Phnom Bok + Banteay Samre
Friday 20th November
We got up at 6, had breakfast in the eatery next door, and headed off
early to Phnom Bok. Something had come up and our regular driver Yan
was replaced by his brother Alex. It was pleasant in the moving tuk-tuk.
On the way we stopped to look at some rusting military hardware from
There are 630 steps up Phnom Bok, so Richard waited at the bottom while
I went up; even at 8.15am it was getting warm.
The ruins are photogenic and there were good views even though
it was a bit hazy — Pre Rup was visible in the distance.
There's a military observation point on top.
Banteay Samre is in a similar style to Angkor Wat, but on a much smaller
scale (like Banteay Srey). And it has been extensively restored using
the anastylosis method (with original stones put back where possible).
The result is a building that one could almost imagine living in.
We came back through Siem Reap down side streets (so our driver could
buy petrol from a particular vendor, I think) and saw some of the less
glossy parts of town.
We checked out of the hotel and had a drink in the Mandalay Inn, then
I said goodbye to Richard and took a tuk-tuk to the airport. The food
shops there were expensive, and they didn't serve Khmer coffee anywhere,
but fortunately there was a branch of Monument Books for me to browse
in while waiting.
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