inconsistent news from southeast asia

Cambodia-Travelogue  |  Travel time: September 2005 - March 2006  |  by Matthew Audley

Angkor Wat, Day 1

Alright, so i'm falling behind in the log again, torturing myself trying to figure out how to cover Angkor Wat. The asnwer, as usual, lies in doing a half-assed job of it. There is no way for me to really convey much of an impression of the scope of the area or what we saw in the course of three exhausting days. Furthermore, it's quite the photographic challenge to try and record any of the temples - you want to get the scope of them, but that's always bad news for a picture.

The first day of templing was December 29th, and, through a convuluted series of events, we ended up hiring a tuk-tuk driver. Naturally, he took us for as much as he possibly could. We are not fond of tuk-tuk drivers here. But we did get to see the far off temples of Banteay Srei and Banteay Samre, which would otherwise have been innacessible. Now, the deal was as follows: it was $10 for the day if we were only going to see the temples clustered togethre in fairly close areas. In order to get out to Banteay Srei, it was $17. Then, it turned out that that $17 only got us a half day... So we paid more... for less! We can laugh about it now, but at the time it was.. not so funny.

Banteay Srei.  These windows with turned columns seem to be everywhere.

Banteay Srei. These windows with turned columns seem to be everywhere.

Banteay Samre

Banteay Samre

So, for the afternoon, we had him drop us off at Angkor Wat, which we walked around in an exhausted stupor. Yes, it's huge. Yes, it's impressive. No, I didn't take any decent pictures. Here's some mediocre ones!

Okay, this is an interseting one.  This, apparently, is Buddha - because it is worshipped by modern-day Cambodians.  'Does Buddha usually have 8 arms?', you ask.  Well, if you look at the neck, you'll notice the head has been replaced.  Also,  the objects that Vishnu usually holds have been snapped out of his hands here.  I do wonder how Hindu people feel about this particular object.  The sign says it was repaired, but our book on Angkor says differently.

Okay, this is an interseting one. This, apparently, is Buddha - because it is worshipped by modern-day Cambodians. 'Does Buddha usually have 8 arms?', you ask. Well, if you look at the neck, you'll notice the head has been replaced. Also, the objects that Vishnu usually holds have been snapped out of his hands here. I do wonder how Hindu people feel about this particular object. The sign says it was repaired, but our book on Angkor says differently.

Angkor Wat, as seen on the Cambodian flag.  Okay, there's no tourists on the flag.  Maybe there should be.

Angkor Wat, as seen on the Cambodian flag. Okay, there's no tourists on the flag. Maybe there should be.

Sunset at Angkor Wat.

Sunset at Angkor Wat.

We ended up walking the 6 km back home at the end of the day, rather than give another penny to evil tuk-tuk drivers. Sleep quickly followed.

© Matthew Audley, 2005
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The trip
 
Description:
Leaving for bangkok on Sept. 12. Where we go from there is anyone's guess. Hoping to see Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos. Be back in six months or so if everything goes well. There really isn't much of a route planned - we'll see what happens.
Details:
Start of journey: Sep 12, 2005
Duration: 6 months
End of journey: Mar 19, 2006
Travelled countries: Thailand
Canada
Laos
Vietnam
Cambodia
Southeastern Asia
Malaysia
The Author
 
Matthew Audley is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 13 years.
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