What’s the most impressive place you’ve ever been? The pyramids of Egypt? The Na Pali Coast on Kauai? For me, it is the temples of Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The massive scale and incredibly detailed stonework from 1000 years ago were truly amazing! Take a look:
I’ve been excited about this trip for months now! I was supposed to meet my friend Amy and her friend Tiffany in Siem Reap after my weekend in Bangkok with my husband, but Amy couldn’t make it because of some life happenings, so Tiffany and I met–for the first time–and took on Cambodia together! Have you ever had a travel “blind date?” Hope it turned out as well as this one did!
So what is Angkor? It is the largest religious complex in the world. There are so many temples here, you have to take a tuk-tuk or a car to see them all. And the crown jewels are Angkor Wat:
Intrigued? Come explore with us! My first impression of Cambodia in the rainy season was hot, muggy, and lush with green jungle! And I got my first ride in a tuk-tuk. It was awesome!
The hotel where we stayed, the Bunwin Residence, provided a complimentary ride to and from the airport AND to and from town whenever we needed, as well as arranged tours of the temples with an excellent driver! They even have loaner cell phones to give guests while we were out for the day so we could get in touch with the hotel when we were ready to come back or got lost while we were out.
Our first afternoon was spent getting to know each other, finding an ATM, and getting caught in the rain! FYI, your best bet for getting cash in Siem Reap is to go to a bank. And when you sign for the cash, be sure you bring your passport and sign your name just like it looks on the passport! And if you get caught in the rain, duck into a coffee shop and look for the rainbow:
The next morning we set out for the much-awaited journey to Angkor Wat. We had to get ID cards for the duration of our visit:
This temple was built in only 37 years in the 12th century. The stones had to be brought 60 km by either elephant or bamboo raft! The stonework was so perfect, I can’t imagine how it could have all been done by hand and not machine! We spent nearly two hours walking around the ruins and admiring it all. And we made some friends:
I named him Ferdinand the monkey. Isn’t he cute?
Next up: Bayon Temple! Tiffany and I agreed this one was our favorite of all the temples. It was less crowded, but definitely just as impressive! The faces are beautiful and so big. Take a look!
But there’s more to see! Who else loves elephants?
Anyone up for a climb?
And for the movie lover, want to see where they filmed Lara Croft: Tomb Raider?
Pretty cool, huh? Ready to finish up with an authentic Cambodian dinner?
Still hungry for more? Check back tomorrow for more Adventures in Angkor!