I made one more stop in Cambodia, before heading to Bangkok for Christmas. That’s Angkor Wat. The biggest temple complex in Asia.
I think the photos will do most of the talking in this post. But for anyone reading this post and thinking about going to Angkor Wat, here’s a little tip to spend some more time at the temples, without paying more!
You go to the ticket office (on the way to the temple, about 4 kilometres out of town, you can cycle or take a tuktuk) the day before your big temple exploring day at 4:30pm to buy a ticket. You buy a ticket and cycle/tuktuk your way to Angkor Wat, because after this time, the guards won’t check your ticket for the date. So, you can enjoy the sunset “for free” in the Angkor Wat area. Of course, Angkor Wat is where most people go (including me), so maybe it’s clever to go to another temple to enjoy the sunset there. It’s really nice, despite all the people!
So I only did one day of temple exploring, which means I was going to see the main attractions, but I was a bit worried about the big tourbuses popping up everywhere. Then Tom had a great idea to do “the loop” from a different starting point and then go anti-clockwise, because most tours do it the other way around (or so we assumed). We started our day at 5:30am. Cycling to the temples and we a temple to ourselves at sunrise. It had such a mystical atmosphere, it was really amazing! After that we made our rounds, stopped everywhere we could and although there were more people as the day progressed, I feel like we managed to avoid the crowds by something as simple as “doing it the other way around”.
We went to the Angkor Thom grounds, where there’s a temple that archeologists took apart for reconstruction purposes, documenting everything so they could put everything back together. But then there was the Khmer Rouge people’s revolution that destroyed all documentation. Now the only way to get the temple back in order is by trial and error. Trying and if it doesn’t work, take it apart again. Amazing, the effort that these researcher are putting in to it.
Bayon was my favourite “temple”, although is looks a bit messy. Like big hill of rocks, really, especially from a distance. But from upclose, there’s a lot of intricate carvings telling a story about revolution and war, and even about fishing and village life in that ancient time. And of course, the faces. Bayon is the temple “of the faces”, from where ever you stand, you can make out at least ten faces looking up or down or from the side. They look so friendly!
Just check out the pictures, hopefully they can convey the majesty and mystery that seemed to be everywhere around Angkor Wat.
|Angkor Wat 2011|