Sunday, May 06, 2007

Cambodia : Countless Temples (Day 3)

On our 3rd and final day, we braved the dusty roads and embarked on an hour long tuk-tuk ride to Banteay Srei, some 30km away from the city.

It was a welcome change to the greyish temples that we had seen so far as Banteay Srei was built using rose-pink sandstone and its carvings were by far the most elaborate and intricate.

A quick trivia, Banteay Srei means 'Citadel of the Women' and therefore it might have been built by women as the carvings were too fine for a man's hands.

:: of all Wats, Banteay Srei has the most intricate carvings in situ ::

:: Ms Lak emulating the lady at the temple hehe ::

Then, we headed back to the Grand Circuit to Ta Som and East Mebon to view its 5 brick sanctuary towers.

Our next stop was Neak Pean, which literally means 'entwined serpents'. In the olden days, parts of Neak Pean were submerged in pools of water, creating an island in the middle to house the sanctuary tower. By sheer imagination of the pools of water, Neak Pean would have been a very pretty sight.

Our final visit for the day was Preah Khan. This was very much like a maze with lots of rubble lying around + it is one of the larger temples.

While the experience at Angkor Wat was sacred, interesting and enriching, at the end of the third day, we are kinda tired and bored of Wats - overdose!!! The main attractions for me were really Bayon and Banteay Srei.

All in all, with Wat-seeing, spa-ing (we went twice!), having time to laze by the pool, some shopping, good food + cheap beer ... it was an excellent trip!

For those keen on Siem Reap, I would recommend a 4 days 3 nights stay as opposed to a 3 days 2 nights itinerary. Not a good idea to cram Wat-seeing into 2 full days. Best to break it up into half days as it is really quite tiring and it can get boring after a while. Plus the extra day would allow slots for spa sessions and for some R&R.



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