It wasn’t my best nights sleep that’s for sure. I was woken at 4am by someone getting up to see sunrise at Angkor Wat and another person sleeping in the dorm was just getting in from a night out. They were both really loud. When I woke at 7am the drunk guy had woke and was claiming he had been bitten by a spider and need to go to hospital. Every other word he used was ‘fuck’.
So I started off pretty tired but I was very excited to see Angkor Wat and the other temples. The first temple we went to was Angkor wat. Out of all of the temples this was the one in the best condition. It is made from sandstone and letorice stone underneath to support the structure. This stone was brought over from Guilin in China and they transported it by bamboo raft on the Mekong river. The water surrounding the temple was man made and is there to represent the sea.
The Angkor wat is on the national flag. They have three steeples because Cambodians believe odd numbers are lucky. The blue colour represents the king (he has no power now), and the red is the blood of people who died for country.
I couldn’t believe how extensive the building was. Compared to Sukhothai the inside of each building had detail and stories carved in. One wall represented the levels of hell and heaven and another wall represented a story about an evil multiheaded snake and kings.
I felt the front entrance was more impressive then the back, and this is where most people get their photographs taken.
This was the next temple we went to and it is famous for the film Tomb raider, made in 2000. This was such an impressive temple to me because it still felt like it was in its natural beauty. It had become over grown by the trees of the jungle which added more dimension to the overall building.
I actually preferred the inside to the outside of this temple (the opposite to how I felt about Angkor wat) because of the trees and the carvings. ‘King 7’ changed Hinduism to Buddhism. Therefore, when you look inside the temple you can see buddhas being edited into Hindu buddhas.
This temple was one of my favourites, it is in close contest with Ta Prohm. This temple was so interesting because it had 216 faces carved into its structure. The meaning behind the four faces was loving and kindness, compassion, sympathy and stable minded. Our tour guide said that Cambodia used to be Buddhist, then it changed to Hinduism and now they believe in tourism. The King who owned this temple allowed both buddhists and Hindus to pray, however it had four different entrances which people took depending on who they prayed to. The west side was for Hindus and the east side was for Buddhists.
It had been a pretty cloudy day, which I was actually really pleased about. We had done a lot of walking around and if it had been sunny I don’t think I would have been able to handle it. The downfall was however that we could not see the sunset. There are only particular temples which are high enough and face the right direction to get sunset so this is why we went to Phnom Bekheng. The steeples were pretty against the background but not as impressive as the other structures I had seen throughout the day.
Although I was exhausted I was determined to go to a place called Haven for dinner. I met a girl on the train in China who recommended it and said I had to go. It was very pricey but went to a good cause. It was for the children who were out of jobs so this place had teaching facilities and jobs on offer. This prevents them to going into the sex trade. I was shocked to hear that the buildings with ‘TXR’ are where all the brothels are. There were tons just in Sihanoukville. I have also heard that 80% of ca,bodian men use these facilities. How far of that is true I’m not sure but it’s shocking that it is a known thing and nothing is done about it to close them down.