Siam Reap, Cambodia

Weather: high of about 90ºF, low of about 80ºF and humid.

Siam Reap is a touristy little village that has the nearest services to the massive collection of temples at Angkor Wat.  It is big enough to have a royal palace and a few five star hotels (with several more under construction).  We are here at the tail end of the rainy season, and so not too many tourists are visible.  However, our visit coincides with a national holiday in which the monks and nuns come out to the temples to receive food and give blessings.  It is a great treat to see the ancient buildings being used as living temples.

Here I am saying hi to my buddy in the Bangkok airport.  We seem to go through Bangkok a lot and the Colonel is always there to greet me.
Angkor Wat is the specific name for the largest religious structure in the world and the generic name for a complex of dozens (hundreds?) of temples over several acres.  Here is a gate to a temple with statues of gods and demons that have been restored by the French.
Of the many temples, we try to pick a few clearly interesting ones.  That puts us and our guide in the lousy position of grading the temples and deciding which are worth seeing.  I hate that.  But the guides have it down and know just where to take the tourists.
There aren't that many tourists in the temples since we're not here in the high season, but there are a little more Cambodian tourists than usual because of the national holiday.
Angkor Wat itself is buzzing with tourists and monks when we get there.
Our guide tells us that this little pool is where a scene from Tomb Raider was shot.  This is where they set up a fake floating village where Lara arrives by boat.
Many of the temples have little reminders of the war that ravaged Cambodia: bullet holes, gates widened by tanks, towers toppled to make room for artillery bunkers.  But mostly, Buddha images removed to sell and finance the war.
Here Julie helps some monks practice their English on their holiday.
The restoration work on the temples has cleared most of the jungle that grew up over them in the past 1000 years.  But a few temples were left as they were found.  Here is an example of what a tree can do given enough time.

How to contact us: