Today we stayed back at Siem Reap to see the Famous Angkor Wat temple. But before we could get to that, there were other things lined up. The first appointment for the ASEAN team was a ceremonial planting of trees presided over by the Indian ambassador. We were all driven down in 18-seater buses since our convoy would create a traffic jam on the narrow roads. Everyone pitched in with the shovel and watering can to do their bit for the environment.
The next stop was the Bayon temple. It's a 12th century Khmer temple built by the Buddhist king Jayavarman VII. The magnificent structure was the centre of his capital Angkor Thom. The team then visited the Ta Prohm temple built by the same Buddhist ruler. Unlike other structures, this temple has been left in more or less the same condition as it was found in. So, you have trees growing out of its ruins. It's a surreal scene to see the huge trees slowly engulfing the ruins. In fact, many scenes from the Hollywood movie Tomb Raider were shot here. We went back to the hotel for a quick lunch before heading back to Angkor Wat.
This time we took the cars, the convoy again escorted by the police and the traffic blocked for the ASEAN cavalcade. A quick photo shoot of the cars lined up in front of the temple, and we were free to explore this World Heritage Site aided by government registered guides. Angkor Wat is the largest Hindu temple complex in the world. This 12th century temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is a symbol of Cambodia, and rightly so. While we all wished that we had more time to explore and soak in this place, we were also thankful that at least this rally had given us the opportunity to visit this gorgeous piece of history. The evening ended with an official dinner after which, nearly everyone trooped out to the night market to get a foot massage.