On the second day we decided to go to a temple further out of the
main complex area. We drove in the tuk tuk about 30 km out to Banteay Srei temple. It had a lot of good reviews so we figured it would be worth the hours journey. Its based on the God Shiva and is mainly made of Red sandstone.
It was a lot smaller than we had pictured, the temple itself was a lot smaller than most and built on one level. The designs and architecture were also smaller. We were I have to admit a bit disappointed with the temple. If it wasn’t such a trek of a journey to get here we would have probably appreciated it more. But all in all it was a beautiful temple not to mention the area surrounding it.
There were paths going out from the temple that led out in the open countryside. Rice fields, water buffalos, local children, the hills in the distance with the jungle encompassing the ground and the white lustrous clouds doing as they please in the open large blue/grey sky, really did make up for the journey.
After here we drove to Kbal Spean, a waterfall not too far from here. We weren’t expecting much since it was the dry season but we thought we’d take a look. The walk up to the waterfall wasn’t an easy walk with Jed but I’m sure we have done harder treks haha (although he’s a lot heavier now).
There were signs all the way up that gave you an idea as to how much you’ve walked and how far you had left. It started at 1500 m and another sign would pop up every 100 m. The walk up was actually splendid, with the elephant sized rocks which were surrounded by vines and the vast jungle overhead.
Once we reached the sign of 100 m we picked up a slightly faster pace and came out of the jungle and into a more open area were a river flowed, not powerfully of course but it was there. We walked closer and saw the acute carvings into the river bed. If you opened your eyes and looked around you could see the whole river bed was covered in carvings of different Gods and animal all telling their own story. There weren’t many tourists here which was good.
The kings used to come here for holy bath. No one knows who carved these lingas and for what purpose. Locals believe that the Lingas are symbols of creative energy and the river water that flows on the lingas will make the Cambodian paddy fields more fertile. It was also believed that it was a pilgrimage site. This Hindu pilgrimage site comes before the Angkor temples by roughly 200 years, making it the most ancient site in the region.
We walked downwards with the stream gliding beside us. On the walk down there were more carvings in odd places
until we reached a drop that led to a bigger waterfall. Again it wasn’t full of water which made it more of a cascade. But it was very beautiful and I for one wasn’t disappointed with it.
On the third day we decided to put Jed in a nursery for the day, figuring he would have more fun with other children here than being dragged around temples in the hot sun, which had no meaning to him.
He has never been to a nursery so we didn’t know how he would react. Another family that stayed at the guesthouse were taking their children to Treehouse nursery so they also took Jed with them.
Since we didn’t have to drop him off we could leave earlier and headed for once again Angkor Wat the main temple. We wanted to spend a full day just here. People don’t realise how immense this site is I don’t think, neither did we but we knew that you could easily spend a day here.
We were once again strolling through the corridors, courtyards and the once capital of Cambodia.
We went up the main temple (I got through) and took in the gorgeous views from the top.
We walked to the South gate (West being the main gate which we came through, all are identical) that went down to the reservoir.
We ended up on the outskirts out of the wall that surrounds the inner complex. The wall itself was huge. We walked round to the East gate on a simple, thin, dirt path.
For the rest of the day we just explored the site and got a bigger idea of the layout and idea than the first day. It opened our minds to what it actually was.
At around 3 we were outside the Treehouse nursery gate and waiting for the women to open it up. Once inside Jed was stood there looking at us, smiling. But after a moment his lip quivered and he ran into his mum’s arms and cried the will of not crying he had been keeping in all day.
They said he had just woken up but he had a great day and interacted well with the other children and they were pleased to have him.
Everything was good and Jed liked telling us stories later on of what he had been doing. He even got a report card;