My first night in Siem Reap was spent sleeping. I got to my hostel at about 1 am. The next day I had met up with a girl I met on the bus from Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap as we decided what tour we would do. We looked at the different itineraries and decided on doing the small loop first since we were starting later in the day. The small loop was the 3 large temples, the big loop was about 5 or 6 small temples and then there were temples north of the Angkor temples. Tuk Tuk tours to the temples are pretty standard, $15, we tried really hard to get it lower but no luck. If you have two or more people it is better so you can split it. To visit these temples you have to get an Angkor Pass which is just an admissions ticket. There are 1, 3 and 7 day passes. The 1 day pass is $20, 3 day pass is $40 (which I got) and the 7 day pass is $60. For the 3 day pass you have a week from the day of purchase to visit the temples and for the 7 day you have up to a month to use it. You cannot visit any of the main temples without this pass and they will ask you for it. Make sure you put it in a safe place, they need to see your face on the pass. Be camera ready! Throughout Cambodia, American dollars are accepted so no need to switch currencies. There is a dress code, which is on the back of your ticket, so make sure you abide by the rules otherwise you may be prohibited from entering.
It took about 15 mins to get to Angkor Wat. I was so excited because this had been on my list forever! To get there you have to walk through a large pathway surround by so many tourists. The weather in Cambodia is no joke, it was like 50 degrees Celsius! Keep in mind there are dress codes you need to abide by or you could get kicked out. You can find this on the back of your admission pass.
Angkor Wat is one of the 7 wonders of the world and one of the largest and most well known temple of the Angkor group. It is a Buddhist Temple and you will definitely be seeing monks walking around. This temple is amazingly beautiful. When you are wandering around make sure you really look at everything and take your time.
All of the temples are well taken care of because they are world heritage sites. So, you will see newer stone on temples.
These temples are also still places of worship so respect these areas. The donations go to preserving the temples.
I really didn't want to take pictures because I looked all hot and sweaty but I needed proof that I was here!
This temple was built in the 12th century. Walking around you see sculptures and carvings that are very intricate for that time period, which makes it that much more amazing.
The colours in the stone are so gorgeous. Walking through the halls was my favourite part. There are lots of carvings in Khmer and Sanskrit that are really beautiful.
It's amazing that these walls and temples are still standing considering how old they are.
I think this temple is beautiful but definitely overrated. Everyone talks about how amazing it is but there are other smaller temples that are just as beautiful if not more.
I love the outside of this Bayon Temple because it really looks like piles or rocks put together. The rocks are very dark and filled with a greenish white moss. This temple was built in the late 12th century. It is a Khmer temple turned Buddhist. It is located in the Angkor Thom complex. Angkor Thom is actually the largest complex but not the most well known. Within the complex are multiple gates and smaller temple.
This temple is most known for the smiling Buddha faces in the stone. Make sure to take the stairs to the terrace to see them.
Every little angle made for an amazing picture.
I love this picture. The hallways was one of my favourite things to explore because not a lot of people would stop and look at all the detail on the walls, ceilings, pillars or doors. Plus, they were less crowded!
This is a newer addition, you can tell by the colours on the stone.
You can get a better look here of the outside of the temple. It is very interesting looking. You can even see the Buddhas in the stone on the terrace. This temple was quite large, it took about two hours to explore.
Baphuon Temple was built in the 11th century. It is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Shiva. It is actually quite large. It is a 3-tiered temple and very steep to climb. The weather can get as hot as 50 degrees Celsius so climbing all these stairs are quite difficult. I think I almost got heat stroke, I had to sit down for about 15 mins and I felt so shaky. You can go all the way to the top but I didn't make it up there.
Next, we walked to the Terrace of Elephants. A lot of this has been restored as you can see. These are real depictions of what the terrace looked like. Think about how how difficult this must have been to do in the 12th century.
The last place we saw was Ta Prohm. This was my favourite today because of all the falling tree branches. This temples original name was Rajavihara. It was built late 12th early 13th century. Ta Prohm is one of the most visited sites of the Angkor temples.
At this temple there are large trees and tree roots everywhere undisturbed. The trees are growing out of the ruins which is really cool to see.
This was my favourite section.
So much history in here. They have support beams holding up part of the structure.
Even the outside of the the temple looks amazing. Make sure you have enough time to explore these temples. You will probably spend about 1 1/2 hrs to 2 hrs at each temple.
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