Friday, May 11, 2007

Adventures in Cambodia and Vietnam

Here are some photos of Austin and myself at Beng Mealea. This was by far our favourite temple at Angkor. It was about 60 km from Siem Reap, the city where most of the hotels are. As you can see from the photos it is completely overrun by jungle. If you want to see more of it, rent the children's film Two Brothers by Jean-Jacques Annaud. It's about two young tiger cubs who are separated at birth. In the movie, the tiger family lives in the temple.

Here are some random photos: The first is a very sweet Austin wearing a scarf that his mother bought him. The second is of smiley faces engraved on the bottom of certain pillars in Angkor Wat. I thought that was pretty funny. The last is of two girls I met while climbing through Bayon. Bayon was built in the 13th century by Jayavarman III as the official Buddhist state-temple. It has 54 towers, many of them with beautiful smiling faces.

Angkor Wat is the largest religious structure in the world and was built in the 12th century for King Suryavarman II. It was first built as a Hindu temple, dedicated to Vishnu. Later, it became a Buddhist temple. Throughout are carvings of apsara dancers, as shown above right.

The ancient city of Angkor Thom was established in the 12th century and had one million inhabitants--this at a time when London had only 50,000. On the right is the temple of Ta Prohm. Like Beng Mealea, it is slowly being eaten by the jungle. We got their early and were greeted by this friendly dog. We shared some of our breakfast with her and as quickly as she came, she was gone again. Later on, however, as I was wandering alone through some of the quiet, empty halls we met again. This time she tagged along for a while and we explored some of the rooms together. We parted ways about fifteen minutes later.

Here are a few shots of Saigon. I didn't take too many photos of the city but it was easily the most interesting so far. At night the place is bustling; people are out in cafes or hanging out in hair salons. We wandered through some alleys, which are their own communities in themselves, with restaurants, homes, and shops.

-- Will


maman said...

Hey Will!!! Bon voyage to Burma!!!

Bri said...

Wow, what amazing photos!! I will have to see them all again when you get back. Incredible!

Will said...

Hey mom and Bri,

Thanks for the messages! I will be sure to show you all the photos when I get back!