Sunday, 23 September 2012

My job is to promote tourism but today I saw a side of tourism that frankly makes me wonder if some people should be ALLOWED to travel at all.

Today we filmed in one of the most amazing man-made structures in the world - Angkor Wat ... however my visit was sullied after I got into almost fisticuffs with some Australian tourists who were having a "spitting competition" in the Hindu Temple ... and some Russian ladies who thought it was okay to wear bikini tops and hot-pants in a Buddhist Temple (& pose provocatively in photographs). Have these people no manners? Have these people no education? Do these people deserve visitor visas? NO x 3. I must say that the authorities here MUST take a harder stance on at least the dress code. Can you imagine if someone from Cambodia spat in the foyer of St Paul's Cathedral or wore a bikini to The Vatican ... there would be an international incident. Rant over.

Greetings from one of the two "presidential" villas at Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor.

I have just been for a swim in the middle of a monsoon downpour and am now tucked up in bed with my laptop and a lovely glass of brandy!

I was treated to a two hour Thai massage this afternoon ... bone-cracking fun!

So this morning we were up at 0400 to get to Angkor Wat for 0500 and the legendary sunrise. I drank some coffee for the first time in months ... erm ... it was almost a disaster!

Anyway - we did beat the sunrise and I got to explore Angkor Wat ("wat" means temple) - the Hindu Temple built in the 12th century. It is the largest Hindu Temple in the world - the total area of the temple and the moated area around it is 200 acres. It was built in reverence of Lord Shiva (destroyer) but also Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. It is made of lava and sandstone.

It is simply a wonder of the world ... magnificent and amazing and ... well ... VISIT!

I had two expert guides with me - Mr Moth Mean and Mr Yoko - who ensured that we got the best camera shots and yesterday we - of course - got aerials from the helicopter.

There are around 200 temples in Siam Reap - built from the 6 - 12th centuries - and we then headed to Bayon ... a Buddhist Temple -- complete with 54 towers and 216 smiling faces on them ... 

Finally it was Ta Prohm - another Buddhist Temple that has been almost destroyed by tree roots... a remarkable site. Angkor is a UNESCO World Heritage Site so countries from all over the world are trying to save this temple from totally falling apart.

An unforgettable day ... for many reasons.

A very sad farewell to Amansara was also mixed in there ...

Song of the Day: Eloise - The Damned

Angkor Wat at dawn - that is a coffee induced smile by the way!

View from Helicopters Cambodia

Ta Prohm
With Mr (not so) Mean - fabulous guide!
blogger template powered by fraktiv