Sunday, February 13, 2011

Moto morning

The temple hunting team from O'Toteung village; LtoR; me, Sorn, Am and Sea
Out early this morning, on a moto with Now, to seek out some of the smaller Angkor temples that I haven't seen before, or certainly not for a while. We called into Angkor Wat first and then headed for temples like Bat Chum, Kutisvara, Krol Romeas, Prasat To and Prei Prasat, before returning to the luxurious Grand Hotel d'Angkor for lunch with some of my colleagues, hosted by by Burd and the sales team at the hotel. Very yummy. This afternoon will be spent by the pool before tonight's staff party kicks-off around 7pm. Last night, aside from watching Wayne Rooney's wonder goal on the big screen in Pub Street, we enjoyed dinner at the stylish AHA restaurant, courtesy of Janet and the Hotel de le Paix team. A massive thanks to our hotelier friends for looking after us all so well. As a group, we don't get up to Siem Reap too often, so it's appreciated that everyone welcomes us so warmly when we do. As for the temples, Bat Chum is shrouded in scaffolding at the moment, as restoration work is undertaken on the northern tower of the three. There are a couple of lintels to see and some lovely inscriptions on the doorways. Kutisvara is a ruined temple, again with three towers, close to the village of Srah Srang, but called the ghost temple in the forest, or Prasat Dop Kmouch, and in an area where the younger children of the village avoid. Krol Romeas, or the place where they used to keep large animals but was actually a sluice gate for the eastern baray, is overgrown, while Prasat To, is surrounded by water and a quiet spot amongst the trees, to see the three laterite towers. Finally, we walked for a kilometre, well off the beaten track, with three children from the nearby village of O'Toteung, to see a complete laterite ruin at Prei Prasat. The interaction with 14 year old Sea and her two tiny neighbours, Sorn and Am was the best part of our morning adventures. Nothing earth-shattering but a pleasant morning nonetheless, stopping at regular intervals to chat with the locals in the villages or out casting their fishing nets in the ponds that dot the landscape.
The scaffolding covers the northern tower at Bat Chum
The inscribed doorways of Bat Chum's three towers
The ruined towers of Kutisvara, near Srah Srang village
Two of the laterite towers at Prasat To
My temple hunter colleagues inspect the ruins of Prei Prasat

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