Raiding the Tomb (or pretend to)
First a litttle introduction. This is Ta Prohm.
One of the most beautiful temple-monastery in Angkor, simply because when it was uncovered, it was almost completely swallowed by the jungle. Its layout's splendor and complexity increased ten folds by its partly collapsed state.
"The plant takes hold of in a crevice somewhere in the superstructure of a building, usually where the bird had deposited the seed, and extends roots downwards to the soil." Quoted from Ancient Angkor.
As centuries passed, the roots gradually become so thick they wedge open the blocks. Eventually, these trees becomes part of the ruin, they support at the same time hold the power to destroy this magnificence infrastructure.
And this is where Angelina Jolie (aka Lara Croft) picked a Jasmine flower before falling through the soil into Pinewood Studio.
Tomb Raider Tree
I decided instead destroying the nature by killing a Jasmine flower, I'll blend in with nature; be ONE with Ta Prohm.
Tree Hugger. We are ONE.
The monastery ruin is fulled of trees grown so magnificently throughout the centuries, you'd be awed by their sheer sizes.
Or even by the size of ONE of their roots,
Or the body of the tree,
OK fine! You caught me red handed, guilty as charged! I wasn't ALONE! I was with someone at the ruin!
Guys, meet my partner in crime.
Miraculously an awesome blogger and a wonderful travel partner, Nicole and I clicked easily like bread and butter; chocolate to ice creams.
I also have to declare, Ta Prohm is a GREAT place to play hide and seek at, I kid you not.
It took forever for Nicole to find me.
What?! You don't believe me?!
You said there's one more person?!!
No really?! There was only us!!!! Just the two of us!!!
Oh shut it!!
Fine, I admit defeat, there was ONE MORE person.
Meet our friend, a low profile traveller whose name does not wished to be mentioned in this blog.
Seriously, you have to be shameless enough to take this picture. Avoiding stares from tourists around the place queuing to take photo with the tree.
Our acquaintance went something like this.
"Hi, Nicole, meet Nicole. You can also call me Nicole"
"Oh hi Nicole, it's nice to meet you. Ta Prohm is absolutely gorgeous isn't it?!"
"OMGOMGOMG, I'm totally like... agree with you! We so like... HAVE~~~ to take photos together yea"
"Oh yes, what a splendid idea. *clap hands tipping with joy* It must be fate that brought us together in such a magical mysterious place. It's destined that we declare each other as sisters."
"Yo sis!! Sisterhood forever gurl!"
"Yes, indeed, we shall lend a hand whenever one of us is in need."
There you go. My two lovely friends from Cambodia.
And we continue to run around Ta Prohm, playing spy and and detective on rocks and crevices.
Around the temple, you find lots of code marked stones lying in sequence on the ground.
These are stones that belonged to the ruin, but collapsed replaced by the trees.
I call them, homeless stones.
Okay FINALLY, there IS ONE MORE scene from the Tomb Raider movie that I bet most (like 99%) of the tourists to Angkor have not been able to locate.
How do I know? Because I tracked the place down and NOT a SINGLE SOUL was there!
Remember the scene where the bad guys broke into the "Tomb" by puling down a polystyrene gate?
Iain Glen acting as the evil Manfred Powell
Is it NOT at Bayon, despite popular belief.
It IS at Angkor Thom where Bayon is in.
Though it is NOT the south gate of Angkor Thom.
Where? Not the east entrance of Angkor Thom, but the exact East Gate of Angkor Thom.
It was when I finished Ta Prohm that I realised I have not spotted this particular gate, because it was not exposed to the public.
Hence I cycled 3km back to Angkor Thom to find the infamous mysterious East Gate.
Tracing through the map, I landed myself in some dirt track road that took me into the depths of the jungle. God knows where I was heading to.
And the creepy part? There wasn't anyone in sight.
The unbearable part? Cycling on dirt track road with a town bike is a PAIN in the ASS!!!!!!!!
Ouch ouch ouch.
15 mins later. I finally found him!!!!
Woohoo!!! I just cam-whored single handedly with the East Gate. OMGOMGOMG I stood on the exact ground where Iain Glen once laid. o.O *faint*
A long way in, but it was all worth it!!
Lonesome town bike.
I know the photo is slanted, I couldn't find a flat 0-gradient rock to fix it on. But don't you think it's more artistic this way? :D
As the evening drew closer, I cycled out of the Northern Gate and 18KM straight towards the east end of Angkor big circuit to catch sunset at Pre Rup temple, said to offer one of the best sunset sight.
18KM on a cycle!!!! This was like chasing the sun before it falls down!! Seriously, I was cursing most of the way!!!
When I reached Pre Rup, there was already a crowd.
As we waited from 5:30pm, the sun began to descend.
Here's a wallpaper.
As for me, after what was at least 50KM of cycling since 6am in the morning, I didn't give a damn about the bloody sunset.
"F*ck off, let me sleep"