Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Angkor Wat

If you go to Cambodia, the one thing you HAVE to do is see Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is actually only one temple within a larger area containing many temples. Angkor Wat itself was built originally as a Hindu temple and was dedicated to Vishnu. When Cambodia became Buddhist they altered the temple. The king who most Cambodians say built Angkor Wat is Jayavarman VII. His image is everywhere in Cambodia, and is oddly similar to Buddha's image. He built most of the temples in the Angkor Wat area.

Siem Reap is very easy to get to. It's easy to get to by bus from Battambong, Phnom Penh, and Poipet (border with Thailand). The temples are also very easy to get to from Siem Reap town. You'll probably be asked by tuk tuk drivers to go to the temples before you even want to go. Most tuk tuks can speak enough English to get  you to the temples and to negotiate a price. I would say a tourist would probably end up paying around $15 to have the tuk tuk for the day. You can also talk to your hotel, they may have a tuk tuk driver they use and can get you a good price.

There was no way that Hal and I could leave Cambodia without going to Angkor Wat. We stayed in Siem Reap after Camp GLOW and took the day to see the temples. We found a tuk tuk outside our hotel that morning and negotiated $10 to see the temples we wanted to see. I recommend going by tuk tuk instead of bike. The temples are kind of far outside the city, and they're kind of far away from each other. I knew some people who biked and they were very tired afterwards.

It costs $20 a day to see the temples, or you can get a discount if you get a 3 day pass. I've heard it takes 3 days if you really want to see all of the temples. We didn't have all day to see the temples so we took the morning and part of the afternoon and only went to the temples we wanted to go to. We went to see Angkor Wat, Bayon, and Ta Prohm, which probably took us about 4-5 hours to see.

First we saw Angkor Wat. THE Angkor Wat.
Note: There is a section where you can go up inside to a sacred part of the temple. You have to be wearing something that covers your shoulders and your knees, so come prepared.

Next up we went to Bayon. This one is actually my favorite that we went to. It was definitely in the worst state of disrepair. But they're working on putting it all back together. I really liked this one because it was less perfect and more real. There are so many passages that you could just wander through,and there were a lot less people than at Angkor Wat.

The last temple that we went to is called Ta Prohm. You may have seen pictures of this temple before. It's the tree temple, and where Tomb Raider was filmed. It was beautiful trees with the most amazing roots which scale many of the temple structures.


Selma @ Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

Loving the photos and this is really what I would do first thing right after landing there. :)

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

Oh how COOL. Awesome pics!

Kell said...

This looks so amazing.. you guys are So lucky!

Tommy Johnson said...

These are some great pictures! What kind of camera do you use?

his little lady said...

These pictures are absolutely incredible!!!!
What an experience!
xo TJ

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