Merry Christmas from Siem Reap! I wish you all the best for the holiday season, be you a celebrator or non-celebrator of Christmas.
Temples (NB: I will update this section with more comprehensive captions and descriptions at a later date)
I love exploring the temples whenever I’m in Cambodia. I’ll be honest, though: I’ve forgotten a substantial amount of the history of the temples, which I learnt 10 years ago, before I had cause to recount it to others. I will write the captions as accurately as I can, so that should you want to know more about a particular location, you can search for it online. What I can tell you from memory is that the history of the Khmer Empire is diverse, and I regret having forgotten so much of it. There may be few pictures encompassing whole temples in this post: this is as much because they are commonplace, as it is that I have many in my archives, and did not wish to duplicate them.
Prasat Angkor Wat is the most widely known of the temples in Cambodia, and takes pride of place in a complex that covers 200 km². There are many temples in the immediate vicinity of Angkor Wat, including Prasat Bayon and Prasat Ta Prohm. From what I can remember, each Prasat (palace) was built for a different king, and as such, each one varies in age, grandeur and design.
One thing that I have seen over the past decade, especially in the last five years, is the accelerated deterioration of the temples, as the effects of acid rain decimate the masses of sandstone featured throughout. One can only hope that the myriad of conservation projects underway will eventually mitigate, or reverse this damage.
Old Market, Siem Reap
The old market is less substantial than the Central Market in Phnom Penh, though is awash with the same sensory sensations of colour, pungent odour, and animated people.
Across the way from the market is a part of the Siem Reap Night Market, which operates until midnight. Besides a dazzling array of neon and LED signage, the Night Market features much the same in the way of products as the Old Market, and is even more heavily congested with tourists returning from viewing the temples during the day.