Siem Reap and Angkor Wat

Siem Reap

Arriving to the airport near Siem Reap we paid $5 to get into town. Careful here as they have a tuk tuk “mafia” in this area. So if accommodation is already pre booked and you get into a random tuk tuk there is a small change you might not end up at the correct place. For that reason most accommodation providers will provide a free tuk tuk ride from the airport as long as you let them know in advance. This also saves you paying for the ride (starting price for the tuk tuk was $10 for the 7km ride)

There is so much to do in Siem Reap. Of course there is Angkor Wat but if you get bored with temples there are endless activities heres. Everything from cooking classes, night markets, escape rooms and cattle riding

There is also a very famous Pub street. When we saw this we felt like the first time we arrived to Koh San Road in Bangkok. So many places to drink, so much food, so many drunk people. The place is very touristy, in fact the whole town is, but since it has Angkor Wat it does make sense. Some people love this touristy transformation, we weren’t huge fans and once we had finished with Angkor Wat we got out pretty quickly.

Angkor Wat

This is just magical! So many old temples. Angkor Wat is a huge area and is so much more than just THE famous temple.

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Angkor Wat

When going to any of the temples remember to dress respectfully. This just means not showing knees or shoulders.

We like thousands of other tourist started the day at 4am to get there in time for sunrise. The day before we booked a tuk tuk through the hotel we were staying at and got it for $18 for the day. After reading about all the scams we decided it was best to book through the hotel and knowing we wouldn’t be charged twice or triple the price halfway through the tour or being left in the middle of nowhere.

You get taken to the booking office first where they take your photo and print your ticket. Hold on to it, if you lose it, get it wet, bent or whatever else you can think of otherwise you need to buy a new ticket. On that note, only buy tickets from the official ticket office. There are a lot of fake tickets going around here as well.

Arriving near the temple around 5am we are not really sure which way to walk, so we just followed the crowd in front of us. At first the sight is not really what we expected. There are two small ponds of water in front of the temple, but since I have seen the typical Angkor Wat photo on Instagram so many times I kind of expected a lot more water. Still, looking at the temple, this is so beautiful.

We set up our camera and started the wait. There are so many people around that it’s almost fascinating just watching all these people taking photos and waiting for that moment the sun is going to rise over the temple. The sun started rising at 5.45am and it was so worth the early wake up call.

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Morning sunrise at Angkor Wat

After clicking away taking photos for a while we head over the to grab some breakfast. It’s possible to buy breakfast in the inside, however it’s not the best and double the price of the outside. Some hotels can prepare a packed breakfast for you, this would be a good way of doing it.

After spending around 3 hours walking around this temple, seeing it from every possible angle and get charged way too much for breakfast, we left. We somehow managed to find our tuk tuk driver among the thousand out there (take a photo of the tuk tuk in case you get lost) we were off to the next temple.

Bayon Temple

The Bayon temple is in a very cool setting and quite different looking to some of the other temples. There are a lot of Buddha faces engraved into the massive spires and the surroundings are beautifully symmetric.

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View over Bayon temple

As you walk in you can notice the detail that goes into some of the carvings here. The temple is in pretty good condition and they are doing more restoration work. As you can see some buddha face carvings are cleaner and more pristine than others.

Ta Prohm

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We were very impressed by all the temples we saw,  however a lot of them look very similar so when we got to Ta Prohm we got super excited. Ta Prohm was made famous from the Tomb Raider film. The temple is sooo awesome. You walk through the trees which unveil this multitude of ruins with massive trees creeping their way through the ruined temples.

The trees grow on top of the temples, how is that even possible? Roots of the trees are everywhere, just slinging it way around it like that’s the way it’s supposed to be. This was by far our favourite. It’s hard to believe sometimes how old the place is but when you see how big and old these trees are that have made this place their home you start to get an idea.. really old.. 12 century old.

The main interesting point about this place is the trees growing through the temple and overtaking something which was once domesticated and making it wild again. If short on time this is the temple I would recommend going to. We walked around this temple for a lot longer than recommended and ended up walking through the inside of the temple three times (one is recommended) just because it’s that impressive.

Entrance free for Angkor Wat

As per 1st Feb 17 they changed the prices so hopefully they won’t change them again in the near future.

  • 1 day – $37
  • 2 day – $62
  • 3 day – $72

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