Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Making camp

Its 6.30am and the early morning sun shows our safari tent and last night's fire
Beautiful early morning light on the moat and trees surrounding Prasat Samnang Tasok
In a precursor to my pictures from my recent visit to Banteay Chhmar, I need to provide some context. I was travelling with my brother Tim and two drivers in a 4WD and after leaving Anlong Veng, which I've covered in previous postings, we arrived at our camp-site at 6pm. The site wasn't inside the main body of the central complex, instead it was right next to the moat surrounding one of the nine satellite temples that orbit around Banteay Chhmar. The temple name was Prasat Samnang Tasok. Our crew had arrived before us and set up the camp. A large safari-style double tent for Tim and myself, with a shower and toilet tent nearby. The rest of the crew would sleep in small individual tents closeby but out of sight. We'd called into the market near the main temple for some water supplies before we settled down onto our comfy beds to discuss the day's adventures, before a nice warm shower and a dinner that would not have been out of place at a city restaurant. Three excellent courses, followed by dessert, eaten in a clearing next to a water-filled moat surrounding a 12th century gateway - does it get better than this? After chewing the fat for a couple more hours, we switched off the fans and fell asleep to the occasional howl in the distance - wild dog, monkey, tiger, we didn't know. Up and showered by 7am, it was time for another food extravaganza, this time a hearty breakfast to set us up for the rest of the day. Then it was time to explore. Prasat Samnang Tasok was less than fifty metres away and it was a temple that I'd experienced before. More later.
Inside the safari tent are our two comfortable beds and fan
Mr Comedy himself, Tim in the toilet tent
Two youngsters fill their water containers from the moat of the main temple
The moat surrounding the central complex at Banteay Chhmar

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

for the fan, where the power come from?

July 8, 2009 at 12:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andy, hope to see Banteay Chhmar gets listed as world heritage as well as, if not already; it is one of a major ancient Khmer ruins in sizes. This will help to preserve the temple for future generation to see and will help to protect it from neglect, theft, vandalism, and so forth. All will be good for Cambodia and businesses as well. Thanks for your interest in ancient Khmer ruins. God Bless.

July 8, 2009 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Banteay Chhmar is a wonderful temple and I never get tired of visiting it. I always find something I've never seen before when I go there. I am sure it will become more and more popular in the future now that access to the temple from Sisophon is very straightforward.
The fan and the power points are connected to batteries. We could also charge our phones. As well as the fan, we had a light next to the toilet tent and we had the fire burning in front of the main tent for the whole evening, and to ensure safety, we had an armed guard stationed in the camp as well. To help prepare the food and set up, and dismantle, the camp we employed a handful of local villagers. And I must say that the quality of the food was excellent. All in all a great night under the stars.

July 8, 2009 at 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Banteay chhmar is indeed one of the largest temples that the Khmers builted! I hope this temple gets listed as a UNESCO site soon!

July 8, 2009 at 10:14 AM  

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