Angkor Park & Siem Reap Tour: Day 2

On the second day of our stay in Siem Reap, we toured two more temples, one quite distant from the others. We rose early to visit Ta Phrom, also known as “The Tomb Raider” Temple owing to its use in the “Lara Croft” movies. It’s the temple that was found later and was completely overgrown with jungle trees/vines. The incursion of the jungle is almost as interesting as the ancient carvings and inscriptions in the temple so the park authorities have left the trees. When a tree threatens to do serious damage to the temple, however, it can be cut or at least seriously trimmed back. It was about 7am when we arrived, before the throngs of tour buses which destroy the ambiance of the jungle sounds. Some photos…

Ta Phrom Temple: Nature Overtakes Man's Creations

Ta Phrom Temple: Nature Overtakes Man’s Creations

Ta Phrom: The "Tomb Raider" Temple

Ta Phrom: The “Tomb Raider” Temple

Ta Phrom Temple

Ta Phrom Temple

The following video gives you a feel for the ambience of the jungle so early in the morning…

After Ta Phrom, we traveled about 20 miles to one of the most distant temples, Banta Srei, known for its exquisite carvings:. A couple of photos from our visit…

Carvings at Banta Srei

Carvings at Banta Srei

The Small but Exquisite Temple at Banta Srei

The Small but Exquisite Temple at Banta Srei

Our guide Tea and his wife Tevi, took us back to our hotel room about 10:30 so we could rest after such an early start. At 2pm we were picked up again and we enjoyed a visit to the huge lake south of Siem Reap, Tonle Sap Lake. This natural lake swells to more than twice its dry-season size during the rainy season. It’s home to several “floating villages.” The one we visited is inhabited by Vietnamese families: they live on the water, moving to the ‘flooded forest’ during the high water. Unfortunately, they are not very concerned about what happens with their trash and plastic bags are everywhere on the shore (and high in the trees from when the lake was much higher.) A couple of photos and a video of the event are below.

Our private boat for touring the floating village at Tonle Sap Lake

Our private boat for touring the floating village at Tonle Sap Lake

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Video: Tonle Sap Lake Tour

The final event of our two-day tour was a ride on an oxen-pulled cart through the farm fields south of Siem Reap. We weren’t very comfortablly seated and were happy when it was over but the view of the farms and families we passed was very nice…

Seated for our Oxen Cart Ride

Seated for our Oxen Cart Ride

Video: Ride in an Oxen-pulled Cart

I’m writing this sitting in our hotel room in Saigon. We arrived late last night after an extremely long bus ride from Siem Reap. We visited the “war museum” today and I’ll have more to say about that later. Michael seems to have a bit of a bug and we’ve decided to have him start a Cipro regimen. We hope he feels better by tomorrow morning as we have an all-day tour of the Mekong delta area.

Retired software engineer from New Jersey, USA, happily married to Grace for 30 years, proud father of Michael for 29 years, I am enjoying traveling and teaching English as a second language in my retirement.

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8 comments on “Angkor Park & Siem Reap Tour: Day 2
  1. Grace says:

    Fantastic! Looks like it was worth getting up early to get there before the crowds.

  2. Barb says:

    If the war museum is the one I saw, it broke my heart.

  3. Fran says:

    Both temples are fascinating! Do we know when they were built?

    I hope Michael is feeling better.

  4. Jean Crichton says:

    Seeing these pictures and the video gives me a better idea of what Angkor Watt looks like. Mike, I hope you feel better SOON!

  5. Cathy says:

    Hip-hip hooray! Thanks for transporting me to an ancient civilization which truly takes my breath away. Your video and pictures had me feeling as if I were standing right beside you. I think it’s amazing to see the roots tangled and growing around the ruins. Hope Michael is feeling much better. Love you. B4N

  6. Cathy says:

    I’m sending you a BIG hug, since I think you might be missing Michael a lot today! Love you. B4N

    • Virtual hug received and appreciated. Yep, I found myself a little jealous that he’s going home – think I’m getting a bit tired of “adventure” :-). But I’ll rally. The effort to visit Pleiku, where I was stationed as a soldier in 1969 has been a bit of a bust (I’ll explain in a future post) but tomorrow morning, I take a bus to the coast where I catch the train on Thursday morning to Hanoi – looking forward to that.