From Thailand to Temple Fatigue

I first need to open with an apology for being so quiet these past few weeks! My parents arrived to Cambodia on August 23rd and we had a busy itinerary for the duration of their trip. Upon my arrival back to the office I have been inundated with work… but no more excuses.

On August 26th we departed Phnom Penh to travel West towards the ancient temples of Siem Reap. On the way we stopped at Skoun, aka Spiderville…

Deep Fried Tarantulas πŸ™‚

Traveling oxcart pottery stand

Some people say that the phenomenon of seeing so many temples that you eventually become overwhelmed can be diagnosed as temple fatigue. Although I would never admit to feeling this as each temple is unique, the intricate carvings, beautiful stonework and hundreds of detailed stories can push your brain into overload.

From Skuon we continued on the road to a pre-Angkorian era temple in Sambor Prei Kuk. The Angkor Empire flourished from the 9th to 15th century, so these temples were built in the 7th and 8th centuries. The temples of this period were more basic in design and simple in decoration than those build during the Angkor period.

This beautiful temple was partially destroyed after the US bombed the area during the Vietnam War. You can see the bomb craters throughout the forest surrounding the temples.

Structure of the upwards interior of these temples

Holy fountain

Stories in the wall-- this one shows a monkey handing a ring to a woman who has been captured; the ring came from her husband and symbolized that it is safe for her to escape with the monkey.

Thorn tree

Children playing

My Mom being inundated by children selling scarves

How do you say no to these faces?

Next we stopped by a bridge, Spean Praptos, built in the same 7th century period.

Naga, the mythical serpent. Khmer people believe that they sprang from the union between the Naga king's daughter and an Indian Brahmana

After Spean Praptos we drove to Siem Reap, where the Angkor kingdom once flourished. The next few days were filled with touring temples and learning the details of ancient Khmer civilization.

Ta Prohm

Takeo

Chau Sey Devada

Khmer Kitchen

That night we had a delicious Khmer dinner, after which my Dad was ecstatic to take a ride in this tuk-tuk!

Banteay Samre

Banteay Srei

Shadow Puppets

For the evening we enjoyed a traditional shadow puppet show over dinner.

Angkor Wat

We watched the sun rise over the ancient Angkorian capital; stunning.

This Chinese Buddhist monk had a large group of followers who were sprinkling holy water everywhere; they gave me some gold leaf to place on a Buddha statue for good luck πŸ™‚

Angkor Thom

After visiting the numerous temples in Siem Reap we took a flight to Chiang Mai, Thailand…

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3 responses

  1. Meg Rooke

    MIcaela,

    Thanks for posting these pictures. It looks like your having an incredible time! Did you eat any of those spiders?

    October 2, 2011 at 9:29 am

    • πŸ™‚ I was too afraid to eat them hahahaha!

      October 3, 2011 at 9:42 pm

  2. Ayaz Noor

    Great pictures. The architecture and pictures on the temples look amazing considering it was created centuries ago.

    October 3, 2011 at 1:44 pm

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