Angkor Wat and Siem Reap

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We arrived in Siem Reap mid aftrnoon. It’s about a three hour taxi journey from the border town of Poipet. We were dropped off as promise at our hotel the la Tradition D’Angkor, and what a place it was. We were warmly greeted on arrival and shown to our room. After settling in it was unanimously decided thet we needed a cold beer (I know, yes another drink) so we settled down by the pool. After a few drinks, and as it turned out very expensive ones at that, we thought that as we were only here for three nights we should hit the town, so we arranged a Tuk Tuk and headed off. Now it must have been our luck which we always seems to get when travelling our Tuk Tuk driver was very nice chap indeed, so we seized the opportunity to ask him if he would pick us up in the morning and take us to the temples, not only did he agree he sorted out an itinerary for us as well, excellent so our trip to Angkor Wat was arranged. We were dropped of in the aptley named bar street which along with many bars also had lots of nice restaurants. We decided to eat at Khmer kitchen which was highly recommended in the guide books. So we settled down had a lovely meal and a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
Angkor Wat. Our Tuk Tuk driver duly turned up as arranged and drove us to the temple complex. Our first stop was Angkor Thom, this particular complex covers an area of some 10 sq km. A truly magnificent site, the main temple in Angkor Thom was also the film location for the movie Tomb Raider. Next it was onto Banyon, this temple has a collection of 54 towers which represented the 54 former states of Cambodia, now their are only 24, and each tower has four faces 216 in total. The huge heads glare down on you from above exuding power and control. The remainder of the day was spent visiting the many other temples on the complex. One of these temples Ta Prohm which in fact turned out to be my favourite. Now althought most of the structure is in ruins the most impressive part is that their are many trees which have grown around, up, and through the temple itself, and there root structure has intertwined with a large part of the temple, some of the trees even look like they are wrapping there roots around the various parts to protect it, just an amazing sight. It was just like walking onto the set of an Indiana Jones movie.
Day 2
It was up at 4am, “I know your thinking I thought they were supposed to be on holiday” but after reading all the info and guide books on the temple complex, the must see was the sunrise over the temple of Angkor Wat. We arrived at the temple and made our way along the long road up to the temple gates, and waited along with many others for the sun to rise. At about 5:30am it arrived, but unfortunatly it was a very hazy morning so the sunrise was not as spectacular as we would have liked, but nevertheless I still managed to get some good photo’s, also its one for my travel cv “I have seen the sunrise over Angkor Wat”. Once the sun had risen it was off to explore the temple itself, it is quite remarkable how well preserved it is after standing for more than a 1000 years. A truly spectaular and exhausting way to spend 2 day’s. One last thing I urge anyone who is interested to take the time to read about the temples of Angkor Wat its facinating reading.
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4 responses »

  1. Bob, I love the detail of your post and the pictures are gorgeous. I wanted to visit Cambodia to see Angkor Wat, but wasn’t able to this visit. Next year, I want to see if I can get over there, along with Vietnam (to visit my friend Paul, who teaches there). Outstanding post my friend!

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    • Thanks for that Steve. We are leaving Phnom Penh today, on the Mekong Express coach for Saigon. In the process of writing blog post on Phnom Penh and the killing fields a very sobering visit. Take care Bob

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