I didn’t expect to see much in Cambodia, many people gave me very negative comments on this country, as they thought travelling should be in an advanced country with more comfort. Though I would like to go and have a look, it was finally proved that it was actually a beautiful country.
It was not easy decide how many days I should stay in Siem Reap, not until in Tibet, I still thought one day would be enough, at least those temples were destroyed and quite similar, some of them should be enough. I met a girl in Lhasa, she had been to Siem Reap before and she told be she stayed for a week there. I was quite surprised, as even in LP’s instruction, all the temples could be seen within 2 days, what did she do there in a week. Then the girl said she didn’t go to temples every day, actually most of the time she just walked around and chilled out, and she still missed her days there. She also told me she bought a book called “The Beauty of Angkor” before she went there, the beauty was quite beyond what she just saw.
I couldn’t talk more about Angkor Wat in Tibet, as we soon jumped to the topic how to go to Mt Everest, but I remembered book’s name, and I also made a decision to extend my stay in Siem Reap to 2 days.
My first stop in Siem Reap was Banteay Srei, it was a disaster. I rode a bike for about 3 hours and finalled saw this small and crowded temple. It was described as the finest carving in Angkor, but I had seen much better carving in other places, and I couldn’t enjoy much. On the way back, I met the downpour and sheltered under a banana tree for an hour, I was quite pissed off and nearly lost the interests to the whole trip.
Soon the rain stopped, then I came to the second stop Pre Rup. It was nearly 6pm, and I waited there for the sunset. It was quite and there wasn’t so many people, I climbed to the peak, which was called the heaven by a tour guide. Gradually it became dark and dark, and the sunshine scattered over those statues little by little. All of a sudden, I felt those old statues became extremely beautiful. In front of them, facing to the ruins, I started to imagine how it was like in old days.In the same location, at the same sunset time, 1000 years ago, how was the people in Khmer Empire when this temple was newly built? Were they proud of this building and even their country?
I sat on a stone in Pre Rup for about an hour, looking at a girl’s drawing of a temple. Till it was completely dark, I came back to the hostel, and the pain in the morning also disappeared.
On the next day, in Bayon, I saw the book “The Beauty of Angkor” from a dark Cambodian boy. Among all the other English book, this Chinese book from Taiwan was quite special. I took it and had a look for a few minutes and gave it back to the boy. I didn’t buy the book, because I though I knew the beauty already, sometimes the beauty is not obviousl that can be seen from the picture, or even read from the book. Only if you were there and saw it, you would then feel it. Although Angkor Wat was quite boring in many people’s eyes, it was a perfect example of imperfect beauty.
I am glad I met the girl in Tibet, and I am also glad to make a right decision to stay 2 days in Siem Reap, though I would like to stay longer. Goodbye Angkor Wat, my beauty.