Good bye Asia

January27

Our last stroll along the tarmac in the heat…good bye Asia, good bye summer, good riddance squat toilets. Hello winter…
Flying Air Asia

Angkor Thom

January16

Aside from Angkor Wat, there are several other interesting temples to visit in the Seam Reap area.
temple
We visited the ancient city of Angkor Thom, which once numbered over one million inhabitants. Inside the city you can find the Bayon Temple, built by King Jayavarman VII, with 216 enormous faces of the diety, Avalokiteshvara, but which closely resemble the vain king.
big head
The next temple on our stop was the temple of Ta Prohm. This place has been beautifully taken over by the surrounding jungle and is all very Indiana Jones. Actually part of the movie, Tomb Raider, was filmed here.
tree corner
maddie and tree

At this site we met up with a young monk, Sayeourn, who was eager to practice his English conversation skills. We had a long chat and he accompanied us on the rest of our wanderings of this temple, giving us informative facts along the way. We happened to buy a watercolour painting made by one of a group of orphans who are utilising their artistic skills instead of begging. The painting depicts 2 monks at this temple so we will always remember our friend fondly.
me and monk

Angkor Wat

January15

We came to Cambodia to see what every other traveller comes for…the ancient city and temples of Angkor Wat.
angkor-wat
They were built in the early 12th century, most likely as a funerary tribute to King Suryavarman II and as his state temple and capital city. Angkor Wat is the best-preserved temple in the area, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation — first Hindu, dedicated to the god Vishnu, then Buddhist. It is the world’s largest religious building and is incredibly huge. There are kilometres of bas reliefs (stone carvings) that depict scenes from Indian literature. They are very intricate and cover most surfaces.
bas relief
This is the central area:
angkor wat centre
angkor wat

Colours of Cambodia

January14

During our 3 day visit to Cambodia we covered a lot of ground. We took a taxi from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and back in a bus. It is about a 5 hour trip each way, passing through 4 provinces. While in Siem Reap we took a drive out to the countryside one day in a tuk-tuk so see some animals. We went to an animal reclamation centre, which rescues ill-treated animals or those slated for illegal trade and either takes care of them, prepares them for re-introduction to the wild, or breeding. Sadly, most animals have been in contact with humans for so long that they will be permanent residents of this facility. Here are a few of the birds, the first one is a type of ibis I believe:
ibis
Not sure of what kind these guys are but this is momma with her 2 month old chicks:
ibis family
After that we went to a butterfly farm, just for the girls. Of course, they LOVED it!
Maddie and the moth
Black-white butterfly
Orange butterfly
This one was quite large, probably 20-25 cm across.
Really big butterfly
Taking a tuk-tuk is a great way to really see the countryside and all the lovely people.
Happy ladies
Relaxed travel
Cowgirl
This our driver for 2 days, MJ, and the girls pretending to drive the motorcycle. MJ was a great driver if anyone will be in the area!

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