Looking for Colonel Kurtz…
Posted by Cool Your Jets IV on May 24, 2011
Willard: My mission is to make it up into Cambodia. There’s a Green Beret Colonel up there who’s gone insane. I’m supposed to kill him.
Chef: What? Oh, that’s typical! Shit! Fuckin’ Vietnam mission! I’m short, and we gotta go up there so you can kill one of our own guys? That’s fuckin’ great! That’s just fuckin’ great! Shit! That’s fuckin’ crazy! I thought you were going in there to blow up a bridge, or some fucking railroad tracks or something!
Willard: I’m sorry. Look, I’ll cut you loose here and you can turn around and…
Chef: [interupting] No, no, we go together… on the boat! We came this far, so we go together. All the way! We’ll take you up there, we’ll go with you… but on the boat! Okay?
Meeting our driver at 6am, we set off for Angkor Wat – in search of Colonel Kurtz…
Rather than follow the tourist hoards, we got our driver Tung to set off in an anti-clockwise direction, beginning at the end so to speak. This was a great a tip given whilst we were in Kampot which meant we pretty much had each temple to ourselves and the freedom to explore and enjoy the coolness of the morning.
The temples were all stunning, each had their own characters. Preah khan was our first, a huge sprawling site with many corridors, derelict walls and moody corners, definitely a great starting point. Moving on to Neak Pean – a small island based temple, we quickly moved on deciding we’d only look at 3* temples from that point onwards!
Ta Som had some great carvings and a bit of ‘tree growing out of temple’ action which was pretty cool.
Shooting past East Mebon, our next stop was Pre Rup, as the book says ‘…a superior temple-mountain…’ it was.
Flew through Banteay Kdei onto Ta Prohm, which is the one I really wanted to see – the temple has been pretty much left to the jungle and had all the ‘tree out of temple action’ you could wish for, it was awesome and was a great place to lose yourself for a good hour – exploring all the nooks and crannies – for me, with Apocalypse Now being one of my favourite films, was the place that reminded me so much of the great movie – all that was missing was some atmospheric mist, a river and a cow getting its head chopped!
Through Thommanom and onto Bayon – one of the must sees, it was pretty cool – 37 standing towers, many of which have the instantly recognisable giant faces. Finally we made it back to the start and Angkor Wat. Finishing at the beginning (and by this time it was a little after lunch,) we pretty much had this ‘jewel in the crown’ to ourselves. It was OK – to be fair though we were a little ‘templed-out’ by this stage and all of us were knackered and keen to get back for a frozen margarita!
In my mind, the best of today was definitely Preah Khan and Ta Prohm.
We didn’t find the Colonel, Apocalypse Now was filmed in the Philippines!