Preah Ko towers
We finished up our Angkor pass with a trip to the Roluos group of temples about 13 km East of Siem Reap. We had been debating going. Rowshan's knee was hurting and we are getting a bit templed out. But, since he was feeling better, we decided we might as well. The bike ride was partially the same as our unsuccessful trip to Kampong Phluk-- the easy part fortunately.
The road was busy going by the market but eventually it was spacious. One stretch passed by workshops where people made sculpted pieces for temples and décor out of concrete. Coming back there were about 10 guys climbing and hammering at a Buddha sculpture.
The temples in the Roluos group are the oldest of the Angkor temples, built in the 9th century by Indravarman I. Preah Ko was a group of 6 towers. They were in ruins of course but some of the lintels and doorway columns were in decent condition.
The Bakong was a large temple mountain with a pretty moat and cared-for grounds with flowers and trees. There was a wat inside the grounds so they probably served a more active duty than the other ruins. The top had just one large tower where we found a carving of a chicken with an elephant hanging from its beak-- more evidence of the Giant Chicken.
Giant Chicken eating elephant,
On the way back up the road we stopped at a workshop across from Preah Ko where children were making designs and traditional shadow puppets by punching and cutting leather. The children were orphans or just poor and some of the money went directly to them and the other part went to the orphanage for their food and care. Although it is sad they have to work, it seemed like a good job. They were learning traditional arts/handcrafts and they seemed happy enough. They sat on the ground with wooden stumps for work tables. Rowshan and I chose a monkey and a rabbit. The sales kid called a boy and a girl over. The boy had made the monkey and the girl had made the rabbit. We thanked them and they thanked us. Then we biked back to town.
Making leather puppets