Siem Reap, Angkor Wat, first day (44km)

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Hey, that’s such a long time ago I did not update this blog. Usually when I don’t move I don’t have any motivation to write anything but today is different. I’m going to move very soon only 15km away to join an NGO during one month or more. I’ve discovered yesterday the website workaway which proposes everything I was looking for since a while. I don’t even know why and how I did not find this website earlier. So now I have the motivation to write again because a new adventure is coming and I’m late, very late… So, let’s go back in time, at the end of June more precisely, when I just reached Siem Reap the day before and visited for the first time the world famous Angkor Wat. The visit is not further than a click away now!

Map.

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Ta Kou Entrance. I’m starting this rainy day by visiting the main temple. I did not realise before but the park that contains Angkor wat is HUGE. As you can see on the map above, there is two entrance, one on the west (the main entrance) and one on the east (the one where I’m now). I wanted to avoid the crowd and I think it worked ;-)

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I’m right on the other side of the entrance now, inside the huge (and pretty old) temple’s rampart.


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Angkor Wat, that’s THE one. I’m not very lucky because it’s raining today… I bought a three days ticket which (I didn’t know at that time that it was available for one week) which cost $40US. One day is $20US. Quite expensive but there is a lot to see apparently.

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Angkor Wat has been reinforced on many parts and internationals associations are restoring some parts too.

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I’m right inside now.

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Going down stairs.

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The walls are very detailed.

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Looking towards the main entrance.

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Same but different.

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The weather is grey and contrasts with the colourful (plastic) raincoats.

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Another point of view.

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Dramatic!


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I got back on my bike and keep cycling around. Today I will do the “grand tour”.

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Few kilometres later I’m front of the entrance to another temple. Let’s have a look.

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This is Banteay Kdei Wat (Wat = temple).

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This one is a lot more destroyed then Angkor Wat but hey, how many years are these temples? This one is between 800 and 900 years old.

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That’s lego time :-)

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Not every pattern are in good shape here.

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An Apsara (also spelled as Apsarasa) is a female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu and Buddhist mythology (wikipedia source).

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Raining again…

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Wall texture.

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Closer look.

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Old but still here.

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View from behind a Buddha.

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Let’s keep cycling :-)


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Pre Rup Temple (Khmer: ប្រាសាទប្រែរូប) is a Hindu temple at Angkor, Cambodia, built as the state temple of Khmer king Rajendravarman and dedicated in 961 or early 962. It is a temple mountain of combined brick, laterite and sandstone construction (wikipedia source).

The temple’s name is a comparatively modern one meaning “turn the body”. This reflects the common belief among Cambodians that funerals were conducted at the temple, with the ashes of the body being ritually rotated in different directions as the service progressed.

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Grass…

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Be green :-)

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Ok last one I promise.

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More walls, more bricks.

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Let’s sea the view from up there.

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Not too bad. This park is so huge that any view from any temple is the same I guess. Villagers used to live around the area (a long time ago) but one day, after extended draught they had to move on and leave Angkor. This is how the Capital Phnom Penh was created.

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Big thick clouds again. It’s not raining now but soon it will.

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Back on the saddle again :-)

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Still the same bike :-) of course!

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Hmmm, interesting. There is still people living in the area. They got rice field and animals. Nothing has changed really.

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Let’s have a look closer.


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Eastern Mebon (Khmer: ប្រាសាទមេបុណ្យខាងកើត) is a 10th Century temple at Angkor, Cambodia. Built during the reign of King Rajendravarman, it stands on what was an artificial island at the center of the now dry East Baray reservoir (wikipedia source).

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So once upon a time I would have to swim to get where I’m now.  Eastern Mebon used to be surrounded by water.

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Different angle view.

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That’s what we called “reinforment” for sure!

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Walking around the temple.

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Everything looks a bit similar at some point.


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East Baray Temple. This one doesn’t look very different from the previous one. I don’t fell visiting this one.


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Back on the bicycle again.

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Is this 900 years old?

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Cambodian way of working :-) The tuck-tuck driver brings visitors front of the temple and waits for them playing on his mobile or sleeps. Even some guys have an hammock attached in diagonal to be more comfortable.


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Ta Som (Khmer: ប្រាសាទតាសោម) is a small temple at Angkor, Cambodia, built at the end of the 12th century for King Jayavarman VII. It is located north east of Angkor Thom and just east of Neak Pean. The King dedicated the temple to his father Dharanindravarman II(Paramanishkalapada) who was King of the Khmer Empire from 1150 to 1160. The temple consists of a single shrine located on one level and surrounded by enclosure laterite walls. Like the nearby Preah Khan and Ta Prohm the temple was left largely unrestored, with numerous trees and other vegetation growing among the ruins. In 1998, the World Monuments Fund (WMF) added the temple to their restoration program and began work to stabilise the structure to make it safer for visitors (wikipedia source).

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Phew, this one is quite destroyed.

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A pile of rocks. They should have put number on each so people could put them back on place :-)

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Another Apsara.

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Lot’s of shops here. What’s going on?

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Looks like an exit…

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Oh wow! I think that’s the best I’ve seen today so far. Very impressive.

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Another angle without tourist on it ;-)

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Let’s go back.


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And… back on the road again.


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Phew, what happened here?

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Neak Pean Temple.

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I thought it was the rainy season now. This area should be covered with water (or used to be at least).

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Nearly there.

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That place is large but nothing compared to the previous “single door” I’ve seen a moment ago.

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Neak Pean (or Neak Poan) (Khmer: ប្រាសាទនាគព័ន្ធ) (“The entwined serpents”) at Angkor, Cambodia is an artificial island with a Buddhist temple on a circular island in Preah Khan Baray built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII. It is the “Mebon” of the Preah Khan baray (the “Jayatataka” of the inscription).

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Closer look.

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On the way back, the sellers are waiting for us. Nope, thanks, I don’t need anything.


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Back on the road.


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Banteay Prei. This one is mostly ruins.

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The visit is very short then. I’m even cycling directly around the place.


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For once, I can see an advantage using the mobile application “Maps me“. It shows all the small tracks around the park which is very useful. Let’s try this.

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Ok, where should I go now? Left? Right?

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Crossing a dam and the Siem Reap River.

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That was nice.

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Normally, this is the right way :-) Normally…


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Ta Nei (Khmer: ប្រាសាទតានៃ) is a late 12th Century stone temple located in Angkor, Cambodia. Built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII, it is located near the northwest corner of the East Baray, a large holy reservoir. It was dedicated to the Buddha (wikipedia source).

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Oh wow. More I visit and more the temples become like ruins. That’s cool.

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What are these?

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Termites? maybe…

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Termites would stay close to wood I guess, not on rocks going somewhere. I don’t know really…

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Another Apsara surrounded by ruins.

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Keep silent, do not sneeze ;-)

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Bigger the tree grows, more this temple will be in trouble.

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Mess > door > mess > door > mess > door.

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Cycling around Banteay Kdei’s rampart.

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Each of the temple has four entrance/exit and they generally look the same from what I’ve seen until now.

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These tracks are a lot better then using the road. This is very peaceful here, no tuck-tuck just a scooter once in a while.

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Finally, after more than 35km done today I’m on my way back to Siem Reap on the Charles de Gaulle Avenue. See you later :-)

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