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Friday, 21 November 2014

Travel: Visiting Cambodia (on the Trail of Lara Croft)

Have you ever looked at the pictures you've taken of travels past and been amazed at the wonders your eyes have seen? I have and none more so than when I look at my photos of Cambodia. My trip to Cambodia was a brief one and centred on the magnificent temples surrounding Siem Reap. We hired a tuk-tuk with driver over 5 days and travelled between the temples, sometimes visiting the ones we loved more than once.

The most majestic of them all was of course Angkor Wat. We visited each day we were there, simply because the sun setting over Angkor Wat was an amazing experience, despite sharing said experience with countless others. During the day, however, it was quieter and it seemed as if nowhere was out of bounds. We were able to explore the compound in detail and even found quiet courtyards which seemed to be made for reflection. The fact that this was still a working monastery with the occasional waft of incense, swish of saffron robes or sound of chanting made the experience even more special.



The temple which excited me most was the one seen in the Lara Croft movies, Ta Prohm. Here nature had reclaimed the temple to the jungle and we were left to explore and clamber at leisure. Tree roots rested over the ruins and in places the weight of these roots had demolished bits of the building. The experience was very surreal and almost magical.


My favourite temple of all, was Bayon, a temple where each of the god's heads had four faces. The detail of the carving and the scale of the heads was so overwhelming that we visited this temple many times to see the heads at different times of day. Sunrise was beautiful.


I feel so lucky to have visited these sights and can fully understand its World Heritage status. I hope generations to come are able to experience it for themselves.

Clementine.



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