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Angkor – Day 2


Posted by | Evil Kristos | February 24, 2010 | No Comments

When I woke up this morning for the very first time it was a blue sky. The air was less humid and the heat much less intense. It was most likely as hot as the days before but it didn’t feel as hot.

I also felt better and for the first time in three days was in a jolly good mood. After a quick breakfast I prepared myself for “extreme templing”. I asked the guy in the guest house to call the Tuk Tuk driver. I was quite happy with him so why not go with the same guy. 10 minutes later I was good to go.

For some reason I had a new driver. May be the other guy was already booked. The new guy was much younger and looked quite cheeky. I didn’t really care so I explained the plan for the day. The other guy had no concept of photography and when to go where, the new guy simply nodded and – I guess – got the idea.

First stop was the Eastern Gate of the Bayon temple district. The day before we went there in the afternoon. Since there was no sun it made no difference obviously. The picture I took I already posted yesterday. The gate is spectacular.

The next stop was Phrea Khan. It is the old university. It was interesting, in many ways a labyrinth, tight and angled. The artwork was quite impressive, the whole ruin simply looked … good. I really liked the place. It may not be as photogenic as Ta Prohm but it did have that certain something. The day started well no denying.

Phrea Khan

Phrea Khan the old university

While we were at the gate I had given my small camera to the Tuk Tuk driver. He seemed quite keen. I explained how to use it and encouraged him to use while I’m in the temple. He actually did take loads of pictures.

Our next stop was Neak Pean. It’s a bit of an unusual one. The place is rather small. It’s not a temple but rather a sanctuary. It looks a little bit like a big fountain. The center piece is a big basin with a small tower in the middle. On side is an interesting horse statuette. On its side it look like people trying to climb it. No idea what it means. The place is probably all about ritual cleansing.

Neak Pean

Neak Pean

Neak Pean is OK but nothing special. At least it was quite. A little breeze would have been nice. It was incredibly hot.

Next we went to a place I was rather looking forward to; Ta Som. The temple is a bit like a small version of the Bayon, or so they say. I beg to differ. The place is actually quite picturesque. I like the color of it and the frescoes. It is a tranquil and again, this is a temple that had kept the aura of a holy place. I give it a thumbs up.

Ta Som

Ta Som

Fresco Ta Som

Fresco detail from Ta Som

The next station was East Mebon. The place is guarded by Elephant statues in every corner. These I quite liked. As for the rest, the temple is OK but no beauty. One more to go.

East Mebon

East Mebon

The final stop on the long tour around Angkor was Pre Rap. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but it was a pleasant surprise. The place is massive and intimidating. You get great views from the top. It may not be a classic beauty – they reckon all the holes in the walls once held a fresco that covered it so it may have been quite something in its days. From certain angles you still get what a fantastic places this once must have been. I definitely liked it. It was a great end to a great day; or was it?

Pre Rap

Pre Rap

Since the weather was spectacular and I’m in a good mood I decided to give Angkor another go. Who knows, it may have been me the day before, my high expectations, there has got to be something about it. Why else would it be so famous? Most things look better in the gentle light of the late afternoon; although I’d make an exception for cats. I honestly do think they look more funny when it is raining and they are sitting outside, looking at you how you smile behind a window in the dry. But let’s not get distracted.

Anyways, I wanted at least on decent picture, so we went back there. It was late afternoon, still sunny, the sky was blue and what can I say; Angkor still didn’t do it for me. I wasn’t surprised to be honest.

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat - view from across the river

Angkor Wat - view from across the river

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