The temples of Angkor Wat
Just before we tell you about the wonderful temples, there is another worry here – the de-forestation being driven by the demand for timber for furniture and building. We regularly saw trailers of wood coming from rare forests to be cut up in saw mills:
There needs to be a Government policy to replace these trees to avoid Cambodia becoming an even more barren landscape. We tried to start a trend:
And so to the wonders of Angkor Wat! Built by the mighty Khmer Empire, which ruled Indonesia from 9th – 13th Century AD, in Siem Reap their capital which then had a population of one million people. Temples of God were made of brick or stone while all other buildings were built of wood and have long since perished from decay and termites. They were Hindus worshiping Shiva and their passion drove them to create the worlds largest religious building in the 12th Century AD to protect against attacks by the Chams.
They are spectacular as hopefully the following pics show:
Certainly Angkor Wat has been the highlight of our visit to Cambodia, and the town of Siem Reap is buzzing with restaurants and bars with beer at 1$ for 500ml !
Today we visited the Ponheary Ly Foundation (www.theplf.org) which supports education in rural areas where often families are surviving on less than 1$ a day, and they can’t afford to send the children to school. We hope to be able to support them in their good work in the future.
Tomorrow we fly to Kuala Lumpur where we kiss goodbye for a month, and our paths divide. Jocelyne goes to Sri Lanka to the Ulpotha Yoga retreat for 2 weeks followed by 2 weeks travelling round Tamil Nadu in India with her friend Laurence. I fly to Melbourne to visit Peter and Caroline Townsend and my Godson, Timothy and family for 10 days, followed by 2 weeks with Jeremy in South Island New Zealand.
Despite the challenges facing both Laos and Cambodia we have appreciated both Countries and leave with many happy memories of people and places. Until we meet again…