Thursday 26h June
Today has been an action packed day! We started with a luxurious sleep-in of thirty whole minutes and left the hotel at 8 o’clock instead of 7:30. But today instead of going to the village we went to explore the magnificent temples of Angkor Thom. Angkor Wat is just one of the dozens of temples in this huge, ancient city built as monuments to the Buddhist and Hindu gods.
First we went to the ancienct Bayon temple, then we explored Ta Phrom, which more than any of the others had been encroached by the jungle. Moss, ferns, saplings and even huge rainforest trees sprout up from between cracks in the stones, so that it’s impossible to separate the temple from the jungle. In my opinion this makes Ta Prohm the most beautiful temple of all… but maybe that’s just because I’m a botany nerd! Someone out there agrees with me though because this temple was used at the filming location for the Tomb Raider movie.
We stopped for a picnic lunch on the bank of the serene moat that girdles the temple of Angkor Wat. We then spent a couple of hours in Angkor Wat itself which is the largest, most famous and most awe striking of all.
After a long day of being amazing and climbing steep stairs we headed back into town and had an early dinner. By special request the restaurant set up karaoke for us. There were some impressive performances – who knew we had such a talented group! Karaoke is a big favourite in Cambodia although our group broke from tradition by singing in tune.
After dinner we went to an amazing circus of young Cambodian performers, mostly acrobats, contortionists from the Battambang province. The show was just spectacular and inspiring. Photos to come soon!