From Banteay Srei we went to the Cambodia Landmine Museum before heading to Banteay Samre.
It was founded by a man called Aki Ra who was a child soldier in the Khmer Rouge and laid thousands of mines before defecting in 1987.
Today he believes he’s cleared more than 50,000 mines but has now retired.
He opened this museum in 1997 and has taught other people how to clear mines and I believe this organization is still active in clearing.
It’s also an orphanage/school for landmine victims/orphans of landmine victims. This is some art made by one of them out of old mines and weapons. It was very educational, and incredibly sad.
And a little weird to come out and see all this lovely green on a bright day.
From there we headed to Banteay Samre.
These stalls on the side of the road looked like mini restaurant type things, getting ready for dinner.
And Banteay Samre!
Banteay Samre is pretty much the same as Banteay Srei in layout/form, but not nearly as well preserved.
If I recall correctly it’s actually newer, by 100 years, than Banteay Srei.
I think I remember reading that Banteay Srei was buried or something, and that’s why it’s so well preserved.
Samre was better for clambering around I think.
And it was still beautiful! But it might have been better to go here first, and then to Srei.
Srei was so well maintained though, it felt “new,” while this place really felt old and mysterious.
And it did still have bits of detail.
And these lovely carved ceilings, which I’m not sure Srei had (or maybe I didn’t notice them there).
I wish I knew the stories on the carvings though!
They look exciting.
I want my foundation to look like that!
I also thought it was interesting how much darker Samre was from Srei, I don’t know if it’s a different kind of stone, or being exposed to the elements longer, or what. But interesting.
These corridors go all the way around the perimeter.
And we exited!
Across the street we were pressured into buying some coconuts (wow yeah, they just do not let up on you). But we were thirsty anyway, which is why we caved.
Plus coconut is delicious.
E’s coconut was NEVER ENDING. She drank while I drank, I finished. I looked around. She still drank. Finally she couldn’t drink anymore, so I drank from it… and drank… and almost gave up really.
I do wonder how much liquid was in that thing.
To be concluded!