We had the bikes for a day, so to maximize it, we got up early. Not as early as those who wanted to see an Angkor Wat sunrise, as biking in the dark did not appeal to us! Our timing was good, as we arrived at Angkor Wat when the sun was rising and the crowds leaving on their way home to breakfast. We ate our breakfast on the steps and enjoyed being in the minority.
Onwards, we explored some smaller spots, enjoying Preah Khan which formerly was a university for monks, a temple of the sword and small community. It is in a state of ruins with some restoration going on, including the Adopt-a-Garuda program!
Our back roads took us to smaller temples and even over a bridge being occupied by a model doing a photo shoot! We landed back with the masses at Ta Phrom, the temple made famous by Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider. Or, for the nature lovers, famous for the impressive way trees have usurped ancient cities.
As our bikes were due back, somehow the return seemed longer in the midday sun. But recovery time by the pool corrected that, and got us the necessary relief before a night at the Phare Cambodian Circus.
Phare Ponleu Selpak is a local program establishing a school for performers and artists. They staged a mesmerizing, high energy show under a big top under the full moon. A must see, so here’s a clip: