Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm and Pre Rup

Stayed closer to home today to do as many of the nearby temples as possible. First on our list was Angkor Thom, which is a walled area with various buildings. After passing the South gate in out tuk-tuk we hit the main site, the Banyan, an eclectic temple with carved faces continuously staring at you. Inside the kids ave an offering to Buddha and got a bracelet which Lucas was well chuffed with as we told him that now Buddha would protect him.

After the Banyan we walked past a big Buddha to the terrace of the elephants, past the royal palace (didn't go in as the kids were a bit flaky) to the terrace of the leper king. Man, today was hot. Never sweated so much in my life. there the tuk-tuk picked us up and took us to the highlight of the day, Ta Prohm.

Ta Prohm, also known as the Tomb Raider temple, is a bit of a controversial issue amongst archaeologists. It has been left much as originally found - most of the restoration has been simply a bit of cleaning and stabilising the ruins. This is great for the visitor as it is the most atmospheric of temples, with trees meshing with the site walls, tumbling masonry and dusty cobwebs. It gives you the impression of being the first to discover the temple. However most archaeologists hate the fact that this temple has been singled out to not be properly restored as a "concession to the general taste for the picturesque". Others bow to the fact that the "picturesque" will lead to more interest in Anchor Wat and archaeology in general; a minor sell out which results in publicity from word of mouth and blockbuster films. I can confirm it was our favourite site.

Final stop was a minor temple we had passed a few times and wanted to get a closer glimpse of: Pre Rup. It is a bit older than the others: 10th century. By now the kids had completely abandoned all interest so I braved in alone, armed with only my trusty camera, while the rest of the family played in the tuk-tuk.

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