Friday, 6 August 2010

Banteay Srei and beyond

Sunday 1 August: The last day of my 3-day Angkor pass so I'm taking a moto-remork to two of the outlying sites.
Banteay Seri, with it's lotus-flower moat and intricate carvings, is regarded as the most ornate of all the temples. It is pretty temple but crowded with Asian coach parties - it is a Sunday.
An hour or so further on is Kbal Spean or 'Valley of a thousand Lingas'. A linga is a phallic object of fertility worship and there are indeed thousands carved in the black rocks and on the stream bed.
From this sacred site the waters eventually flows into the Tonle Sap thus making the whole of Cambodia fertile. On the trail there are also pleasing views across the boulder-strewn valley below.
Photos: Banteay Seri and Kbal Spean .
Tuesday 3: A slight hiccup, the Bangkok government have changed the visa rules, you can only get a 15-day visa when entering Thailand by land. So it's back to Phnom Penh and three-days wait to get a free 60-day tourist visa from the Thai embassy in Cambodia's capital. The overnight bus to Phnom Penh, with wide reclining seats, is the most comfortable I've been on.


  1. hey Dave - thought i'd better check in as I haven't been in touch lately. To be honest, after i read about the train journies in india and the trans tibet railway i was so gutted that I almost vowed never to speak to you again. Trams now running in dublin so may well have time to gatecrash your big adventure some time in the new year. Keep treking mate - some great photos Eeeee

  2. Hello Ian,
    Good to hear from you. Yes, trains are great - looking forward to getting to Thailand which has a reasonably good network. Apart from the bamboo train, Cambodia's old French system is freight only nowadays.
    Glad to hear you've nearly finished the Dublin tramway, about time - fly the flag for British engineering. Guinness here in Sihanoukville is $1.75 a can whereas the local Black Panther at 8% alc. is just $0.75, tastes the same.
    Be good to see you in the New Year if it works out - let me know your plans, will try to accommodate. In January I should be on The Ghan, on an almost straight track, across the Western Desert, from Perth to Adelade - one of the world's great railway trips - eat your heart out . . .
    Regards to all.
    Best . . .