Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Day 3 Afternoon tour
Kbel Spean

After the man-made monuments of the temples, it can be nice to get back to nature for a while at Kbal Spean. Although it is the site of numerous carvings made into the live rock of the river bed and surrounding areas, this lies at the end of a 1.5km walk through some Cambodian rainforest. There is a small but attractive waterfall that drops to a picturesque pool, all surrounded by precariously perched boulders and creeping vines. Best combined with a trip out to Banteay Srei, as this is a further 5km or so along a rough road. Expect to pay a few extra dollars to drivers who take you this far.

# Very bad road toward Kbel Spean

# We settle our lunch near the Kbel Spean

# About half an hour walking distance to the craving site

# The craving stone on the river bed

Bantey Srei

25 km north of Angkor Wat. This red colored temple is well known for its intricate carvings, and is worth a half day trip on its own, since it is a bit further from Siem Reap than the main Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat areas. Car and motorcycle drivers will charge a bit extra ($10 USD) to take you to the temple.

# We thought this is a pig.... but Raksmey said it's a cow... :-p

# Some restored statues

# Really fine art, believed were crafted by women

Sunset at Pre Rup

A temple-mountain close to and quite similar in style to East Mebon, and constructed only a decade later. A favorite spot for viewing the sun set into the jungles and rice paddies of the Cambodian countryside.

Pre Rup means "Turning the Body" and refers to a traditional method of cremetion in which a corpse's outline is traced in the cinders, first in one drection and then in the other; this suggests that the temple may have served as an early royal cremetion.

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