Saturday, December 24, 2011

Templed out

Cambodia's ancient temples are my favourites I've seen in South East Asia, and second only to the monuments of Ancient Egypt (it's all downhill once you've seen the pyramids. My life since November 2010 has been a pointless postscript). But I'm glad I signed up for a second day of templing to make the most of my limited time in this country, though ideally this second day would have taken place about two weeks later in Earth time, so I could have appreciated it more and felt less fatigued.

On the way back to my hotel, after two days of tramping around ancient ruins, we passed a temple that I thought would be particularly nice to visit, and I felt a mixture of sadness and relief that the tuk tuk continued and didn't stop. Then I wondered if I'd visited it the previous day after all. Then I realised it was the Bayon - probably the most distinctive temple there is, but one that my historical architecture appreciation glands were incapable of processing due to overload. I didn't even recognise some of my photos when I looked back at them.

Thanks to the wonders of post-dated blogs, I was able to forget all about Cambodia for a few weeks and clear my head before doing these write-ups. Except now I can hardly remember what was where and why it was wherefore. I'm not even sure what the first pyramid temple here is called, except I'm pretty sure it's not Ta Keo (that's just the closest match I've found). To get the full benefit of the following blog post, you may wish to deprive yourself of sleep for a couple of nights and watch an Open University lecture on enumerative combinatorics so you haven't got a clue what's going on.

Probably not Ta Keo

Imagine visiting this and not knowing what it was.

I must have been chronically templed out

There are four things I'm not allowed to do here, but they're a secret

Enjoyably perilous steps. Preparing to descend took me back to sitting on the edge of near-vertical water slides as a kid. If only it was socially acceptable to slide down those as an adult, without having to spawn progeny for the excuse

Library...? (What a baseless guess! But you never know)

Temple...? (Seems likely)

Pre Rup

Oh, you know the name of the big and obvious one, do you? Have a biscuit

Outer gate

More perilous steps to terminal pyramid

Tall library (confirmed)

Library chimbley

Main temple and some other high-up things that I don't know what they are

Some bloke

Some temple in the distance, though probably not Angkor Wat. I probably went there though

Stop worrying about facts and just enjoy the view

Banteay Srei

This attractive place was pretty popular with the humans, so it's the return of the strategic camera angles

Monks are allowed, because they're essentially interactive scenery

Mandapa and the central tower are in there somewhere

Tiny library. Presumably this is where Yajnavaraha kept his Mr Men books

Statues of something

If you're suffering from similar temple fatigue from following these posts, I wish I could tell you this was the last one. But annoyingly for everyone, there was one final stop - the good news is, it turned out to be the best of the lot...


  1. I like the phrase 'interactive scenery'. Also that you're putting biscuits into a lot of your posts these (those) days.

  2. I've had a chocolate biscuits and chocolate bar renaissance since getting out of hot countries (future kinky girlfriends take note - I can't stand melty chocolate).

    I was eating an Orion Diget Choco Wheatmeal Natural Biscuit 9% as I read your comment.