Angkor Wat was never included in my bucket list. I was dreaming of seeing Machu Picchu in Peru in the future – if not, then it will be one of the constant places in my dreams. So I never really thought that I will ever have the chance of seeing the biggest religious ancient complex in the world … but you’ll never know what lies at the bend of each road. 🙂
July 17, 2017 – Tuesday
We were fetched by our tour guide “Uncle Sam” from our accommodation at 7:00 in the morning, he was also our tuk tuk driver for the day.
First we went to buy our tickets from their office – Angkor Enterprises located at 69 Road.
Here was mine – with my mug shot 🙂
We also bought bottled water and muffins since we haven’t had anything for breakfast yet.
We only have half of the day to do the tour and sight seeing, so it was agreed that we will just visit the 3 major temple complexes. The first of which is the ever famous:
Angkor Wat – A City of Temples
It was a foggy and gloomy day. The sky is dark and it looks like rain will suddenly fall. Despite the imminent rainfall, we persevered and started our tour.
Angkor Wat according to Wikipedia is a temple complex and the largest religious monument in the world. Because of this, our tour guide told us not to burn our time admiring the outer wall but go inside to see the actual inner temple.
We were given two hours to explore the area. We had to pass on the rubber bridge to reach the outer wall of the temple.
We’ve seen a lot of tourists flocking the outer walls of the temple.
So we decided to explore the inner parts of the temple complex and reach the temple itself.
It is evident that a lot of hard work was exerted during the building of the temple. The stones used are really huge and we have seen that a lot of part restorations are currently taking place.
Before leaving, we bought souvenir items such as shirts, ref magnets and key chains. My brother was even offered 6 ref magnets for 100php – that was a real bargain.
Angkor Thom – A Great City
Our second destination is Angkor Thom. Again we had to ride the tuk tuk so we can see another complex. It was somewhat far from Angkor Wat. After a while, we began to approach the gateway to Angkor Thom. And Uncle Sam was really kind enough to offer to take our picture at the gate 🙂
After entering the gate,
we have seen a lot of monkeys roaming around the complex. Some are even playing and interacting with the tourists.
Uncle Sam asked us if we would like to see the elephants and we willingly obliged. An elephant ride costs $5, but we opted not to ride. Instead we touched the elephant’s trunk and as we stared at its eyes – it seemed to be tearing up. It must have been really tired.
Then we explored Prasat Bayon, a temple which has face towers and naga giant figures.
Adjacent to Prasat Bayon is Prasat Baphuon, a 3-tiered temple mountain. Once you enter, you cannot turn back, you have to go inside and explore the temple, and you have to exit in another way.
It is characterized by steep stairs, and the stairs are not for those who are afraid of heights, but as we have seen, the view on top is worth the fright :).
Ta Prohm – where trees grew out of the ruins
Again, we rode the tuk tuk to reach the next complex. According to our guide Uncle Sam, tourists usually spend 3 days to visit all the temple complexes, because there are other temples. But since we only have half of the day, 3 major attractions is enough.
This is the last major attraction we visited.
According to Wikipedia, most parts of Ta Prohm were used in Lara Croft’s tomb raider, so we decided to include it in our tour.
Since, we are really tired of walking and climbing stairs, we decided to just follow a straight trail inside the complex. We were ushered to the East entrance and followed a straight path going to the West exit.
It was only 12 noon, yet we’re really tired, exhausted and famished. But were really happy since we were able to see ancient ruins – it was like travelling back in time and seeing things built by ancient people.
Photos (c) are from the fb pages of the tour members.