Siem Reap temples – Angkor Wat and more, so many more temples. By far Siem Reap is our favourite place on our trip off the continent; not only are the people friendly, but the food is good and the culture is beautiful. Visit if you get the chance.
Okay, time to get ready for a long day of heat and history.
My first tip when visiting the temples – get a guide. Not some tuk-tuk driver who will give you a low rate, but a registered guide who knows his history. Since we were travelling during the Khmer New Year it was challenging to find a guide on short notice, yet our hotel came through and found us the best guide. Not only did he pick us up in his air conditioned car, he also talked with us about politics, economics and life in general. Such a delightful day.
Okay – first up is the famous temple that Tomb Raider was filmed at. Me, not really a fan, however, there were quite a lot of people there.
My original plan was to do what they call the small circuit, yet our guide quickly told us we’d be rush if we tried to squish so much into one day. He was right. Stick to 3-4 temples a day and schedule in a break. Some will tell you that lunch on the temple grounds is expensive and it’s not if you know where to go. Our guide, he knew where to go.
We spent about 1 hour at Ta Prohm.
I won’t go into too many stories because you’ll want to experience them for yourself while you’re looking at the temples. Yet, also partly because I’d be so embarrassed if I missed a detail or got two stories mixed up. Some of my favourite times with our guide are when he would tell us to sit and he would tell us a story about kings and how they would fight evil. Cutting head off snakes and drinking milk. I felt like a second grader being let in on the best secrets. Simply beautiful.
See those planks of wood? The little platform to ensure people are walking on safe ground? Well, it’s all made of teak. Seriously. It’s like pine here in Canada. They use teak for basic construction.
This is second temple we visited and it’s cool. So many faces with so much detail. One wall wasn’t even finished as far as all the details and carvings. The Siem Reap temples would change hands when a new king was in place and often they had different views on what was important.
Time for kisses?
We spent 1.5 hours at Bayon and had lunch after Ta Prohm and Bayon.
The monkeys at the Siem Reap temples were so funny. They are fat and out of shape because people feed them candy. I gave them nuts. Our guide told us that people, well mostly young children, torment them by shooting arrows at them with a bow. He said they are frightened by even the ghost movement of pulling back on a bow and arrow. He showed us and the monkeys went scattering. Sad.
See how all the heads don’t match? People along time ago and even now steal them and sell the heads on the black market. When they find one they try and put it back as best they can.
Scripts and other features are cut out for sale on the black market, too.
More teak and very steep stairs up to the second floor of Angkor Wat. This will most likely be closed soon due to structural issues. Currently they can only let up 100 people at a time for a max of 15 minutes. The view, however, is breathtaking.
We spent 2.5 hours at Angkor Wat – well worth it.
In the end our trip to the Siem Reap temples was amazing. Visit if you ever get the chance. Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you again soon.