Temples Of Angkor - Day Three

Siem Reap Travel Blog

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Banteay Srei

Relieved to set off at a normal hour, we went to one of the furthest away temples - Banteay Srei - to see a pink sandstone temple that was heavily under refurbishment, with bricks layed out all around like someone starting a jigsaw. Then it was back to the main collection of temples to see a couple we hadn't already seen - Banteay Kdei, then after detouring to see Bayon again, Phnom Bakheng.

While stopping for a break at the picturesque lake that is Sras Srang, we had the regular ambush of people proclaiming, "Sir! You want cold drink?" or whatever it was they were trying to sell. Up to now, we had been really good at saying no to unwanted souvenirs, ranging from books and bracelets to scarves, to the more peculiar flutes and nodding dogs.

Elephants at Phnom Bakheng
On this one occasion, we got collared by two young girls, one of which cornered Kyle, the other cornering me. After saying no to her requests several times, I said that if I was going to buy, I promised I would buy from her, assuming that I wouldn't need to. Unbeknown to me at this point, Kyle had had a bracelet put in her hand by the girl who had caught her and was told that if she didn't keep it, she wouldn't be her friend and she would cry! I had walked away from the pair and thought that was the end of it, but then I realised Kyle bought a cold drink off her. Suddenly, the little girl who spoke to me was in my face with puppy-dog eyes. "Why you buy from her? You said you would buy from me? What about me?" So I gave in and asked what I could buy for a dollar from her.
Back to Bayon
After some exasperating, I chose a T-shirt, which she proclaimed would be one dollar fifty. Almost instinctively, I said, "One dollar", before realising I had just tried to haggle with a small girl the difference between about 75p and 50p for a fairly good T-shirt! I was almost ashamed, but then happy that I had got a pretty good deal from the crazy scenario.

Then, later, while eating, we were pestered by some more kids. One girl tried the usual, "Where you from?" conversation, which usually ends up with them trying to force a sale on you based on them telling you that the capital of England is London, sometimes following with, "Lovely jubbly," or, "Top banana!" This time I thought I would be clever and say New Zealand, stating that if she got it right, I would buy the postcards she was selling.

View from Phnom Bakheng
After teasing with a delay, she said Wellington. She had certainly earned the sale, so I obliged. So if anyone wants a postcard, I've got ten.

Phnom Bakheng, the final temple we visited on our three-day pass, is supposed to be a good place to watch the sun set over the Tonle Sap, even if it is so popular nowadays that it's a bit like a circus. But, again, we had cloud cover - this time from one cloud that seemed to pick its spot over the sun and nowhere else. If you're feeling particularly lazy - which is understandable in the heat - an elephant can take you the 20-minute walk up the hill. It was rammed with people at the top, all sweating as much as we were - not only is the sun still hot, but the stone gets so roasting that you can't sit on it without putting a cover down. You could probably cook on it.

We said an emotional fairwell to our tuk-tuk driver who had given us the grand tour over the past few days and hit the air-con in our room into overdrive - which actually still only makes the room cooler, not quite cool - followed by a nice hot Khmer curry from a restaurant in town.

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Banteay Srei
Banteay Srei
Elephants at Phnom Bakheng
Elephants at Phnom Bakheng
Back to Bayon
Back to Bayon
View from Phnom Bakheng
View from Phnom Bakheng
Not a problem
Not a problem
Banteay Srei
Banteay Srei
Rogue cloud
Rogue cloud
Banteay Srei
Banteay Srei
Banteay Kdei
Banteay Kdei
Banteay Kdei
Banteay Kdei
Sir, you want T-shirt?!
"Sir, you want T-shirt?!"
Monkey-around macaque
Monkey-around macaque
Entrance to Angkor Thom
Entrance to Angkor Thom
Tonle Sap from the entrance to Ang…
Tonle Sap from the entrance to An…
Our shadows at the top of Phnom Ba…
Our shadows at the top of Phnom B…
Siem Reap
photo by: genetravelling