Angkor Archaeological Park! Angkor Wat! Angkor Thom! Bayon! If not for Angkor Park, Siem Reap would be utterly devoid of tourists. But as it is, every day a phalanx of tourists descend upon the park, and it’s probably one of Cambodia’s greatest sources of income ($20 per person per day for an access permit!) Many people choose to do Angkor Park slowly, over the course of a couple of days, but I chose to do a grand one-day tour, from sunrise to sunset, and visiting all the most famous temples of Angkor Archaeological Park.
This will be a very photo-intensive post!
The weather was a bit cloudy that day, so we didn’t get to catch the perfect sunrise, but it was still pretty good:
After seeing the sunrise at Angkor Wat, we started heading north to Angkor Thom (we’d double back and finish our tour at Angkor Wat), stopping at the South Gate:
We saw a very scary monkey:
In Angkor Thom, we visited Bayon:
Lots of rock carvings:
Also lots of rubble:
Terrace of the Elephants:
Terrace of the Leper King:
Chau Say Thevoda:
Ta Keo, a temple undergoing active restoration:
Ta Prohm, the post-apocalyptic temple, overgrown with all sorts of trees:
After Ta Prohm, I wondered, if this sort of thing happened to Ta Prohm, what’ll happy to this age’s iconic landmarks in another 500 years? Will the Statue of Liberty still be standing? Will it still be recognizable? Will only parts of it still be around?
Pre Rup, which reminds me of Prambanan in Indonesia:
East Mebon, basically, the same as Pre Rup:
Ta Som, unremarkable:
Neak Pean, tiny temple on a lake:
Preah Khan, it’s an absolute maze, and totally ruined.
Browsing through Preah Khan, I wondered – is Angkor Wat only so well known because it is so well preserved? After all, temples such as Preah Khan are almost as big and grand as Angkor Wat.
What struck me when walking around Angkor Wat, is how BIG it is. From the front, there are the seven iconic spires, and they look pretty huge. What’s not immediately obvious is that it isn’t just a facade – Angkor Wat is indeed enormous!
There’s also a ton of carvings at Angkor Wat:
And finally, to Phnom Bakheng:
The sunset was amongst the most ‘meh’ I’ve seen:
Bits and bobs:
– Introducing Sayaka, my travel companion for Angkor Wat. I took and really liked these photos!