A photojournal of Ed's travels

Day Eight – Phnom Bakeng and back to PP

For our final day in Siem Reap, we spent the morning touring Phnom Bakeng with representatives of the World Monuments Fund, who have been working to both restore the temple there and train Cambodian architects, archaeologists, and restorers in modern techniques so they can continue the work without the need for foreign experts.

Phnom Bakeng is a mountain temple built on a mountain, overlooking the Angkor Wat area. In fact, from the top platform of the temple you could see the towers of Angkor Wat peeking out of the haze. Very lovely.

WMF is working to solve drainage issues that have caused the temple to slolwy slump and peel away from the bedrock it’s built on. To do this, they’ve dragged an impressive amount of equipment up to the top of the mountain, including a crane to move blocks around. They are in the process of partly dismantling, repairing and restoring and then reassembling the temple walls, no easy task.

Getting up to the top of the temple is a good climb. No tourist walkway here, you go up the steps the Khmer went up. Going up ain’t half bad. Going down is harder.

After lazing around and getting a fish massage, we trundled back to the airport for our flight to PP. Quite an adventure.

Fish massages tickle like anything. Just ask Allan…

Allan and I both agreed that we could’ve stayed a week and not felt like Siem Reap had been adequately explored.


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