This is the Temple used to film Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie a few years ago. The Jungle is encroaching fast Strangler Fig trees are sending down long fat almost leg like roots from the top and anchoring into the ground. On the way down they kind of hug the ruins on both sides and hold it all together, at this time. In time those same long roots will strangle the walls and building and crush it all I guess.
In some places the tree canopy is almost forming a roof over the temple, makes it so much more interesting and kind of spooky.
There are interesting nooks and cranies everywhere, most filled with masses of tourists, so many it is hard to get close enough for a photograph.
Peg and I stuck together as there were many
fallen stones and big steps to negotiate over, neither of us wanted to hit ground. We both enjoyed our time here, but it was soon time to wander back down the jungle walk to the bus.
Now we are off to an Orphanage which is run by a survivor of Pol Pots regime. He tells us his story how he ran away into the jungle after his parents had been killed and was lucky enough to be found by a very distant relative who recognized him and took him into their family. So he knows how very hard it is survive when your orphaned. When he was old enough he established this home for about 35 or so children of all ages, he is assisted by an American Lady who was just passing through as a tourist and decided to stay for a couple of months to help and is still there 4 years later.
We had all been told of this visit before we left home and asked to bring some odds and ends to help the running of the orphanage and school. We chose to take ball point pens and pencils combs and many small note pads, plus some big bottles of hair shampoo and other toiletries. It was interesting what different things people brought for the children, the pile of goodies was huge and all the children and staff were very wide eyed and happy with it all.
The children put a dance on for us, all in their school uniforms, and one of them played some music and the rest all sang for us.
The man is an internationally known artist and has taught the children how to paint professionally with oils and water colours. Some of the paintings by the children were truely remarkable. They are for sale and many did sell to our group, it through the sale of paintings that the orphanage.
One of the older girls played a wee trick on me, I asked if there was a toilet and could she show me to it please, now I knew there was because I had seen it a standard western toilet, and she gave me a smug look and led me to the local Asian hole in the ground variety! I didn't say a word and just used it to her amazement, but heck I have travelled a lot and have had to use them many times, so her trick was wasted on me lol.
I spotted a sweet wee kitten basking in the sun. Nice for the children to have a little pet.
While we were there, the ice cream man arrived on his bicycle, selling special home-made ice creams on sticks, all strawberry flavoured, many of us bought them for the children and then some of us bought one for ourselves, I did, and enjoyed every lick as it was such a hot day, but I did rather hold my breathe and wait to be stricken down with food poisoning, we are all warned not to drink untreated milk while travelling and the dire consequences. But I was lucky no ill effects at all
Back to the hotel again and some time to rest and shower. Erle and I took a short tuktuk ride to a chemist shop to buy medicine to help Erle's tummy problems. Seim Reap is quite a modern city and has many shops and masses of big hotels to cater for all the thousands of tourists who come to visit the Angkor Temples.
We all had to be in the small hall at the back of the restaurant for a wonderful cultural show an Apsara Dance performance. The costumes were very pretty and sparkly and the ladies very attractive and great dancers. Well worth watching as we sipped our cocktails. Sadly we were too far back to get good photos and too many heads in the way.
After the show another wonderful Farewell dinner all together, the last one as we all leave tomorrow afternoon, not all homeward many are travelling on to Laos and Thailand.
But as far as I am concerned tomorrow is the big day, I can hardly wait!