We have left Laos and are now on an adventure through Cambodia.
My friend, E-, from graduate school is working outside of Phnom Penh, so my travel buddy and I organized to be at Siem Reap on the weekend and E- bussed over so we could spend the weekend together in Siem Reap, the city outside of Angkor Wat.
Our day at Angkor Wat started at the unpleasant hour of 5 am because apparently, you just have to see the sunrise at Angkor. So we and 1000s of our closet friends all crammed into tuk tuks, buses, and taxis and made the trip into Angkor at the ungodly hour of 5 am.
Angkor Wat is pretty amazing. First of all, it is gigantic with a huge moat surrounding it and is apparently one of the largest of Khmer monuments according to Wikipedia. Also, it is pretty well intact for such an ancient structure. There is no point in me writing about it…just check out the photos.
So early in the morning…
After our early morning at Angkor Wat, we got some breakfast and then headed for Angkor Thom, an ancient city full of even more temples.
Gateway into Angkor Thom
We read in the guidebook about a sexless statue at a Leper Terrace. Of course we had to go on a mission to find it, especially when we found out it is a mystery of Angkor due to the fact that they are uncertain as to why it is sexless. One theory is that the statue is the depiction of one of 2 kings, at least, of Angkor who had leprosy. Hmmm, now I didn’t know your genetalia fell off when you got leprosy, but if this legend is true then that truly is a scary mystery of Angkor. A less interesting theory is that the statue is the depiction of the god of death, Yama.
One of the mysteries of Angkor, the sexless statue at the Terrace of the Leper King.
Bayon is a famous temple of Angkor Thom due to the fact it is full of these odd stone faces which appear to coldly smile at you. There are 54 towers of four faces each, totaling 216 faces (again, thank Wikipedia).
Bayon provided us with many opportunities to get “face to face with the faces”.
Next up on the list was Ta Prohm, which was made famous by the movie Lara Croft Tomb Raider. This is the temple where trees are growing on top of the crumbling walls.
Much of our day was spent discussing Lara Croft and acting tough like her, so when we finally came upon the tree famously seen in the movie, we couldn’t help but totally do some pretty awesome LC impressions.
Check us out.
Here is shot of the famous tree without us being all tough in front.
This temple is famous for its trees, which were left to create a more authentic feel when they removed the jungle from this famous archaeological park.
We took a break from about 12:30 pm until 4 pm, so we could nap. We had been up and sightseeing for a long time already since we had departed Siem Reap at 5 am.
At 4 pm we headed back to Angkor Wat to see it at sunset.
Specifics inside Angkor Wat
Also, there were quite a few monks at Angkor when we came back.
Eventually the sun set over Angkor and we were ushered out.
To celebrate a long, but good day, we got $1 margaritas. Yes, they tasted like $1 margaritas, but what can you do?