Spoiler: lots of photos!!!
28.12.2015 - 30.12.2015 95 °F
Dawn, Angkor Wat
When construction of The Temples of Angkor - one of the largest known religious complex in the world - began in the ninth century, only a few probably would have predicted its ability to draw millions of people from all over the globe to visit its labyrinths and towers every year. The archaeological park is famous for Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm (the set of "Tomb Raider"), but offers so much beyond that. The main hub of temples lies just 8 kilometers north of Siem Reap, about a 15 minute tuk-tuk ride, which was our chosen mode of transportation. We hired our driver (who we think was named 'Mop') to also drive us from temple to temple as they are much too spread out to walk. For a true archaeologist, I'd imagine you could spend weeks exploring each and every ruin, but for the curious traveler, two days were enough for us. We visited a total of seven temples, a couple of them more than once, and gathered the best photos below:
The first temple of our first day.
This famous "jungle temple" is definitely a highlight, but the crowds were a bit overwhelming. We had attempted to plan our day in a way that would avoid the hoards of noisy tour groups, but it seems there is just no way around having a lot of company at this location. It was none the less amazing to see the massive trees taking over the ruins in person, and we were lukcily able to return two days later at sunset for a very brief visit when only a handful of people were there.
One of our favorites! We really enjoyed climbing the steep and narrow stairs to the top of the temple. Not recommended for those afraid of heights!
Chao Say Tevoda & Thommanom:
Two smaller temples situated across the street from one another, and just outside the gate to Angkor Thom.
A small temple 20km north of the main Angkor complex. It is known for its intricate carvings which did not disappoint. While we were out in the countryside, we also visited the nearby Landmine Museum.
The central temple within the great walls of Angkor Thom, which was the largest city of the Angkor Era. Bayon was our agreed upon favorite, and we visited it on both of our days to Angkor.
The be-all, end-all of temples. We visited this one twice as well. Once in the late afternoon when we explored the inside and climbed to the top of central temple which offered amazing views, and again for sunrise -- a must see!
Sunrise, Angkor Wat