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Bicycling To Wat Phu

The road to Wat Phu

Champasak's big draw is Wat Phu, an ancient Khmer religious complex, set at the foot of the Phu Pasak mountain range (1,400 meters). Our first morning, Celene and I took bicycles on the one hour ride south. Caroline wasn't feeling well, so Nicholas stayed behind as too.

Celene and I walk across the lower level of Wat Phu

Sightseeing by bicycle is an approach I take far too little, and despite the lack of brakes on mine, it was a lot of fun to cruise down the main street past rice paddies, farm animals, and the local people. Upon arrival at the temple's entrance, we parked our bikes and set off on foot. I was under the mistaken impression that the temple was located higher up the mountain, so I had mentally prepared myself to climb all 1,400 meters to the top!

Temple at Wat Phu

As it turned out, the temple was only about 80 meters up the mountain in altitude, so reaching it was anti-climactic because it involved far less hiking than I expected (not that I was in the mood to hike through jungle for hours on end).

Elephant carving

I made an offering of flowers and incense in the temple, while Celene mistakenly began to climb higher up the mountain. When I found her, she was behind a small blue sign which read “No Entry.” I didn't think she'd take the Lara Croft moniker I'd given her so seriously. Then again, as Indiana Jones, maybe I wasn't pushing myself hard enough!

Our rides

As we headed back down the steep stone stairs towards the entrance, we ran into Nicholas and Caroline. As they toured the site, Celene and I walked around the nearby museum and got some drinks at a restaurant by the entrance. The other two joined us and we ate lunch and rode our bikes back to the guest house to….you guessed it….relax by the river.

A local fisherman on the Mekong River around sunset

Planning a trip? Go Backpacking uses and recommends:

Dan

Thursday 2nd of October 2008

I love the pics in this one dave, they are really pretty special? Did you see the stone carving in the riverbed north of Siem Reap? A lot like the elephant.

Dave

Thursday 2nd of October 2008

Thanks Dan! Nope, I did not sea the stone carving you speak of.

Dan

Thursday 2nd of October 2008

I love the pics in this one dave, they are really pretty special? Did you see the stone carving in the riverbed north of Siem Reap? A lot like the elephant.

Dave

Thursday 2nd of October 2008

Thanks Dan! Nope, I did not sea the stone carving you speak of.

Amy

Wednesday 1st of October 2008

I totally agree about the pictures. You have a natural knack for capturing images in such a meaningful way! I'm feeling 'book' one day!! I think you should call it "How I Made My Friends Envy My Life For Over 1 Year" :wink:

Dave

Thursday 2nd of October 2008

I'd be happy to consider that a working title! Actually, I've been thinking about putting together an ebook with photos as a project to ease my re-entry back into life in "the States." Also on tap, a video (set to a good song or two of course). Postcards....calendars....coffee mugs!

Amy

Thursday 2nd of October 2008

I totally agree about the pictures. You have a natural knack for capturing images in such a meaningful way! I'm feeling 'book' one day!! I think you should call it "How I Made My Friends Envy My Life For Over 1 Year" :wink:

Dave

Thursday 2nd of October 2008

I'd be happy to consider that a working title! Actually, I've been thinking about putting together an ebook with photos as a project to ease my re-entry back into life in "the States." Also on tap, a video (set to a good song or two of course). Postcards....calendars....coffee mugs!

Nancy Lu

Wednesday 1st of October 2008

Your pics are amazing! I wish I can be trekking through SE Asia instead of sitting here at work wishing I was there instead of here! Keep on trekking! :cool:

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