Our first real weekend in Asia. Field trip to Angkor Wat.
Our entire group of teachers-in-training packed onto a bus for the gnarly ride from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. After being tossed on the back of a bus for the eight-hour trek, we arrived for dinner in the town of Siem Reap. The temple complex of Angkor Wat (wat means temple) is less than a half-hour outside the town.
We watched the myriad of visitors at the temples, a blend of locals and international folks gazing at the tremendous architectural achievement.
We toured Wat Ta Prohm, the temple used in the filming of “Tomb Raider,” a source of national pride. As any Khmer national who Angelina Jolie is and they’ll smile and proclaim, “Tomb Raider!”
Somewhere in the middle of our tour of the famous temple, we heard distant drumming of thunder. A threatening but welcome addition to our afternoon of tremendous heat and sweat.
As we walked toward the main temple, Angkor Wat, a pattering of cool droplets began to hit the grass. We bolted up a set of stairs into the central tower just in time to miss the downpour. Visitors everywhere sought shelter in the cool stone coverings to wait out the rain.
We befriended a monk studying at Angkor Wat, Jame, pronounced Jam. He was born in a rural province in Cambodia and moved to Angkor Wat recently. We exchanged emails with him since we were on our way to Thailand and he eventually wanted to study at a temple in Thailand. Hopefully we made a new lifelong friend.
On Sunday we toured Bang Mealea, just outside Siem Reap. This completely overgrown temple was surreal to explore. With trees engulfing the stone, it felt like we were worlds away from the 21st century.
Looking for more photos? Check out my flickr page.