The Ancient Temples of Angkor
Trip Start Aug 12, 2010
135Trip End Sep 23, 2011
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First things first......WOW!!!!!
Now a trip to Cambodia wouldn't be worthit if you didn't go and see the Ruins of Angkor (a World Heritage Site), situated just outside Siem Reap and near the Great Lake. Angkor is a region of Cambodia that served as the seat of the Khmer Empire which flourished from approximately the 9th to 15th centuries. They were built over a 500-year period between 790 and 1307 C.E., by a succession of Khmer kings. The temples of the Angkor area number over one thousand, ranging in scale from nondescript piles of brick rubble scattered through rice
fields (less interesting) to the magnificent Angkor Wat, said to be the world's largest single religious monument
All in all there are 70 temples scattered over 50 square miles. As well as Angkor Wat, is the more impressive Angkor Thom, the capital city of the Khmer Empire. The Bayon is without a doubt Angkor Thom's extraordinary temple monument, with its towers crowned with faces looking out to the four cardinal points.
Walking up to the the temple felt like we were in a Tomb Raider game with Lara Croft just about to run around the corner with a pair of pistols in her hand, and thats because many of the games and films were based here. As well as Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm is another impressive site with its tree-in-temple characteristics. The site has become so famous that it is now nicknamed Tomb Raider Temple or Angelina Jolie Temple, and as you could imagine the Japanese tourist are in heaven. To conclude, the temples are amazing and the level of detail delivered from the engraving and sculpuring is mind blowing, and the scale really cannot be appreciated from the photo's. A real highlight of our trip so far.
Love Thomas and Hollie x x x x
To see the temples you can either hire a bicycle and travel around by yourself for around $4 (remember the whole sight is 50 square miles!!!) or hire a tuk tuk driver to take you around the main sites as well as acting as a small guide ($12 shared). We did the later and were very pleased. On the otherhand Lonely Planet recommends hiring a bicycle but this is truely suicide as the area is so big, its so hot (38c), you need atleast two days (more money spent on entry tickets) and most people on bikes just looked angry and couldn't wait to get back to their hostel to burn their copy of Lonely Planet. We spent the whole day on a tuk tuk and there is still more outlying temples to see, but seeing the most important one's we felt very satisfied and almost templed out.