After the sunrise at Angkor Wat my driver took me to some other famous temples that day. Even though I was touring at 7AM in the morning, the heat was enough to make you faint. On top of that, shoulders and legs must be covered when going to the temples as a sign of respect so which made it even hotter. After 3 months in the heat my body still can not adjust!
The temples all had long causeways so my driver would drop me off and it would take me a good 5-6 minutes of walking in the sun before I reached the entry way. From there I would have to climb rocks and steps to make my way up to certain parts of the temple, and there was no shade!
The steps are all extremely steep. Since they were built hundreds of years ago and people were much smaller I’m assuming, only half my foot would fit on each step. To make matters worse, each step was between 2-3 feet high so I felt like I was doing full blown lunges with every step (which is probably a good thing since I hadn’t worked out since I arrived to Cambodia due to the heat) . It seemed like an oxymoron……..very thin steps in width but extremely high in height. How did their tiny legs climb these steps way back when? Sometimes the steps were so steep that I had to put my hands down directly in front of me to grab on to the next step. I saw others that were having problems getting back down and would have to sometimes climb down on their butts for fear of falling.
The templs were all mesmorizing. My 2 favorites were Bayon and Ta Prohm. Bayon had multiple temples within the inner courtyard and if you looked closely you could see the head of buddha carved at the tops of the stones. It’s up in the air as to how many buddhas are actually carved at this temple.
Ta Prohm is famous for the trees that have taken over and roots that have grown through the cracks of the walls over hundreds of years. It looked like I was walking straight into an Indiana Jones movie. When looking at it, it reminds us of the power of the jungle…..first taken over by man to create and then slowly taken back again hundreds of years later. Some of the roots become so heavy that parts of the temples are in ruins. They are currently working to restore this one as with many others that are also crumbling.
As the day went on I was dizzy from the heat and the temples were never-ending. After visiting one, I would hop back in my tuk-tuk and bask in the glory of the wind as we made our way to the next one. But eventually it became unbearable. Seran would stop and I would pop my head into a temple without climbing to the center one. At one point, I was so hot and after I jumped back on the tuk-tuk, 2 minutes later we were already at another one. I took one look at it and said, “yes it’s pretty from this tuk-tuk but I just can’t go in please keep driving”……..I needed wind for the love of god!
My clothes were drenched in sweat, my hair was soaked, I literally just looked like I ran the NYC marathon. That day I returned to my hotel around 12 noon after I’d been touring the temples since 5AM. I went back to my room and passed out within 5 minutes, the heat just takes your breath away.
Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love touring with guides but sometimes the best words of the day is when your guide is driving and turns around and says…..”we go back to hotel now?” YES PLEASE!