We woke up and drove out to the Angkor complex. First we went to Angkor Thom which was one of the biggest Khmer cities. We went to Bayon temple which was really cool. It had 54 towers with 4 huge faces on each tower. We walked in and went around into these corridors.
Every wall had patterns and drawings carved into the sandstone that was used to build the temples with designs that had a huge amount of detail. Bayon was built in the 12th century and still most of it is intact. In the center of the temple was a shrine where people can burn incense and pray to the Buddha. It was really interesting, cool, fun and incredible.
After that we went to Baphuon which is another temple that was built 200 years before. We climbed around and saw a lot of detailed pictures. It was really cool and we went walking around and going through different tunnels and looking around everywhere in the temple. It was really fun and interesting.
Then we went to this temple with really steep stairs where we walked around on top and then went back down. It was really fun.
Then we went to Elephant Terrace which is a place where the king would sit and watch elephants fighting, cock fighting, dog fighting and tight rope walking on the 12 temples opposite it. On the walls was a mural of elephants fighting and actors performing. There were these figures that were demons that held up the platform we stood on. Next to all the steps were statues of elephants and on the platform were statues of lions. We went into this deep open corridor where the whole wall was covered in detailed drawings, patterns and designs. On every corner was a big snake statue called a Naga which can have 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 heads. The ones here all had 9 heads. It was really amazing.
Elephant Terrace carvings
On our way to lunch we saw a troupe of monkeys. There were baby ones small ones and really fat ones. They were really cool. We stayed there for a few minutes watching them eat bananas that people had given them. Some of them were picking lice and bugs out of the others’ hair. Some of them were climbing this tree and trying to get this piece of cloth out of it. When they finally did, some of them got stuck in it and others ripped pieces off and played tug of war with it. There was one that was swinging from a branch and then jumped off. It was really funny.
After that we ate lunch at this Khmer restaurant and had really good food.
Then we went to Angkor Wat, the biggest religious building of any kind in the world. We went in across this bridge because there is a moat going around it. Angkor Wat has 9 towers, but some have been broken over time. We went into the main level and while we were going on the path a monkey casually walked across the path in front of us. We walked around the bottom floor and saw these amazing murals telling stories about different things. One showed a war the Cambodian people fought and won during the Angkor period. There was also one with a village with details like a turtle biting somebody, a pig running around and people cooking something over a fire.
Monkey making itself at home in Angkor Wat
We then went up to the second floor where all these monks were walking around. There was this shrine where there were sacrifices inside. We couldn’t go up to the top level because there was renovations going on.
The we went to this mountain called Phnom Bakheng. We rented an elephant and my sister, brother and I rode on it. It was really fun. When we got to the top there was this temple which climbed around on until my parents came. We sat on the top of the temple watching the sunset. It was kind of boring after the first 5 minutes. We left early and walked back down.
We then drove back into town and went to this market called the night market which is built around tourism. We looked around and I bought a t-shirt. After that we went back to our hotel and went to sleep.
We woke up and went out to Prasat Kravan, Sra Srang, Banteay Kdei, and this temple called Preah Khan which didn’t look very big when we first saw it, but when we went in it was really big and I got lost and our guide wanted to find me. After walking through Preah Khan we went and had lunch and then went to Ta Prohm which is this temple where the movie Tomb Raider was filmed. It was really cool because there were a lot of really big trees growing all over it. After that we left and went back to our hotel. It was a really fun day.
Amazing Ta Prohm
On the way out we saw another group of monkeys and we fed them bananas. There were a lot climbing the trees and more walking around on the ground. After that we went back to our hotel and went to sleep.
We woke up and went out to this land mine museum where there were a lot of land mines and other bombs from the Cambodian civil war. It was really interesting, but very sad.
After that we drove to a temple called Banteay Srei. It was a small temple, but had very detailed carvings. It was very cool and interesting. Then we went to this temple that the Khmer Rouge had camped around during the Cambodian civil war. The Khmer Rouge were the people that ruled Cambodia during the Cambodian civil war and killed many people.
The temple was just recently opened to tourists because they were clearing away land mines in the area. There were holes in the floor of the original entrance made by the Khmer Rouge because they would shoot there for fun. We walked around and saw a lot of it. Then we left and drove to this boat to go to this floating village. When we got to the village we went between the houses through the village. All the buildings were floating like the houses, shops and schools. All the houses were really small and looked like they were going to fall over. The people seemed really poor. We then landed at this one place where we saw this crocodile farm and a fish farm. There was this shop where you could buy stuff, but we didn’t. Then we went back and started driving to the airport to get on our flight to Bangkok.
As we were driving to the airport we stopped at Angkor Wat to look at it one more time. We went in and walked to the gate, but we were not allowed in because it was too late. On the way back we saw a monkey, but we couldn’t stay and watch it because our guide said the airport was an hour away. We got to the airport in about 3 minutes and went in to go on our flight to Bangkok.
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