Angkor Wat and Siem Reap, Cambodia
Angkor Wat is the largest religious structure in the world and, according to some, the eighth wonder of the world. It takes about three days to cover the huge site and visit the different temples – although you may feel templed out by the end of it!. Take pens and paper as the local children have no money to buy them and give them out as a thank you for the pictures they love to pose for. With any luck you may get a drawing back from them as a gift – I have some wonderful drawings as mementos.
The nearby town of Siem Reap is good place to bunk down for the duration of your stay as it has a thriving community. Food markets, silk markets, colonial buildings, museums, good restaurants and a night life that can rock in season are all good reasons to find accommodation here.
I arrived in Siem Reap just as the tourist season was ending and had a wonderful three days wandering through almost deserted temples and meeting the locals who live and work in the area. I hired a bike driver through the hostel I stayed in and he was an excellent escort and took me to some of the more remote temples off the main drag.
While I was wandering around I met a custodian who introduced me the gentleman who graced the front cover of the lonely plant and some of the places that tomb raider was filmed.
Bayon – the face of Avalokiteshvara
Ta Prohm – the setting for tomb raider
Banteay Srei – Temple of the Women
Child Flower Seller
Temple Workers Child
The children of Angkor Wat stole the show though!