dollar Casio digital on a black plastic band isn’t going to inspire any robberies, I’m sure.

On this last day of visiting the Angkor Temples, I called Thip and she’s doing really well; slept at our village temple last night.

After Bunleng picked me up, we went to go get my temples pass punched for the third and last time, then went straight for breakfast. The Angkor Reach was closed, as the owners were making merit at their family temple. So, we went next door and the food was actually better, although slightly more in price.

This is where I had my run-in with the older girl vendors who said that I had said I’d buy stuff from them and when I didn’t, one of them called me “a bad man… a very bad man.” I knew from other travelers’ stories that this kind of thing is not uncommon, so I let it go as best I could. I’d already bought a number of things from the younger girls that I didn’t really need but figured I’d find a use for, somehow (bamboo bracelets, postcards). I was almost tempted to buy another book, but when I got the “bad man” label, there was no going back.

After breakfast and the vendor problem, Bunleng took me to Preah Khan, last of the big-grounds Angkor Temples:

 Follow this link to some better pictures of Preah Khan.

 After Preah Khan, Bunleng told me the story about why most of the stone heads throughout the Angkor Temples had been decapitated. It turns out that during the time of the Khmer Rouge, the local DK commander had them cut-off and sold to buyers in Thailand to help fund his operations in the area.

Next, it was on to Neak PeanFollow this link to some pictures of Neak Pean.

We then went on to Ta Som. Follow this line to pics of Ta Som.

Followed by East Mebon. Here's a link to pics of East Mebon.

… and, lastly, Pre Rup. Follow this link to pictures of Pre Rup.

After Pre Rup, we broke for lunch at a restaurant that was close-by. It was a bit more upscale than the Angkor Reach and the exceptional taste of the food reflected it.

Even though Bunleng would have gladly taken me to more, by this time I was “Templed Out.” At the restaurant, I sat back with a full liter bottle of Angkor and mentally congratulated on a mission accomplished. Despite hundreds of opportunities, I had not slipped or stumbled in my footing while climbing sandstone steps, traversing sandstone passageways and generally hung in there during the three day grind.

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