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March 22, 2007

Another Overgrown Temple

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After a day off from the temples and figuring out a rough timeline I decided to hit one more temple before leaving Siem Reap.  This temple was written up as the true Indiana Jones experience because it was completely restored and off on its own.  It turned out to be primarily true although you never felt like you were off in the middle of nowhere you could still get lost time wondering around and looking up to make sure there weren’t any blocks about to tumble down. It was 1.5 hour on motorbike each way, but on a really good road which must have been redone since the write up I saw about it.

I was able to get the same driver to take me out there so I knew I was going to end up where I wanted and not get stranded.  The temple, Beng Mealea, has the same outer dimensions as of Angkor Wat and was built shortly after that one, but was never anywhere near as built up or ornate.  There was a wooden walkway built along a path through the temple (built for the movie The Two Brothers), but you are free to go where ever you like.  Climbing the fallen bricks and walking along the top of the wall gave you a much better perspective of how the buildings lined up with one another and gave some nice perspective for pictures too.  I spent about 4 hour there checking it out.  After the first two I switched my camera to black and white which really made it interesting.  Everything looked so different and I was looking at the buildings and light in a different way so it was like going to a brand new temple.  I really like how the pictures came out.

That was enough for that day.  I went back and packed up.  It was nice staying in the same place for 6 nights the only other place I’d stayed that long was Ko Chang and I was sick for half of that.  It looks like I’ll be in Phenom Phen for about that long too since I need to go to the Lao embassy to get a visa and can’t get there during business hours until Monday.  There are a few sites to see there and maybe a daytrip depending on how long the visa will take.  Probably time for a haircut too.  I think I’ll look for one without the VIP room like most of them had in Siem Reap.

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