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Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

Jan 22, 2012

Siem Reap -The Temples

Nathan has wanted to visit Angkor Wat for some time.
It was not on my must see list, as I imagined old ruins in the middle of a hot jungle. In 2009 we visited Window of the World in China. There I saw a scaled down version of the temple site. I was quite impressed and began to think it might be worth a trip to see after all. Here is a photo of the model

It could take me 4-5 post to show photos of the temples. I will just highlight.

Ankor Wat

I knew old buildings might be boring for the kids, so I tried to interest them in sketching what they saw. Elliot liked the etchings with the swords and an apparent beheading. There were a handful of monkeys around.
The classic Ankgor photo, isn't so post card perfect due to scaffolding.

My personal favorite temple site.


This is also a popular spot at sunrise and sunset to get photos of Angkor Wat in the distance. It is a short hike up, maybe we are used to walking and Hong Kong but we didn't think it worth the $15 to hire an elephant ride up the hill.
We kept thinking how amazing it must have been to just be walking in the jungle and stumble upon these temples.

Angkor Thom (Terrace of the elephants)

Ta Prohm
This was the busiest temple we visited. It was the temple featured in the movie Tomb Raider
Impressive trees that have overtaken parts of the temple

Chau Say Tevoda and our last day of the temples

Children were often the vendors outside the temples. We learned later that the government tries to discourage tourist from buying from kids. This can keep them out of school, which is offered for free. It is my understanding apart from free education there is not a lot of government assistance, so it is possible some families may feel they have no choice. Buying from a cute 4 year old who counts to 10 in 4 different languages is more tempting than an adult.
At one site we were followed by a large group of kids repeating over and over "one dollar" only one dollar". We were told to bring candy and offer that to the kids. Jane and Elliot enjoyed passing it out.

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