Up early ready for our day out in Angkor Wat. Our Tuk Tuk picked us up at 0830 and we were off.
A Few tips from our day:
First and foremost do not underestimate the size of the place it is massive, really needed a scale map.
Second bring plenty of water, we would have easily consumed 8 litres of fluid between the 4 of us with no wee stops during the day.
Third be prepared to fight the crowds at Angkor Wat, the other ruins are OK.
Fourth wear appropriate footwear some of the paths are eroded and you will walk a few Km’s.
Fifth bring some pants that cover knees and be patient the place is awesome take your time to soak it all in.
We got to the famous and most popular Angkor Wat at 0850. There was already thousands of people there ready to visit the ancient site. It was very hard to get a photo without any tourist including us being someone else’s way. As we walked over the moat that is when we first realised how big the place actually is, as it doesn’t look so far from the street. We were all a ball of sweat by the time we reached the first gate. Once inside as you walk along the main causeway you are blown away by the size and architecture. Truly amazing stuff this place was built in the 12 century by King Sunyvarman II, dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. The main building is a three tiered pyramid and on top is the famous 5 lotus like flowers rising a huge 65m off the ground. This was the point where we needed pants that cover the knees (we didn’t bring any along with many other tourists).
You cannot go in the pyramid section with knees shoulders exposed, hats on and under 12, however I got in with my board shorts? So I split from the girls as they sit in the shade and I went for a climb up. It is really step and high, had a young woman in front of me turn around and go back. Got plenty of photos up the top of the towers, and the reclining Buddha and then returned to meet the girls. I thought I was quick but I got the hurry up apparently I was gone ages. Then Summer give me a run down on the many reactions of tourists that couldn’t get in due to inappropriate attire.
Walked back towards the exit along the outer wall and along some of the grounds the place still didn’t stop blowing us away with its scale. That is also when we realised that this was the little brother to Angkor Tom and Bayon. Returned back approx. 1.5 hours later and meet our Tuk Tuk, he then took us through the huge gates to Angkor Tom. Had a look around at the ruins and then five minutes up the road we were at Bayon. The temple of faces and at the centre of Angkor Tom. Walked through and could not believe we were able to walk around an archaeological site like this. There are sectioned off areas, for worship and that is it. Once again the scale, architecture and just how artistic some of the work is amazing. This was built in the late 12 century by Jayavarman VII. Had a real good look and plenty of photos of stone carved faces.
Met our Tuk Tuk and continued on our small circuit tour. On our way we saw people cycling, taking the tourist bus but by far the most popular way to see Angkor was via Tuk Tuk they were everywhere and it was surprising how easy you found your guy. We visited all of the sites on the small tour and then moved on to our Grand circuit tour. All the sites have something interesting and unique to it however they all started to become a blur doing it all in the one day. The most popular on the Grand circuit would have been Ta Prohm, this is the place made famous by the movie Tomb Raider. The fig and cotton trees growing from the ruins is truly spectacular. Once again this place is huge and you could easily spend 2 hours walking around taking it all in. There is still work going on in the site and I think it will be awesome when done.
The highlight for us was one of the last sites we visited, Ta Som at the end there was the fig tree over growing the arch walkway, really spectacular. A little girl was also selling her fridge magnets at this point. We don’t usually purchase this sort of stuff, but was interested because the young girl started with, Hello were you from, how are you, when we didn’t respond she did the exact same you Canadian, French, Italian and then German. Then she started counting in each of the languages to 10. We then couldn’t resist and started talking to her as she tried so hard for the sale, she was only 8 same age as Spring. The problem was everything was $1 and we didn’t want any of her items, another girl however had some bracelets that the girls were after so we bought 3 for $1US. Then we saw the first girl hands in head crying as we were leaving, we had to turn around and buy some fridge magnets we didn’t want, just gave her a $1 and only wanted 1 however she kept true to her word of 2 for $1 dollar. This little girl was so honest “no 2 for $1 she said” and gave the second fridge magnet.
I think this sums up the Cambodian people they are so nice, honest beautiful people. A few questions from Spring, tears from Summer as we left this place, however I noticed the girl perked back up with the next group through. Continued along our grand circuit and visited all the remaining sites and finished up at 1630. Returned to Angkor Wat for 1 last photo and returned to the hotel approx. 1700. A massive bucket list tick today even though I know it is not a 7 Wonder of the world it has to be up there with one of the best places in the world to visit.