And a 1/2 day in Singapore…
Brent has become somewhat of a cloud garden expert. After our brief stay in Singapore we headed for Siem Reap. Brent and I agree Siem Reap airport is perfect. Its small, easy to navigate, and quick to help travelers move through the system.
Our first evening was spent trying to keep ourselves awake until 8 pm – a goal we successfully met! And after 10 hours of sleep we started our first full day in Cambodia with our guide Bun. He took us through Angkor Tom and Bayon Temple. The Angkor area is incredible. In the 12th century the city supported 1 million people. And many people could read at that time. Every temple had multiple libraries that people would visit when they came to pray. We closed out our day with time by the pool and massages. A wonderful start to our time in Cambodia.
On day two, we watched the sunrise at Angkor Wat. Bun took us in the back entrance and we walked to the temple by the light of his iPhone.
Angkor Wat is, or was, the tomb for the king who built it. It’s the only temple that faces West because it’s the only temple designed as a tomb and West is the direction of the dead.
Like the other temples the Naga (snake with 7 heads) frame the structure and the Apsara dancers fill the carvings in the walls.
The temples in the Angkor area where destroyed when the Thai people invaded the Siem Reap area around 1400. Angkor Wat has restoration assistance from Germany, Japan, and France. And it was already in better condition than many of the surrounding temples.
Other temples were not. Like Ta Prohm, the temple used in the Tomb Raider movie, where huge trees have aided in the destruction or transformation of the temple. Ta Prohm was built by the same king who built the Bayon temple. It was built for his mother who was elderly and that’s there are no stairs to climb.