I engaged Mr Phansy Ros as our tour guide to the Temples of Angkor and around Siem Reap area. I would recommend his service to anyone who is visiting Siem Reap with similar objectives like mine:
1) avoid text book reading type of tour. I don’t like to join tour but private tour guide can make your visit a better experience and better use of time.
2) tour against the traffic with less tourist ‘heads’ in my pictures
3) have the opportunity to extend helping hands to rural children with insufficient fund
Pause for a moment and stare into her eyes before reading on …
“Mountain People Mountain Rocks” would be a new phrase to describe the flood of tourists overflowing at every tunnels and every roads in side the Angkor Archaeological Park. Luckily we decided to engage an experienced local guide to swim against the traffic. So we managed to cut down 95% of the tourists during our visit to Angkor (Siem Reap).
The Psar Chas Old Market is for tourists and folks in town. Phsar Leu Thom Thmei market is for the locals who live in the outskirt.
We saw many street kids in Siem Reap. They were no different from the street children and child labours we met in India.
Banteay Srei was a very small temple ~25km from Angkor Thom. Yet, it ranked #2 on my top 5 temples.
Angkor Thom literally means the ‘big city’ or the ‘great capital’. There were more than 1 million residence living within the enclosure of 8m high and 3km long laterite city wall. We were interest to visit the 4+1 gates in and out Angkor Thom. 4 gates were directly located at the East, West, North and South direction. The additional gate was the Victory Gate on the east wall.
This temple was made famous by Angelina Jolie’s movie Tomb Raider. I remembered this temple from literatures and photos, not because of the temple, but impressed by the massive snake like roots that swallowed the ruins.