Existing Member?

Here, there, everywhere... A modest attempt at chronicling my around the world adventure over the next year (or so).

Angkor Wat???

CAMBODIA | Tuesday, 14 October 2008 | Views [678]

sunset at Pre Nup

sunset at Pre Nup

After making it to a guesthouse on our "free" tuk-tuk ride I settled into a room with a Canadian woman I met named Brooke. We split the costs which saved us each four dollars. May not seem like much but that can be a nights lodging at a guesthouse. Plus entrance to Angkor Wat is $20/day so I wanted to save a few bucks. We agreed it would be much nice to see the temples the next day if we hired bikes. The guesthouse agreed to have two ready for us the next morning. We also thought it would be cool to see the sunrise at a particular temple called Ta Prohm(I read in the guide book it was supposed to be good there). We managed to rise a little before 5am in the dark, grabbed a little breakfast and headed down to our awaiting temple chariots for the day. The ride out which is about 15k was pretty simple despite being dark most of the way and once we got to the temple entrance we were met by other people mostly in buses and tuk-tuks who also had the same idea.

We were feeling pretty good having gotten up at 5:00(sunrise at 5:48ish)and riding into the temple area. The area is actually quite large and is called Angkor Wat but Angkor Wat is only one temple area there are tons and tons in a 25k or so area. We took a wrong turn once into the temple area and actually started at Angkor Wat, which it seemed most people were as well. It was ok because fog was obscuring the sun and we were able to see all of Angkor Wat before the hordes come in buses (there were already lots of people there but I guess it gets worse a little later). Angkor Wat is a very big temple area from teh entrance to inside the various temple areas. It is filled with broken statues of Buddha and carvings in the stone. The place was mostly built in the 12th century by Suryavarman II to honor Vishnu and was added onto later. The entire area was built up by various kings over the years which is why there are so many temple. The site is impressive to say the least and the photos would never give a true representation of how it looks but I made a go of it with my little Nokia phone!

We headed next to Ta Prohm, the sunrise temple. It turns out is also much farther then the map would lead you to believe so we took comfort in the fact we would have never bad the sunrise anyway. This is the temple in a battle with nature with giant trees growing out of the walls and the jungle trying to reclaim its land. This was probably one of my favorite temples we saw because it seemed more like something you could run into bushwhacking through the jungle, very Indiana Jones like. After a quick pineapple break from local vendor kids we headed to Angkor Thom. The Angkor Thom complex is huge compared to Ankor Wat and includes many different temples. We were also able toride the bikes into the forest surrounding many of the different sites without disturbing anything. Have no fear there are well established trails and lots of vendor stalls set up. Much of this Baphoun temple was under reconstruction to we moved down the road to Bayoun. Bayoun is one of the also must sees like Angkor Wat if you only have a day to spend. It was impressive and had some great views from the top. Next we pedaled to Preah Khan which was a little out off the tourist beaten track and it was worth it for me. When we arrived there were maybe 10 people at the temple and it was so quiet and peaceful you could hear the birds as you walked through the long halls. Reportedly it was a Buddhist university housing up to 1000 teachers at one time. This was probably my favorite temple along with Ta Prohm, each for different reasons.

Next stop was a vendor area across from the temple Pre Rup so we could catch the sunrise from this temple and to catch a cheap tuk-tuk to Banteay Srei, a very outlying temple that was too far to bike. We bargained hard for a cheap tuk-tuk but no one was interested so instead we just sat and had some lunch to wait a few hours for the sunset. My Canadian friend managed to buy several things while eating lunch and I bargained for a cheaper lunch, I could get used to this! We had fun with the local kids selling things and finally moved across the road to the temple. I climbed up and staked my place for a sunset viewing. You could also just barely see Angkor Wat in the distance within the trees and some clouds moved in to make for a better sunset. I guess other people wanted to see the sunset because by the time it started to set lots of people wre on the top of the temple. I met a nice American couple living in China while waiting and another couple, she was from Birmingham, Michigan and went to Wayne State University, small world indeed! The sunset was pretty good and I took lots ofpictures, not sure how well they look but they give you and idea.

We rode back to Siem Reap fast to beat the surrounding thunderstorm. The ride through town was much more perilous this time around as the traffic had risen exponentially during the day. We made it back to the guesthouse hot, dirty and sweaty then got cleaned up for dinner. We found a Khmer food restaurant and enjoyed some well earned food. Brooke was off to Saigon in the morning so we turned in early. I had a bus to catch at 8:30am back to Phnom Pehn and enjoyed the 6hours back. Overall, Angkor Wat and the area was impressive and a must see for anyone in Cambodia or near.

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.

About houdyman

Follow Me

Where I've been


Photo Galleries


My trip journals

See all my tags 



Travel Answers about Cambodia

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.