On Wednesday morning Allan, Dave, and I set out bright and early for Beng Mealea, the furthest of the temples associated with Angkor Archaeological Park. Beng Mealea is likened by the guidebooks as being fit for Indiana Jones
, because it has been left to nature. Similar to Ta Phrom, because it has trees growing all over it, but dissimilar in that none of the collapsed structure has been removed. So when you tour Beng Mealea, you really are using your hands to clamor through the rubble. Nothing is off limits, you can climb on anything you can get your hands on: walls, rooftops, bridges, mountain after mountain of rubble. We thought it was pretty freaking cool.
From Beng Mealea we bounced our way for an hour and a half over a horrible rocky road to Banteay Srei
At one point I slammed down on the seat so hard I bruised my butt. Ow. Banteay Srei is known by the locals as the "lady temple," as it is thought to have been built by women. It is the most intricately carved, and it is thought that such detailed, delicate carvings could not have been done by a man's hand. Personally I think that's crap; I'm sure men and women alike are able to create intricate carvings. Regardless, Bantea Srei is beautiful, and the carvings are deserving of their praise.
Wednesday evening the three of us met up with three other travelers they'd met along the way for dinner, and within an hour our numbers had doubled, and then tripled. I hung out and had a beer, but after an hour of screaming to be heard above blaring music and stifling yawns, I said my goodbyes and made my way (through the pouring rain) home. Evening rains may be nice to cool things off, but the tuk-tuk rates soar 300% or higher. Talk about foul play.