Sunday, April 17, 2005

Cambodia - Day 4 Part 3

Later, we went to see the 'Ta Prohm' or 'Old Brahma', possibly the best known structure of Cambodia, mainly because it features on the cover of the Lonely Planet guidebook, along with the caretaker of the place, an 80-year-old man, who is possibly as well-known as the monument itself.

Cover of the Lonely Planet guidebook

We reached the entrance of Ta Prohm, and the first thing that greeted us was the ruins of the gate.

This time, Max wasn't complaining! :)

We entered the place...

and made our way in...

Rocks were precariously balanced on top of one another.

We pose for a picture.

There were nooks and crevices all over the place and you could spend a lot of time just exploring.

We found this statue of Buddha and the incense sticks in one of the crevices.

One of the most amazing things about Ta Prohm were the gigantic roots that had made their way into the monument. They had now become part of it, and half the mystery of the place were in the roots that were everywhere.

Like this one...

Check out the thickness of the roots Elle was posing with!

Sometimes the roots even grew horizontally!

We split up in different directions to find the Lonely Planet cover boy.

One group found the tree that was on the cover!

Meanwhile, I heard the sound of prayer bells, and hoping to find the old man, followed the sound. I walked on by myself for quite some time, and I had no idea where the others were. I just kept following the sound as it became louder and louder, leading me to its source. And no, the source was not the old man, offering prayers, as I had anticipated. It was the sound of insects up on a high tree! I literally could not believe my ears! They were reproducing the exact sound of prayer bells! I recorded the sound just to prove to the others. And even when I hear it today, I am so amazed!

We looked high and low, but we could not find the old man. We found some kids who told us that he had retired for the day. I was desolated. I had really really wanted to meet him. Elle said she would be coming back the next day (the rest of us would head for Phnom Penh) and I made her promise to take photos with the old man.

Elle kept her promise.

This is her against the same backdrop.

And this is the old man with her, holding the book he features on!

We returned, freshened up and went for dinner to The Khmer Kitchen, another recommendation by Lonely Planet. I wore my pink Cambodian top, and kicked myself mentally for not buying three more of them!

We posed as we waited for our food. (What? Chin's already drunk??)

Jeeves, Ro and Viv show how buddy-buddy they are.

After a nice dinner, we decided to go to the 'Angkor What?' pub. Viv and Chin had apparently been here the night before while the rest of us had been getting the creepy massages. When we got there, Viv realised something He said, "No wonder the menu looked different yesterday! We never came here, dude!" Hahahaha! The pubs were so close to one another that these chaps had entered the pub next to the Angkor What?, had drinks and never even realised that it was another pub! Hahaha!

Viv tells us his story.

All right, Chin, what exactly had you been drinking??

Max tries to down a drink with his eyes closed...

And refuses to open them!

Last snap in the old market

That night, the downloading ceremony brought the roof down, as we relived each of the 'Max moments' of the day. I honestly doubt if anything could ever make me laugh that way ever again.

Chin, how on earth could you sleep through THIS ONE???


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