Friday, January 19, 2018

Ancient Temples and a Fish Feeding Frenzy

A few days ago, I offered John a probiotic capsule and asked him if he had taken his malaria pill. He informed me that he didn’t want to be treated like a child and that he would take care of his own medication.

Over the next couple of days, John complained about tiredness and would go for naps in the middle of the day. He said that he must be getting old or it was the jet lag.

This morning I found some tablets placed at the bottom of the bed. I asked what they were and John said they were his malaria tablets. I looked and said, no they’re not, these are the sleeping wonder he was tired.

We were picked up this morning for the first of a three day tour of the area by a company called “A Sam Tour” 

Our guide, Saravy, is really nice, speaks excellent English and really knows his history about the temple complex.

We visited seven temples in this UNESCO World Heritage site area. All of these temples date between the early 10th and late 12th centuries. They are all  surrounded by jungle and in varying states of restoration. The temple complex covers a huge area. To give you a sense of the construction engineering that went into the design the builders created several artificial lakes to represent the ocean- one lake is 5 miles by 1.5 miles long. Almost every temple was surrounded by at least one or two walls and a moat.

Our first visit was to a Hindu temple named Pre Rup from the early 10th century dedicated to Shiva. My first sight of this temple made me gasp. So cool.

The next temple was also a Hindu temple named East Mahon from the late 10th century. In the past the temple was on an island surrounded by water.

The third temple visited was named Ta Son and was a small Buddhist temple from the late 12th century.

Our fourth temple, Neak Pean, was also a late 12th century Buddhist temple used for medical purposes during its time. We  crossed an ancient man made lake by route of a very long bridge. In ancient times they would have used a boat.

Preah Khan was our next temple stop. This 1192AD Buddhist temple had trees growing into parts of it. 

We had lunch before touring Banteay Srey. This middle 10th century temple, dedicated to Shiva was my favourite of today’s temples. It was well restored and the carvings were in great condition.

Our last temple was Banteay Samre. This 12th century temple was dedicated to Vishnu.

We were supposed to end our day by watching sunset at Angkor Wat or Pre Rup but the clouds had come in so we went instead to a shopping area near our hotel where we bought spices and some of the famous pepper from the area.

Cora and I then couldn’t resist trying the fish massage where you put your feet into a fish tank and the fish eat your dead skin. Boy did it tickle. You then put your feet into a tank of bigger fish and finally into a task with the biggest fish. We were there for over half an hour and by the end of it, my feet were really soft.

Once again we passed many funny signs and saw interesting things carried on motorbikes.

After supper we went back to the hotel for an early night since we are getting up extra early (4:15) for sunrise at Angkor Wat.

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