Angkor in Cambodia

A terrific highlight of our September/October 2000 trip to Southeast Asia was Angkor near Siem Reap, Cambodia.

We were not prepared for the vastness of Angkor’s temple area. We spent four hours seeing Angkor Thom (a city with a large complex of buildings, terraces and grounds), and it took half a day to visit Banteay Srei.

The drive there also gave us a chance to see how some of the rural people live. It was fun to see farmers driving 2-wheeled ox carts just like those depicted on bas reliefs in the temples.

A favorite site was Ta Prohm, where the encroaching jungle has not been cleared away and huge tree roots clasp the tumbling temple walls.

Angkor Wat is justly famous for its extensive bas reliefs, and nearby Phnom Bakheng is where many gather to watch the sunset.

In Siem Reap, take a walk along the riverside promenade and park to watch all the people fishing. And we recommend a visit the Les Chantiers Ecole, a school teaching wood and stone carving to young people in an effort to keep those traditional crafts alive; they also sell their items.

The minimum time I would advise for an Angkor visit is about four days — three to see the temples and one to see the town.

Ventura, CA