Angkor Temples and Siem Reap, Cambodia – Day 3

This day we took a car and not a Tuk-Tuk or bikes. We were heading for temples that are up to 2 hours in car from Siem Reap.

First stop was Banteay Srei. This temple was not built by a king, but by one of his counselours. Dyka referred to this counselour as “The Teacher”, and he told us the king had givne him this land to rule. The carvings in the temple are extremely detailed.

Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei - This carving depicts the king demon Ravana, who was 10 heads and 20 arms

After this we went to visit Kbal Spean. This site requires a 40 minutes in and 40 minutes out hike to a small mountain. The river bed was carved with images of Vishnu and Sivha, and many lingams (representation of the god Sivha, and represent the union of male and female).

Kbal Spean River - Carving of Vishnu laying down

Kbal Spean - Lingam carved in the bed of the river

Even though it was a hike of more than 1hour in a half in intense weather, we really enjoyed it. Most of the hike is shaded by trees.

Once we finish the hike we had lunch at one of the local restaurants, and then we headed to our final destination of the day: Beng Mealea is a temple outside of the Angkor area but that is in conditions before restoration. The area was resently cleared of land mines (see previous post on this). The temple has not been restores at all, and its condition is the result of years of wear and tear from mother nature and war damage (the Khumer Rouge used to have a station in this area). This site was used for filming the french movie “Two Brothers”, and the film crew left some decks and stairs that make many parts of the temple accesible. Otherwise you have to climb on top of rubble and collapsed portions of the building.

Beng Mealea

Beng Mealea

Darin and Claudia at Beng Mealea

Beng Mealea

Beng Mealea

On the way to all these places we also got to learn about the Cambodian rural life style. We are in the middle of the rainy season, so it is time to re-plant the rice. During the first stage, the rice is grown until you can see the green blades nice and strong. Then they need to pull the plants form the ground and replant them separated from each other so tehy get more rice out of each plant.
There are several villages inside the Angkor area. They have access to water and land. Each family gets one acre of land, whcih according to Dyka is enough for 4 people in a family. He says that in a village people take turns to tend to the fields… it is really hard work for one person. All the work is done in standing water, which makes them be in contact with mosquitos that could be carrying denge. They use clothing that covers them not only to protect themselves form the sun, but also from the mosquitoes.

Rice fields - Replanting rice

Rice fields - Replanting rice

The houses in the villages are built on stilts because sometimes they get flooding. The level of the water is not high enough to take away their motorcycles, but it is high that it could take their shoes and wet their furniture and belongings. The lower level is then used as a porche for the hottest season. They install hamacs under their houses for those moments and they cook down there as well.

Dyka also took us to visit a farm that grows Dragon Fruit. This is a fruit that tastes very similar to a Colombian fruit called Pitaya (and also looks similar), but the one in this Cambodian farm was purple inside while the Pitaya in Colombia is clear inside with the littel black seeds.

Dragon Fruit farm

Claudia eating Dragon Fruit

At the end of the day we went to the airport and took a flight back to Bangkok. We arrived to our hotel at Bagkok at about 10PM and we went directly to sleep.


One Response to “Angkor Temples and Siem Reap, Cambodia – Day 3”

  1. Errotasobbozy Says:

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