|The bus left at 5am. We were awake before 4.|
|Our friends, Yan and Chandy on the bus.|
They arranged for us to join their university field trip.
|The bus was equipped with a TV monitor|
Cambodian Karaoke played the entire trip
All the songs are tear-jerkers
|Teacher of Khmer Studies giving trip details|
All in Khmer. I had no clue what he was saying, but it sounded important
|Pit stop. Guys & gals got out to pee in the bushes...|
And we got to watch the sunrise. Awesome
|Singing songs on the bus|
|The class 'entertainer' - plays flute, sings, tells jokes|
|Huts like these dotted the countryside on the way to the temple|
No electricity, no running water.
|Nearing the mountain. Preah Vihear is on top|
|The bus only goes to the base of the mountain.|
We took 4WD trucks up the slope. 15 people per truck
Gordon & I sat in the truck bed. Very bumpy ride
|Also a very STEEP ride!|
|Near the top is an army encampment|
We gave food & treats to the soldiers
|First set of stairs up to Preah Vihear|
Try to imagine these are about 1000 years old!
|Amazing carvings on the lintels|
|The roof would probably have been made of wood|
|Lintel carving of 'The Churning of the Sea of Milk'|
|But there was lots anyway|
|An exquisitely carved doorway|
|The temple was scattered with soldiers|
|An ancient 'soldier' guarding the temple doorway|
|Soldiers in one of the doorways|
|Vaulted ceiling all made of stone|
How did they ever do that?
|Monks bestowing a blessing on a petitioner|
The soft drinks and cigarettes behind belong to them
I didn't know that monks smoked...
|This is where the stone for the temple was quarried|
right out of the mountain side
Hard to imagine the manpower it took to build these temples...
|A soldier stands guard with his gun|
The Thais are only a few hundred yards away
and conduct military 'exercises' regularly
|A small temple with a tree growing out the top|
The root system was all along the insides of the temple
|Spetacular view from the mountain top|
|Most members of the group posing outside the temple|
Can you pick out Gordon and me?
|At the army base below, there were warnings for landmines|
|Gordon with the Colonel|
He painted his beard with shoe polish! (honestly)
Cracked me up!
|Reservoir at the temple|
Dry season, so the water level is low
Soldiers are using this as a water source
|Road construction going on up the mountain|
Many hairpin turns - quite a hairy ride
Not for sissies....
|On the return trip, we stopped at Tamok House|
Tamok was a Khmer Rouge commander
Read about it here: http://www.cambodiatips.com/travelguide/oddor-meanchey/sightseeing/330-the_cultural_site_of_khmer_rouge_tamok_house.html
|Many intricate murals on the walls of the house|
Note the mural is painted right around the wood pillar
|Beautiful view from the 2nd floor of Tamok House|
|The bus trip back was a riot|
Singing, drinking beer, karaoke, jokes
All in Khmer.
I had no idea what they were saying, but I laughed at their antics
|Singing the 'girl's part' of the song|
|A good time was had by all!|