This morning we got up, got dressed and had our breakfast in the outside restaurant. It was delicious. I had a Spanish omelette, Denali a bread plate with pineapple jam and orange marmalade. After those plates were taken away, you were given a fruit plate. This was the first time I’ve had dragonfruit by itself, it tasted like a plum with lots of tiny seeds.
It was a particularly hot today. The heat takes a lot out of you, so we were tired before we left. Our driver was waiting, so we got in the tuk tuk and started for Thom Wat. We got our passes punched at the check point and made our way.
The first place we stopped was the Bayon Temple. I know I say amazing, incredulous, indescribable a lot, but it’s always true. It baffles me how people hundreds of years ago were capable of making art that I can see today. Bayon is the temple with the many headed statues.
There were four main gates that led to stairs. These were not as steep as the ones at Angkor Wat. When you got to the top, you were able to get a better view of the heads. They were all over the complex. The only bad thing about Bayon were the loads of rude people. But I tried not to let them get to me. I learned early on this trip that in order to survive you have to assert yourself.
Like I mentioned earlier Bayon was part of the Angkor Thom complex. When you went back down the steps and out one of the gates, across the street was another temple. We crossed a long stone bridge , walked through a gate, and climbed stairs. These first stairs weren’t too bad, it was the next set that were terrible. They were very steep. By the time I got to the top I was dying and Denali was out of breath. You know it’s bad if Denali is having trouble breathing. The view was nice and there were a lot of dragonflies.
We went down the stairs Aunt Rosa style and walked around to the back of the temple. There was a little hut with information about the restoration of the stones of the wall. The wall incorporated a reclining Buddha. It was hard to see, but once found it was a sight to see.
We followed a path to see several more temples in the complex. We got lost for a minute but eventually found our way.
We came out in a shopping area. They were selling the same things as always. Pants, art, food, souvenirs, etc. We looked for our driver but he was nowhere to be found. So we walked back to where he dropped us off, which was about a ten minute walk, he was still nowhere to be found. We walked past the Elephant and the Kings terrace several times.
At this point we had been walking for hours and I’d reached my max. I sat while Denali kept looking. No luck. We walked back to the shopping area where a lot of tuk tuks were. I sat in a shady area while Denali kept looking. I could see he’d gotten to the irritated stage now. I suggested we ask a tuk tuk driver to call the tuk tuk drivers brother. If you recall he drove us from the airport, we still had his number. Apparently new phones don’t work in the area but one of the men we spoke to had an older phone, and was able to call the airport driver. He then called his brother, the tuk tuk driver. He was waiting in some crazy place. He finally arrived and we rode on to the next two temples. We decided to do a drive by for one of them and stopped at one of them.
There were people selling things at all of the temples. They were always extremely pushy. Denali found an Angkor beer shirt. Then we went to Ta prohem. Also known as the Tomb Raider temple. Angelina Jolie partially filmed her movie on location there. It was one of several temples that have been overrun with trees.
At that point we were templed out and went back to the hotel, it was only 2:30pm. Just in time for happy hour.