Siem Reap and Angkor Wat


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Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap
December 28th 2005
Published: January 21st 2006
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SpidersSpidersSpiders

At the roadside lunch stop, these ladies go through the large black spiders to pick the good ones to cook.
Grabed the afternoon bus from Phnom Penh up to Siem Reap (I decided to pass on the boat trip which I heard was long and costly). For some reason there were a lot of mozzy's on the bus so I spent the 6 hours killing them as they flew by my window.

I arrived at Siem Reap as the sunwas setting and I grabbed a scooter ride to the Happy Guest house as recommended by Beatrice (from Sihanoukville). I did not know at the time there were two Happy Guest houses but oh well. After dropping of my stuff, I headed to town for some food. The city center was very busy and much more upscale then I had imagined with a few streets closed-off to cars. These streets housed lots of bars and restaurants with all types of food (Italian, French, local, Thai, Mexican, Indian...). After eating and doing some emailing, who do I bump into but Orly and Shiri...my trip to Siem Reap would not have been complete without bumping into them (as I have done all over SE Asia).

I awke at 4.30 for sunrise at Angkor Wat. I hired a scooter drive from the guest
SpidersSpidersSpiders

Young girl picks one up to show me how to hold them.
house who took me up the 3 km road to the temples. I joined lots of other visitors in the early morning darkness to prepare for the sunrise at the temple. After watching the sunlight come up, I ventured into the actual temple (as most people stayed outisde) and caught the sun bursting through the clouds as I stood atop the ancient temple ruins. Amazing. I spent the rest of the very hot day touring around the various other temple ruins (which involed lots of steep climbing of steps). I did not head back to town until after sunset (which I caught at the top of a very steep hill along with lots of other visitors).

The next morning, I headed to town to get a bus ticket for Thailand on the 28th. I then hired a motorized cyclo driver to take me up to the temples. I spent the rest of the day (about 6 hours) taking in the rest of the temple ruins, including my favorite temple of Preah Khan, (built by Jayavarman VII in the late 12th century, this large temple is very well preserved and features excellent carvings). I felt this temple, with it's long
Cartin' throughCartin' throughCartin' through

Before we leave the lunch area, this cart came through.
walk through the forest to reach it and amazing structure, had the feel of a temple.

After a shower and a little nap, I headed to town for dinner where I found a restaurant showing the new King Kong movie on its big screen. Ah, the black market for movies in Asia (sorry Andrew!!).

Well, it is back to Thailand for me. I hear the bus trip from Siem Reap to Bangkok can be long, hot and frustrating.......I will see what tomorrow brings.




Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


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SunsetSunset
Sunset

From the bus window I snap this of the sun setting on the rice fields somewhere between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
Sunrise at Angkor WatSunrise at Angkor Wat
Sunrise at Angkor Wat

My camera does not take great low light photos or long distance photos...but here is Angkor Wat at 5:45 in the morning.
Other visitorsOther visitors
Other visitors

Here are some of the other people who rose early for the moment. Sorry for the blurry-ness.
Actual Sun RiseActual Sun Rise
Actual Sun Rise

I left the mass of other visitors and decided to go up and inside the temple to see if I could get a view of the actual sunrise. Behold....
Angkor WatAngkor Wat
Angkor Wat

Sun hits one of the spires of the temple.
Angkor WatAngkor Wat
Angkor Wat

Later in the day I return for this shot of the famous temple.
Angkor WatAngkor Wat
Angkor Wat

The view from the gate
Inside another templeInside another temple
Inside another temple

This was the next temple I visited after Angkor Wat
Monks at templeMonks at temple
Monks at temple

At one of the other temples, visiting monks board a scooter.
Hard working localHard working local
Hard working local

I come upon this local sleeping among the ruins.
Tomb RaiderTomb Raider
Tomb Raider

I stand outside the Ta Phrom temple which has become known as the Tomb Raider temple since the movie has a scene shot here.
Sacrifice at Angkor WatSacrifice at Angkor Wat
Sacrifice at Angkor Wat

This unsuspecting local on top of one of the ruins is about to become the latest sacrifice to the gods.
Waiting for SunsetWaiting for Sunset
Waiting for Sunset

Hoards of visitors await the sunset atop Phnom Bakheng.
Preah KhanPreah Khan
Preah Khan

A tree overgrows the ruins at Preah Khan.
Faces of Angkor WatFaces of Angkor Wat
Faces of Angkor Wat

One of the many stone faces of Angkor Wat. This one is found on one of the gates.


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