Thursday, August 18, 2011

Temples, Temples, Temples!

If you ever get a cold in a tropical country, avoid checking the health section of your guidebook for all the tropical diseases with the same symptoms as the common cold. I'll save you the time: Dengue fever, Leptospirosis, Malaria, Schistosomiasis, Typhoid, and Typhus. Luckily, most of the time, a cold is just a cold.

Elisa and I met up at Siem Reap airport. Siem Reap is the charming little Cambodian town that serves as a base for exploring the temples of Angkor. Aside from Angkor Wat, there are a ton of other surrounding temples that are also really impressive. It takes a few days to explore the area. The guidebook suggested seeing some of the less impressive temples first to get an idea of the progession of the building styles over the centuries. We ignored this advice and took the "eat dessert first" approach and headed straight to Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is incredibly impressive. It is the largest religious structure in the world. Although it was built nearly 1000 years ago, it is in considerably better shape than some of the hotels that I've stayed in this trip.

After Angkor Wat, we explored some of the other nearby temples. Every single temple looks like it should be a location for Tomb Raider or Indiana Jones. One temple, Ta Prohm, had giant, centuries old trees growing on top of and around the temples.The roots were snaking around the buildings and the trees looking like some kind of alien monsters trying to choke the buildings. Really wild.

I'll post pictures soon. I just uploaded some from Vientiane:

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