After another good breakfast we set off in a different tuk tuk to visit some more temples.
Banteay Srei or Banteay Srey is a 10th century Cambodian temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Located in the area of Angkor in Cambodia. It lies near the hill of Phnom Dei, 25 km (16 mi) north-east of the main group of temples that once belonged to the medieval capitals of Yasodharapura and Angkor Thom.Banteay Srei is built largely of red sandstone, a medium that lends itself to the elaborate decorative wall carvings which are still observable today. The buildings themselves are miniature in scale, unusually so when measured by the standards of Angkorian construction. These factors have made the temple extremely popular with tourists, and have led to its being widely praised as a “precious gem”, or the “jewel of Khmer art.”
On the way
Houses on stilts
After 90 minutes in a tuk tuk we finally arrived at Banteay Srei
After visiting the temple we stopped off at the restaurant for coconut water.
To the next temple
Another house on stilts
Pre Rup is a temple at Angkor, Cambodia, built as the state temple of Khmer king Rajendravarman and dedicated in 961 or early 962. It is a temple mountain of combined brick, laterite and sandstone construction.
The temple’s name is a comparatively modern one meaning “turn the body”. This reflects the common belief among Cambodians that funerals were conducted at the temple, with the ashes of the body being ritually rotated in different directions as the service progressed
Views from the top
The sales children!
Banteay Kdei, meaning “A Citadel of Chambers”, also known as “Citadel of Monks’ cells”, is a Buddhist temple in Angkor, Cambodia. It is located southeast of Ta Prohm and east of Angkor Thom. Built in the mid 12th to early 13th centuries AD during the reign of Jayavarman VII (who was posthumously given the title “Maha paramasangata pada”), it is in the Bayon architectural style, similar in plan to Ta Prohm and Preah Khan, but less complex and smaller. Its structures are contained within two successive enclosure walls, and consist of two concentric galleries from which emerge towers, preceded to the east by a cloister.
This Buddhist monastic complex is currently dilapidated due to faulty construction and poor quality of sandstone used in its buildings, and is now undergoing renovation. Banteay Kdei had been occupied by monks at various intervals over the centuries till 1960s.
Ta Prohm is the modern name of a temple at Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia, built in the Bayon style largely in the late 12th and early 13th centuries and originally called Rajavihara Located approximately one kilometre east of Angkor Thom and on the southern edge of the East Baray, it was founded by the Khmer King Jayavarman VII as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and university. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Ta Prohm has been left in much the same condition in which it was found: the photogenic and atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings have made it one of Angkor’s most popular temples with visitors.UNESCO inscribed Ta Prohm on the World Heritage List in 1992. Today, it is one of the most visited complexes in Cambodia’s Angkor region. The conservation and restoration of Ta Prohm is a partnership project of the Archaeological Survey of India and the APSARA (Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap).
At the entrance to most temples they have information on the temple and who is restoring it
Ta Keo possibly the first to be built entirely of sandstone by Khmers.
Ta Keo had to be the state temple of Jayavarman V, son of Rajendravarman, who had built Pre Rup. Like Pre Rup, it has five sanctuary towers arranged in a quincunx, built on the uppermost level of five-tier pyramid consisting of overlapping terraces (a step pyramid), surrounded by moat, as a symbolic depiction of Mount Meru. Its particularly massive appearance is due to the absence of external decorations, as carving had just begun when the works stopped, besides an elaborate use of perspective effects. It is considered an example of the so-called Khleang style.
The main axis of the temple is E-W and a causeway 500 meters long connects its eastern entrance to a landing stage on the Eastern Baray, with which Ta Keo was in tightly relationship. The outer banks of the surrounding moats, now vanished, measure 255 m by 195 m.
The first terrace is 122 m by 106 m, its wall of sandstone on laterite basis constitutes the outer enclosure. Along the east side there are two long galleries, whose roofs were probably in wood and tiles. They were illuminated by balustraded windows.
The second terrace is 5.5 m higher. Each of the first two terraces has a gopura at the four cardinal points. Each gopura has three independent passages and a central tower with diminishing tiers.
A continuous gallery (1.4 m width) constitutes the inner enclosure of the second terrace. It has windows only towards the interior and measures 80 m by 75 m. It’s really interesting, because it has no door and seems to be purely decorative, and is the first example of Khmer gallery (together with Phimeanakas). Before Ta Keo (e.g. in Pre Rup) there were long buildings that followed the length of enclosures with some discontinuity. However it hasn’t a stone vault, probably its roof was made of wood and tiles too.
Along the eastern side of the second terrace in the corners there are two buildings that are the shorter version of the long galleries of the first terrace. More towards the central axis there are two little sandstone “libraries”, opening to the west, with false windows on upper storeys.
The final pyramid rises 14 m in three narrow steps from the second terrace. Its base is 60 m square, the summit is 47 m square and stands 21.5 m above the ground. The four stairways that lead on the summit are continuous and very steep. At the foot of the eastern one there is a statue of a kneeling Nandi, which confirms that Ta Keo was a Shivaite temple. The absence of any decoration makes the final pyramid really massive. However on the east face some damaged carvings of floral patterns are still visible.
The four corner towers on the summit stand on 0.8 m high basements and open to the four cardinal points with protruding vestibules. In the central tower, which dominates the others from its basement 4 meters high, the vestibules are doubled. Fragments of lingas and several statues were found in the sanctuary chambers (some 4 meters wide) and around the towers. The central tower reaches a height of 45 meters.
Srah Srang is a baray at Angkor, Cambodia, located south of the East Baray and east of Banteay Kdei.
It was dug in the mid-10th century, by initiative of Kavindrarimathana, Buddhist minister of Rajendravarman II. It was later modified around the year 1200 by Jayavarman VII, who also added the laterite landing-stage at its western side, probably because the East Baray had been overwhelmed by sediment and had begun malfunctioning. French archeological expeditions have found a necropolis close to it.
At present Srah Srang measures 700 by 350 m and is still partially flooded. As other barays, maybe there was a temple standing on an artificial island in the middle of it, as suggested by finding of a basement. The landing-stage, opposite the entrance to Banteay Kdei, is a popular site for viewing the sunrise. It is cruciform, flanked by nāga balaustrades which end with the upright head of a serpent, mounted by a garuda with its wings unfurled. The steps that lead down to the water are flanked by two guardian lions.
For the evening dinner we ate at Peace Cafe (address in a previous post) the food was bland, just what I needed. This restarant is very nice the drinks smoothies are worth trying. Another shattering day. The heats gets to you!
This morning was a nice lazy morning just relaxing and reading beside the pool.
Yes, I know what you are thinking. Perfect pool side attire!
The very fresh and cold coconut water ordered by Sangeet
After a while (30 minutes, I got bored!) I went for a walk to get some water. It cost me 2,000 Cambodian riel, which equates to GBP£0.31 a price I can handle. The hotel charges US$2.00!
You maybe asking why ‘relaxing by the poo’ – I uploaded a picture to Facebook.com/Ggholidays and nobody questioned poo?! Do people just want to like things without questioning? – update my cousin Appay Plaha picked up on this!
In the afternoon we went for a late lunch to
Street 26 off River Road,
From Old Market, cross the bridge and turn left,
follow the river and turn right at the second street.
T: +855 063 965210 | +855 092 177127
The tuk tuk that took us to the restaurant (tuk tuk took – rhymes! Well it made me chuckle!)
As soon as we entered we met a fellow Sikh. His name is Gursewa Singh. He arrived yesterday from Phnom Penh. His parents were from Kenya and now they all reside in London.
We ordered our drinks which were very tasty and the food came quite a while later. By the time it had come I was starving. There was no doubt how fresh and good the meals tasted.
Some info on the cafe
Peace Cafe, nurturing body and soul
Peace Cafe provides fresh healthy vegetarian food, a bakery and a fair trade shop. Just 5 minutes from Siem Reap’s Old Market, a hassle free oasis of tranquility with a beautiful spacious garden.
For an even deeper experience of peace, welcome to the Meditation Hut, located in a secluded corner of the garden surrounded by song birds. Relax and enjoy a dinner under the stars with traditional Cambodian chapei music on Thursday evenings or join the kids for a dance on Saturday nights or bring your own kids to enjoy the swings, a sand pit and values-based board games.
Shop at Peace Cafe
Community programs available include meditation, yoga, pilates, monk chat.
Afterwards we had a wander to Pub Street.
The street and market was very lively the pubs/restaurants were crowded, the beggars were having a field day from the tourists.
For you who like to give to the beggars here is something you should read
It seems so natural and harmless, and resistance feels so callous and cruel, to give to the kids that fill the streets of Siem Reap selling books, postcards, flowers and jewellery, or sometimes just begging for money. They are poor, they’re clearly in need, and they’re so full of fun and banter that it’s impossible to say no.
School’s out — permanently.
It’s tough even for those who know that giving to street kids actually locks them into the cycle of poverty they’re trapped in. And make no mistake, there is no such thing as a harmless dollar when it’s pressed into a small hand on the streets of any town in a developing country. This may seem harsh, as after all a dollar will surely get them and their family a meal for the day, which they clearly seem to need, or will pay for the kid to go to school and that can’t be bad at all, can it?
The unfortunate truth is that yes it is bad. Put brutally, the only person helped in this transaction is the visitor who gets to feel virtuous for a while, believing they have done something to resist this dreadful poverty they can see all around them. It’s a completely human and understandable response, it doesn’t make anyone a bad person, but it’s still wrong and here’s why.
Sleeve licking is the new black.
Giving to street kids is a short-term solution that ensures that long-term answers are more difficult to implement. It helps to ensure that they stay poor for the rest of their lives and, as uneducated parents, means that their children will probably be just as poor too. It ensures a thriving labour market for young children who should not be working, many of whom are not from Siem Reap at all but brought in from other provinces to work the streets. Worse yet, working on the streets not only impairs their education, it exposes these children to predators: traffickers, drug dealers and child sex tourists.
There are a number of reputable charities in Siem Reap that work with street children, ensuring that they go to school, providing additional schooling for them, giving them an arts education, supporting their families and generally working very hard to ensure the children in their care have the power to shape their own destinies.
Smiles all round.
Sam Flint, the director of the shelter Anjali, says that when travellers give to street kids, it makes his job that much harder to do. “Giving to street kids jeopardises their future, and it’s difficult for an organisation to offset the attraction for parents to send their kids out to the streets”.
His organisation provides each family that takes their kids off the street and enrols them in the programme with rice every month, to balance out some of the lost income. But every dollar that a tourist gives deprives the parents of an incentive to make sure their kids go to school and get a proper education, which includes not being too tired to study.
Flint continues, “Yes, these are low income families, but there are alternatives. Not giving money to street kids however cuts out the easy option”.
It’s not all gloomy: there are ways that visitors can help kids without sustaining a system that exploits them and deprives them of a future. Several organisations are registered with an NGO called Concert Cambodia, which imposes strict accountability and accounting standards on members. They can advise you on ways to support organisations, and which ones are safe to give to and which not. They can also help you with volunteering options too.”
Taken from http://www.travelfish.org/blogs/cambodia/2011/06/03/why-giving-money-to-street-kids-is-a-really-terrible-idea/
So it may seem harsh but best not to give.
On the way to Pub Street
Sangeet bought some Cambodian trousers at the market.
After a wander we headed over to the night market. Angkor Night Market established in 2007, was the first night market to open in Cambodia. The market founders were careful not to create a tourist park. Instead of warehouse-liked setting as in often case, you will find smoothly laid out huts built from natural materials and designed beautifully in Khmer style. Over the years, we have 240 souvenirs shops which sells traditional Cambodian made handicrafts from clothing’s, silk, painting and photography’s, jewelries, wood and stone carvings. After a tiring shopping you can pamper yourselves with our original Dr. Fish massage, Body and Feet massage, spa or relax at our two bars. The Island bar with its impressive bamboo tower and tiered lamp which you cannot see in any other bars here in Siem Reap, Cambodia or the secluded Brick House bar with its thatched roof and large bamboo furniture’s blend a relaxed stylishness surrounded by a tropical garden. We also have a food court which offers Cambodian, Western, Asian Cuisine, Cafe Puka Puka with its milk snow ice and try our many varieties of shisha flavors at Shisha bar. Angkor Night Market, a place for you to shop & dine in a vibrant contemporary Khmer environment. At the night market Sangeet bought a gift.
This market is a lot cleaner then the previous market
Afterwards we got a tuk tuk back to the hotel.