Friday, March 25, 2011

Angkor Temples Day 2

Probably only two more photo posts from this trip and then I can get back to posting about more everyday, at-home stuff. (Hint at upcoming content: some more Happy Househusband's Helpful Household Hints, and Paige and I are both reading the stimulating Parenting with Love & Logic right now). Below are photos from our second day of temple-storming at Angkor.
The cousins really enjoyed their time together and started day 2 happy and fresh as daisies.

Teddy here demonstrates the scale of the temples and the fun to be had climbing around on them. If you only click on one picture in this post to see it full-size, click on this one. You can also see a big tree in the background to the right of Ted asserting itself in the midst of the temples. Coming upon these trees in certain places in the temples, one could understand how they got lost in the jungle for a couple of centuries.
Not the best picture in the world, but it demonstrates how the boys gamboled over the rocks.
Being Pittsburghers, we were intrigued to see a dinosaur carved in one of the temples.
In this spot where two tree trunks dominate a temple wall, there was a little deck where people stood for photos. As I've mentioned, the vast majority of Angkor's tourists are Korean, and we saw group after group go to this spot and take an iconic Korean-style tourist photo. We, of course, followed suit.
Lauren and Mike both sell, the Korean tourist act with more conviction than Paige and I did.
For all of my civil engineer readers, I thought seeing this storm sewer still identifiable in one of the temples demonstrated the sophistication of the Khmer culture at Angkor. Angkor thrived for six centuries primarily because the Khmer people figured out how to manage water in that uneven climate. Moats and huge man-made lakes capture the rainy season water and kept it around during the hot, dry months.
The family across the moat from Angkor Wat. Its three towers appear on the Cambodian flag. Angkor Wat is the most famous of the temples at Angkor. It also is and feels much more massive than the other temples. The walk in the afternoon sun over the moat bridge and then through the interior courtyards to get to the main part of the temple nearly did in our party. Paige got sick that afternoon/evening and missed the rest of our touring. Ironically, inside Angkor, it's pretty cool and shady.
We wished Tina, our otherwise awesome tour guide, had just urged us to get to the cool respite of the core temple at Angkor instead of frying slowly in the sun on the way in. Tina was terrific, though, especially with the boys. Above, she tells Teddy about a section of a long story frieze on the temple wall.
High up in Angkor Wat (some parts have steps too steep to let the masses traverse), we came upon these traditional dancers, happy to pose for a photo for about 4200 Riel (a dollar).

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