Tuesday, June 15, 2004

For the rain, it raineth every day ...

We've been on half-day trips for the past three days due to the rain - a spillover from the tropical storm that hit Vietnam. We're quite lucky to have had fine weather the first 3 days we were in Siem Reap, where we basically visited all the major sites - Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, the Bayon, the terraces of the elephants and Leper King, Banteay Kdei, Ta Prohm, Pre Rup, Neak Pean and Preah Khan. (here's a link to some pictures and info about them) The last three rainy days (and it was storming a few days ago, really flooding) we've swung by the Roluos group, Banteay Samre, and picked up some sites on the Big Circuit that we missed the first time round, like Ta Som and the East Mebon. Today we had just enough good weather to re-visit Banteay Kdei and Ta Prohm.

If all goes well, tomorrow is our big trip to Kbal Spean (riverbed site carved with Lingas, i.e. phalluses) Beng Mealea (an overgrown temple that's only just being cleared, reputed to be the place for that 'Indiana Jones' experience) and Banteay Srei (the site guidebooks routinely describe as 'the jewel in the crown of Khmer architecture'). The proprietor of the Peace of Angkor Villa, Dave, has very kindly arranged for a 4 wheel drive for us, given that the road past Banteay Srei is supposed to be a dirt track that may not be passable to normal vehicles after all this rain. I'm guessing that the weather tomorrow will be as per these few days (good in the morn, rain in the afternoon) so we'll only have the morning to visit all these sites. Keep the fingers crossed ...

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