Siem Reap

Right: Divers near Ankor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap is the gateway to the temples at Angkor, the prime destination for most visitors to Cambodia. After you've made a visit it is easy to see why. It lives up to it's reputation. You can buy day passes, 3 day, or one week tickets. I was told that a lot of people get a bit "templed out" after three days but I was good for a week and being out for a bit of exercise in the process, I rented a bicycle for six of the days. I then hired a motorcycle driver for a day to take me to a few of the further out sites.

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In the rainy season everything is lush and green. The canals and ponds are full of kids soaking in the summer while the vendors drive tourists to distraction.

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Left: The Bayon, Angkor Thom

The Ankorian period during which time the temples at Siem Reap were built covers the years AD 802-1432. The temples were "discovered" by the French explorer Henri Mahout in the 1860s, though Mahout himself never made any such claim. A French missionary had visited some 10 years earlier and prior to that there had been accounts from Japanese and Portuguese travellers as well.

The wooded area between Angkor Wat itself and The Bayon is inhabited by a sizeable population of monkeys. The cheeky little chap (below) took a bit of a liberty with my cashew nuts. A short time later the little pervert returned to bite a young woman's bicycle seat.

see no evilspeak no evilhear no evil