Day 26 - Angkor Wat
Trip Start Sep 30, 2012
105Trip End Jan 09, 2013
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We had organized a tuk tuk to take us around the sites for the day - a very reasonable $15 for the whole day.
Mr Sok, the driver, met us at 0800 to start the exciting day at Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is actually only one of the temples in a group of temples in the area. The area is a rather large area and a tuk tuk is a very good way to get around. Some people had bicycles, but with the heat it could be exhausting - others were with organized tours.
The area was the centre of the Khmer people for centuries
Entry into the temple sites costs $20 per person for a days pass.
We started at the star attraction, Angkor Wat itself. Originally built by Hindu believers to the god Vishnu in the 12th century, the temple was later used by Buddhists. It is truly a different and incredible temple. Many of the temples have been severely damaged over time, but Angkor Wat is well preserved due to the surrounding moat halting the jungle from taking over and causing damage. It is so revered in the country that it is even included on their flag.
We visited a number of other temples which were all different in design and when they were built. Many of the temples are really tall, and are incredible structures. Other temples have had the jungle encroach and taken over somewhat over the years. Many of the temples are huge areas, with multiple buildings. Generally there is serious damage to temples, but there are many maintenance and restoration programs underway to be sure temples survive into the future.
After lunch we went to an area called Angor Thom, which had some more incredible temples, palaces, terraces, and tombs
We finished our day at Phnom Bakheng, a temple built on one of the only hills in the area, giving it a great view. We had to walk up the hill along a path through the jungle. It was a really nice walk and took about 20 minutes. The view from the top of the temple was well worth the walk. We had a panoramic view of the area, including Angkor Wat.
We ended the day with a refreshing swim at the hotel, and a dinner at a local restaurant close to the hotel. While the dishes were smallish, we felt it was great value - 3 dishes and 2 beers for R80.
A very memorable day, highly recommended.