TEMPLE CONSTRUCTION

Every temple we travelled to in Siem Reap had some form of foreign sponsored restoration going on. Scaffolds, trucks and signs. Not insignificant undertakings.

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To understand just how dramatic the change is, I took this shot from the Indian restoration of Tah Prohm, Amazing to see the work that they can do.

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Great to see the international community helping maintain this important part of our collective history.

CLIMBING THE STEPS OF ANGKOR WAT

The center of Angkor Wat houses the holiest of places, up a steep set of stairs.

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We were fortunate, the line was not that bad (quite short actually). From the top you have a spectacular view of the countryside.

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Throughout the day our guide pointed out the restoration work that was being done. What is remarkable is that very little of this work is being paid for locally, international donors (India, Japan, France to name a few) are very active in helping the Cambodian people restore and maintain their history.

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The detail on the buildings is remarkable. One can only guess at the quantity of workers and time it took.

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A spectacular site that lived up to the reputation.

A WALK THROUGH ANGKOR WAT

On our first full day of touring in Siem Reap our guide said Angkor Wat in the morning – I said really? He said all of the tour companies do it the same way, off to the other temples and balloon views first (Bayon, Ta Prohm) and Angkor in the afternoon.

We took his advice and did Angkor Wat first and he was right. Sure it was busy (as it was getting into the dry season and high tourism time) but far from “busy”.

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The library.

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The back of the entrance.

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Taking the long walk with the other tourists.

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The interior is adorned with murals, often depicting fierce battles between the gods, humans and other creatures.

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You can still see the remnants of paint. Areas shine on the murals where people rubbed them.

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The steps to the top of the temple are quite steep. There was a woman at the entrance to the top looking at people’s clothing. If your shorts were too short, they would not let you pass.

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I would agree with the first westerner who saw Angkor Wat when he said “is of such extraordinary construction that it is not possible to describe it with a pen, particularly since it is like no other building in the world. It has towers and decoration and all the refinements which the human genius can conceive of” (1586 – Portuguese monk)

TRANSPORTATION IN CAMBODIA

Cambodia, China and other Asian nations – each with their unique way of getting around dependent on factors such as tourism, distance and cost. A few from Cambodia. Config Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 28-70mm f/2.8 and Canon 70-200mm f/2.8.

Waiting for a tourist (outside Angkor Wat)

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Down the road.

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The family business. Yes, those are durian.

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And still quite common, the cart and oxen.

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One thing that remains consistent .. petrol distribution is a little different in these countries.

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And a few black and whites.

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Love the kid making faces. One thing is for sure, the Cambodian people are super nice (and happy).

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Scooters were everywhere.

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And of course, human powered.

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