A blog post that should have been posted October 9th 2016… Finally coming to life!!!
Hello Siem Reap!!!! Siem Reap is for sure the place not to miss in Cambodia!!! The temples are so amazing and some of the best sights that I have ever seen. In the 5 days I was in Siem Reap, I dedicated 3 days to temple hopping.
The first thing to know – you need a park pass to go and see the temples. The office for the park passes doesn’t open until 7 or 8, so if you think you are going to get up that first morning and go and see the sunrise without an already pre-purchased park pass, think again!
The first thing to look for as you head to the temples is the park sign:
I don’t know why that sign excited me so much – possibly it was because I was so excited to be there. And, of course, the first stop on everyone’s list, including mine, is Angkor Wat.
This is the not to miss highlight of Cambodia, the most popular of all of the temples. If you have seen a picture of Cambodia, you have probably seen Angkor Wat.
Even though it was a bright sunny day, and high tourist season, the temples were not overly crowded, which allowed for good pictures.
The construction of the temples fascinated me to no end! How were they able to build these temples so long ago without our modern means of construction? I also wondered a lot about how long these temples took to build.
I loved that I could go up in Angkor Wat (again, not a lot of people meant no lines and I was able to get up right away!!!). It offered spectacular views of the temple and the pathway below.
So worth the trip! And of course, no trip to Angkor Wat would be complete without a blessing from a monk:
From there, off to Ta Phrom. I consider this one to be the Tomb Raider of the temples. It was so cool to see the trees growing out of the temple walls.
The beauty of this particular temple astounded me… so here are a few more snapshots:
Two temples were enough for one day as it was roasting hot out there! The next day, we hit up two more temples. They were a bit further out, and to get there, we crossed this amazing bridge and gate:
A definite must see! The first temple of the day was Angkor Thom… I loved to see all of the faces in this temple.
And, of course you need to seek out the Elephant Terrace when you are at Angkor Thom:
And, as you drive away from Angkor Thom, get your cameras ready as the back side of the temple is pretty spectacular!
A few more temples rounded out the trip: Chau Say Thevada, Thommanon and Ta Keo. All though each was interesting to see, Ta Keo was my favourite of the last 3 that I saw, so I will post a few pictures of that one:
You can, and I did, go all the way to the very top of that temple. It is about 4 flights of stairs – but be forewarned… the stairs are very very steep and coming down is quite scary! But I managed!
I bought a 3 day pass to get into the parks, because the choices were 1, 3 or 7 days – but I wish that I had purchased one additional day as I would have loved to go and see some of the other temples that were a bit further out! Oh well, I did enjoy my 3 days of temple hopping! And on the third day, I got to see an elephant.. something I wanted to see the entire time I was in Cambodia!
Lesson learned : I wish I had done some pre-reading on the temples and better thought through my plan of attack. Upon reading more, after the fact, there were a few other temples I wish I had been able to see. Well, maybe I will have to take a second trip!!!