Our temple exploration continue with Tong the next afternoon. We started off visiting the temples in the area, starting with Phnom Banan. Hundreds of steps led to a beautiful temple along with stunning views of the countryside. Children tried to earn some money by fanning us on the way up!
The next stop was a bit more heavy. Though a beautiful mountain top, Phnom Sampeu has a really horrible past, the caves that are at the top of the mountain are where the Khmer Rouge killed men, women and children, before throwing them into the caves. It was chilling to be in such a beautiful place knowing the terrible history. We were all confused by the sign at the entrance saying that a woman from White Center, WA helped fund the memorial site.
From there the trail looped to the top of the mountain with a Buddhist temple. The countryside contains so many shades of green that are hard to capture with a camera. It's some of the most fertile soil in the world.
The last stop of the day was to see millions of bats fly out a cave at night. The bats fly in a solid stream for over an hour! Really impressive to see them making a magic carpet in the sky as they eat their way across the darkening sky.
They way home we saw more families congregating in the streets, more naked babies, and really beautiful light covering the countryside. Such a beautiful city. Margo, Cory's girlfriend took the following, stunning, photos: