Day 11 Tuesday 31 December. Siem Reap

This morning the bus took us to the World Heritage listed Angkor Archaelogical Park where we explored the temple of the 12th century Bayon, which is surrounded by a deep moat.  Bayon was built with 6 metre deep foundations of rock, which was floated to the area along the waterways – elephants pulled the floats and hauled the blocks into position.

Our bus stopped in a car park and we transferred to a smaller shuttle bus because the bigger buses don’t fit through the South Gate entrance, which was carved out of rock and only big enough to fit elephant with the king and his crown on its back.

We walked through the galleries where there were stories carved into the rock and we were able to climb up several levels and look down over the site and into some of the older passageways and rooms of the temple.

We were amazed at the size of the site and were impressed with how well preserved it is – one can only speculate at its original grandeur!

From Bayon, we drove past the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King back to our original bus for the 20 minute trip back to the hotel.

The area that we visited today is only one of many such sites in and around Siem Reap.  The whole area is one of Cambodia’s most popular tourist attractions and on the two occasions that we have now been into the Archaelogical Park, we have been overwhelmed by the number of other tourists that have been sharing this experience with us.

After lunch at the hotel, the three us caught a Tuk Tuk to explore the Old Markets.  These markets were similar to those in Saigon and Phnom Penh and needless to say, a few more things jumped into our shopping bag.

We spent the rest of the afternoon posting our blogs and photos now that we have fast internet that cope with uploading photos.

Tonight was our Farewell Dinner, which we had around the pool, with all the other guests at the Sofitel to celebrate New Year. The hotel provided entertainment in the form of circus performers who performed different acts at different locations amongst the guests.  We celebrated New Year at the same time that our family would be celebrating it in Brisbane and shortly after that, we came back to our room to finish our blog for today, post it and also the photos that we took yesterday and today.

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