Angkor temples

23 Jul

In siem reap I’m welcomed with what I’d discover later was the national anthem: “hello, tuk tuk?” I bargain one for myself for two days and thirty dollars.

The next day I meet my driver, Seth, at nine, and we drive for almost two hours to Banteay Srey and other not so touristy temples in the north east. Sitting in the middle of the padded bench in the back I feel like a sir. I don’t bother the road is bumpy and the mufflings non existent.

The temples are different from anything I have seen. The kind of detailed carvings telling stories about budhism and brahmanism are just a new art for me. There are no pointy towers as in cathedrals, but plenty of phallic symbols. Many of the stones are covered in moss, trees grow on top of the buildings and some small snakes appear in slots. It also amazes me that pieces of carved columns and statues lay on the jungle floor, as if anyone could pick them up and bring home. This abandonment to nature together with the exotic culture the temples represent transports me. Traveling to some countries also means traveling in time, and the angkor temples are the paradigm.

The next day I visit the three most famous temples. I wake up at 4.30 to see no sunrise behind angkor wat, it’s too cloudy. The temple is magnificent, the largest religious building in the world, symbol of a big empire and of cambodia. Angkor thom, or city temple, is the most enjoyable. I was lucky to see my favorite species (after humans): monkeys! A few families of macaques gathered around some ruins for a while. I took like a hundred pictures. Ta Prohm is the only temple not reformed, just as they were most of the others when discovered. If it wasn’t for the tourists walking around I’d feel like Indiana Jones. We come back after sunset and Seth thanks me for “giving him a job for two days”.

The third day I’m well satisfied of temples and head for the angkor museum. At night I can’t say no to khmer barbacue degustation. Sincerly, it’s a bit disappointing. Crocodrile is good but its texture and taste is just like chicken. Python is not very tasty and it takes two minutes to chew up a small piece. Frog legs are pretty tender and save my meal.

“hello, tuk tuk?”









One Response to “Angkor temples”

  1. Martí Checa 26/07/2011 at 20:51 #

    El libro de la selva

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