Alarm was set for 4:45. And 4:55. We had left the “sunrise” of Angkor Wat for the last day. We opted to get a driver with a car as the other temples we wanted to see were much further away and a tuk tuk would have taken forever.Unfortunately we didn’t get to see much of a sunrise as it was monsoon season and super cloudy. It was still and adventure and we still got to see pretty views.We got in the car and ate our take away breakfast from Tu Casa while chatting to our driver, Sothy, about his life. We arrived to Banteay Srei about 45 minutes later. This temple is known as the “lady temple” and was dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. The color of the sandstone made it very diverse from the rest of the temples we had seen thus far.
We knew from talking to locals and from reading about the elections online that there is a lot of corruption. What country doesn’t have corruption? But we saw some or it first hand. We arrived to the temple and practically had it to ourselves. We saw two other girls taking pictures inside. There was a police officer who greeted us as we walked in. He asked us if we wanted VIP service. What? VIP? We soon realized that he was charging money to let you into unauthorized parts of the temple to take pictures. What?! This is the first time we had experienced something like this and we were not going to a part of it. But I’ll be damned if I didn’t run in while he wasn’t looking and snap at least one shot!
Our second temple of the day was Beng Mealea. Everyone says this one is amazing. And boy were they right! You had to walk along a one way footpath but the way of this “natural temple” was simply a perfect mix between nature and architecture, the trees are pillars, their branches, arches, the leaves, decorations and the roots are trying to hug the stones and be with them. Forever. Really, you don’t know who the main character is, temples or nature.
So….a side note about our outfits. Since we were visiting religious places of worship, we had to be covered, shoulders and knees. Most of our clothes were not appropriate so we have to figure it out. Anyway, not the most glamorous but whatever! And the shoes…..
The greenery of the moss in contrast to the various shades of grey stone was beautiful. While looking at details we noticed some “ancient emojis!”
We loved this temple so much. We can’t believe we had it practically to ourselves!
We returned to Tu Casa and chilled with the staff for the late afternoon. We fell in love with them over the week we spent there. Always interesting conversations, sharing things from our own lives, including snacks! Carmen shared her “gummies” and they shared bubble tea with us.
We headed out for a much deserved massage down the street. Two hilarious girls chatted with is as they tried to relieve our feet and legs and shoulders and necks.
We came back home and our laundry came back smelling so fresh and clean. And it was folded so nicely we left it like that for days! Ahahaha Until we unpacked in Gili (more about that later!).
Adios Tu Casa! Thanks for taking such good care of us!! XOXO
Our last tuk tuk ride with Sally!
Look at this cutie – such a natural backpacker! Stuff hanging out and carrying breakfast in her hand!
Thanks for all the amazing memories Siem Reap! You were so good to us!