What seemed obvious but unexpected was the elderly French & Germans. Obviously Cambodia used to be a French colony & lots of them still come. Also the amount of elderly because Angkor Wat is on a lot of peoples' bucket list. Unexpected because Angkor is not for the weak, a few heavy traffic areas will have wood bridges but the majority is climbing over boulders in the jungle in the heat.
The first day we spent the morning in the Angkor Thom looking at the Bayon Temple with more than a 172 giant smiling stone faces. Then onto the Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. All of which were an incredible climb...then a wait for the Chinese tourists to stop taking selfies so I could photograph a the temples. At least during the wait I had a great discussion with a Russian lady to talk about the iterations of Vishnu & Buddha.
Nicolas laughed as I was excited about the monkeys, only to get mothered by an Indian woman named Mrs. Gupta. She scolded me that I should not be so enthusiast to see monkeys when they are pests back in India. She said that I wouldn't find them so adorable making a racket on my roof while I was trying to sleep.
Two of the galleries were battle scenes that I could tell from the Mahabharata. You can tell which gods are which from the totem animals that they ride into battle on. Before you think that I'm an expert in Hindu mythology- I'm fascinated in corbelled architecture & have watched a bit of the nine hour long Mahabharata tv series:)
The other two galleries are of the churning of the sea of milk from where the gods and demons received their immortally & the 32 hells and 37 heavens of Hindu Mythology.
We climbed up to the top and holiest quincunx to watch the sun set. We were very luck to be allowed up there. It was closed for quite a while after a Japanese tourist fell down the towering stairs to his death. Trust me on this one, those stairs are unforgettable.
|Bas-relief of Garuda|
Nicolas & I sat in a cafe that night eating crocodile pizza while listing to the strangle bar music. We had gone to see the Lucky Lady on St. Patrick's Day in Cambodia. What a fantastic honeymoon.