Before I continue on from the previous post, I have to add a few important points – please wear good walking shoes/footwear – the time we went was sunny, dusty so fully covered feet were a blessing at the end of the day – you do not want to end up with pain in your legs/feet, tanned feet, dusty feet lol! So wear good shoes before you start off… Take along with you caps/hats, umbrellas (sunscreen if you use them – i personally do not recommend using sunscreen owing to the health issues associated with it, so take your call) plus stay hydrated!
Now continuing the temple tours – After we finished Angkor Wat, we hopped on to the temple that became popular thanks to the movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – yes it is the Ta Phrom temple in Angkor Thom. You can check out the map here
The guide told us this temple was built for Lord Brahma (Ta Phrom means Father Brahma) and due to some reason (probably calamity) the people had to abandon the temples for probably a few 100 years and when they came back they found the trees had taken over the temples! Here are some pictures of the massive takeover!
At present the Indian government is aiding in the restoration of this temple (several other countries are pitching in for various temples)
This temple takes about an hour to explore and it was around noon when we finished ours, headed to a dhaba-style restaurant to freshen up and gobble some food. For vegetarians, food is definitely not a problem here – you could request the restaurant people to make you some vegetable fried rice and order some fries or the fruit platter. We downed two mango platters, it cost USD 3 per plate but totally worth it, such sweet mangoes I haven’t eaten in KL. Or if you are adventurous and the foodie kind, you could try the local Khmer cuisine.
After an hour for lunch, we headed to the Bayon temple, but before that we stopped at the Elephant terrace for a few pics
Bayon temple or the temple with the smiling faces was built in honour of Bodhisattva / Lokeshwara – before Buddha attained enlightenment. So you can see the shift from Hinduism to Buddhism and the terrace has loads of gigantic smiling faces, everywhere you turn you see them… Wonderful!!
Yes, you will have to do a bit of climbing here as well…
This temple took an hour as well to explore… We had one more temple in the agenda to view the sunset from but it was a bit too early to go there, it was about 4 pm when we finished this one.. The more temples we explored, we were simply stunned and found each one looking better and marvellous than the previous one… The smiling faces keep lingering in your memory….
And since we were all pretty tired, we skipped the last one and headed back to the hotel to cool off in the pool! It was 40 degrees celsius 😉
After freshening up, we headed to the Market area, we hopped on to the hotel van which offered us complimentary drop to the market area; shopped in the night market for some clothes, magnets, had some Italian food for dinner at Pub Street and finished off the day with a foot massage (USD 1 for 10 minutes) on seeing us getting massaged, S wanted to experience it as well and they did it for her too!!
While heading back we took a mango shake for USD 1 at one of those mobile stalls, yummy! Tuk tuk back to hotel costs USD 3 (some of the prices are fixed so no point bargaining 🙁 )