Angkor Wat

26 May 2012
7pm finally the night bus arrives for a long trip during the night to Siem Reap. Siem Reap the place where the temples of Angkor Wat can be found. The nightbus is also called the sleeping bus. The seats are configured to some kind of beds. For tall people like me it is not the ideal solution but it works. Every few hours I wake up and I notice that the driver is driving like a madman, high speed, in the rain, no streetlights… And hoping that other vehicles are using their lights… It would not be the first time that a vehicle pops up in the street aside the road with no lights!!! The best part is the toilet in the bus. Halfway the bus is an exit and also the wc. In the busmit was really cold. The airco was working overtime and i had to out my jacket while I was trying to sleep under a blanket. Anyway I had to go to the toilet while cold in the bus, it was warm in the toilet. As it appears the bottom of the toilet were some welded plates and not completely closed. Standing there my feet got wet of the rain outside and the water on the road. Strangely enough I liked it, feeling the warm water instead of the very cold air in the bus. With blocks of several hours of sleep I finally arrived in Siem Reap. The busstation was a few kilometer outside SR. Walking the mud I found me a tuktuk to bring me to the hotel Viva, a Mexican hotel and restaurant. The driver of the tuktuk, Bunnak, became my personal driver and guide for two days.

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27 May 2012
The first temple I visited was Angkor Wat itself. It is a very large complex. The building itself is in the middle of the island inside huge walls. It is amazing to see how people build all that just from sandstone. It is all about carving this stone. The difference with Maya is that here I see no colors no paint. Nevertheless it is very impressive. In some areas I could still feel the energy. It is a very soft and gentle energy. At some moments it is like walking in the past, almost hearing and smelling it.

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Next I visited the highest temple Phnom Bakheng. This temple is on a hill and oversees the jungle with its hidden temples because most of them are not that tall. From up here I can see that the area of the temples is very large and just is not an option!

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The next temple is the one with many faces: Ta Promh in Bayon area. It has a maze of small corridors at the first level. The second level is kind of a roof top and here it is where I see all the faces. Each tower has four faces. Some are broken and some are still intact. Impressive, very impressive.

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Between all the temples I also found a geocache. That is another hobby of me. I already found one at Otres Beach in Sihanoukville. And now I found one at the Terrace of the Elephants. I have to say a well choosen place to hide it. Easy to grab, and yet almost invisible to mugglers because they don’t need to be here ;-)…

The Westgate is a very quiet place, ideal for taking some nice pictures. At the wall on the southside of this gate a nice gallery of trees can be found. Maybe a nice place to hide a geocache? Future will tell if thismis going to happen….

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temple picture
The last temple I visited the first day is Ta Promh. This is the famous temple of the movie “Tombraider” with Angelina Jolie…. And guess what… a lot of the asian tourists wanted to be on a picture with that famous tree. So I had to wait and wait untill I finally had a few seconds without any tourists. It is not the tree where I am standing at the roots!

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Sometimes it is just like walking the Camino…. Except that this time the temperature is close to 40 degrees and the humidity is very high… Drinking a lot of water is very important over here. Walking in the shades is not enough.

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28 May 2012
4am the alarm is ringing. Pffff not really awake I stumble down to the entrance. My tuktuk driver is going to pick me up at 4:30am. I am going to see the sunrise at Phnom Bakheng. I experienced that at night it can be very chilly while at noon it is extremely hot. Anyway with a torch of my driver I started to walk to the top through a dark jungle. I am alone up there. I saw the first beams of sunlight before other tourists arrived. It was so quiet and with only the sounds of nature and the present energy it was beautiful to see the sun rises above the jungle and the temples.

After the sunrise I walked through the temple with the many faces again. Some places or temples were asking to be visited more than once. This is one of them. Now there were less tourists… The busses have not arrived yet.

Terrace of the Elephants
 

Preak Kahn
This temple had the most impact on me, the energy here is still very powerfull.. A connection and a sort of homecoming and also a strong vibration of information that still has to be discovered.. I met an old woman here. She gave me a three colored bracelet and she did also something in my aura… A good thing, like pulling something out… Twice… First at my head and later my left arm…

Last temple I have visited it was Eastern Mebong. This is a small temple compared to the other ones. The nice thing were the elephants at each corner of this temple. And then I saw my first rice fields in Cambodia. Vast areas that are in huge need of water to make them fertile. End of 2011 there was so much water at Siem Reap that large areas were flooded. The water level of some rivers were 4 to 5 meters high, almost flooding the main roads around this temple complex. This probably explains why less tourists as usual were visiting Cambodia this season…

Early in the morning and every morning, local people are working hard to have the area clean of garbage. I have to say thata they do a great job in doing so. The downside is that they themselves causing all the garbage. The tourists throw their stuff away in the bins. The locals have a bbq or eating all around and leaving their trash just everywhere.

Just to think about… Khmer (and also Thai) do not have a past or future in their language. Everything is now… That is also their basic living pattern and it is filled with opportunism.

29 May 2012
Today was a day to do nothing, checking out before noon and to do some shopping.. Having a Mexican breakfast and also lunch… I love Mexican food, especially the salsa is delicious. I felt strange to have a day like this. In the evening I had my final local Khmer dish: Khmer Amoks. I closed the evening with a very nice ice cream at the Blue Pumpkin… It is not the cheapest place but it is worth.
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Last days…

The last days

Mmmm… they have passed very quickly. The last 10 days were rather busy over here, lots of courses, fundivers, often to the island of Koh Rong Samloem. The visibility was increasing. 2 Weeks ago I dove at Last Tree and the viz was just over 2 meters. The last 10 days the viz increased, it was between 10 and 15 meters. And above all, it seems to me that the amount of fish also has increased. Even with students I had the opportunity to make some really nice dives. Spending a lot of time at the island also means sleeping in our dormitory and enjoying the beautiful sunsets, and even more the clear nights. Amazing how many stars I can see here. There are no city lights in the fishermans village, so after 10pm it becomes very dark and just then, the stars are really amazingly beautiful and shiny. I am going to miss that, a clear sky, millions of stars, no sound, just the waves rolling on the beach…

 

Otres Beach

Yesterday I hired a motobike and between the rain showers I went to Otres Beach all the way to the end. There was a geocache to be found here… otherwise I probably would not have ended here. What a beautiful place: The Secret Garden. It was cloudy, no sun, but even then the beauty struck me. White sand on the beach, an almost empty beach, nice small little waves, a nice easy and laid back bar/restaurant and an astonishing view of a few small islands in front of me… And again no sounds of moto’s or tuktuks, just nature with its lovely sounds… I wish I had done this much sooner. So for those who want to visit Cambodia and also Sihanoukville, you have to visit the Secret Garden at the end of Otres Beach… It is definitely worth it. You can even stay the night over there at their bungalows…