Steph Croft and Indiana Westlake seek out temples in Angkor 🤞

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December 17th 2023
Published: December 22nd 2023
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The site Angkor is where moated cities; terraces ; pools and temples were constructed from the 9th century. The most famous temple is Angkor Wat. The area became the centre of the ancient Khmer civilisation and is the size of 304 football pitches.The sight was left when trade routes became disrupted and the surrounding area became unsafe. The Khmer political centre was relocated in Phnom Penh but the Angkor area remains in constant use by Buddhist monks and nuns for worshipping, There has been a concerted international effort to help restore and conserve this important site with India, China and France among the countries to help fund vital work.

While impossible to visit every temple in the area we were determined to visit as many as possible and to experience both sunrise and sunset in Angkor. Let’s see how that pans out …..

On Saturday the intrepId duo set off by tuk tuk in search of temples to explore. Starting at Ta Prohm, famous for being used as a location for the Tomb Raider film, then onto the city of Angkor Thom, the great capital with 3km walls on each of its 4 sides. There are older temples here and terraces added later in the 13th century as well as Bayon temple more about this later…..

Sunday was a rest day as heat and fatigue had floored one of the explorers but the Grand Tour was the challenge on Monday. We went by car this time, visiting temples on the Eastern and Northern sides of Angkor before sunset at Phnom Bakheng. We had dinner at Khmer Grill, a lovely restaurant 5 minutes from the hotel.

On Tuesday we had a different driver, Sok, to take us 3 1/2 hours to Presat Preah Vihear, the mountain temple very close to the border with Thailand. The 2 countries have argued over who owns the temple, most recently from 2008-2011 so there is a military presence in the area which consisted mainly of young soldiers sleeping in hammocks. We went for dinner at Spoons which is a social enterprise restaurant providing disadvantaged Cambodians training in the hospitality industry with100% of them getting jobs within 3 months of leaving the programme. It’s a non profit organisation and donations can help students with uniforms, accommodation, living expenses and even bicycle.

An early night as today we were picked up by our lovely tuk tuk driver Bun Tha at 5am to see sun rise at Angkor Wat. We then wandered around the huge Angkor Wat complex before heading back to the terraces in Angkor Thom and Bayon temple which we hadn’t done justice to on our first day.

As the saying goes ‘ A picture paints a thousand words’ so enjoy the next several thousand words 🤣

Additional photos below
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One of the many wedding couples posing One of the many wedding couples posing
One of the many wedding couples posing

Preach Palilay temple built in the 13th century

22nd December 2023

Ladies, so enjoying your latest adventure! Cheering me up in cold dreich Scotland.

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