I love to explore and am always curious about what I will find next on my travels and today was one of those moments where I was glad I found Angkor.
One of the main reasons as to why I decided to go to Cambodia was to see the 8th Wonder of the World – Angkor Wat. I honestly didn’t know what to expect and would thought it would be overrated. What is Angkor Wat? Let me start from the beginning…
Angkor, a UNSECO World Heritage site is an archaeological site located in Cambodia. It consists different capitals of the Khmer empire dating back from the 9th to the 15th centuries.
This morning, Jasmine and I got up at 4:30am to get to the first site; Angkor Wat for a sunrise spectacular. We initially wanted to bike up to the sites and ride around through each temple; however, decided against it due to the heat. The guesthouse that we were staying at provided us a tuk tuk driver for $12USD.
I honestly didn’t think I would see lots of tourists and backpackers at this time but by the time we arrived, there were loads of cameras, people, food stalls ready to go at 5:30a.m.
Angkor Wat – 8th Wonder of the World
* The world’s largest religious monument
* nearly 2,000 apsaras
* A completely realization microcosm of the Hindu universe
* Dated early 12th century
* 494 acres
When looking from a helicopter view, one can see that the city is surrounded by the moat which represents the mythical oceans surrounding the earth. The towers represents the mountain’s peaks while the concentric galleries showcase the mountain ranges. The city is dedicated to God Vishnu.
I wasn’t able to get a nice picture of the sun rising from Angkor Wat due to the clouds but while we were there, you really can feel the grandeur of this site. I got goosebumps while waling through this site and was amazed at the city that was built in front of me. The pictures don’t do it justice. You must come to experience this.
Our 2nd stop, Angkor Thom
* One of the largest Khmer cities ever built
* Face towers and cuaseways of the city gates
* With the Bayon at it’s centre, a microcosm of the universe
* Dated late 12th century
Here at Angkor Thom, you will find the Bayon. This is the complex of the face towers and it has gone through many different religious phases such as Hindu and Buddhism. Also note that originally there were 49 face towers and now only 37 remains.
3rd stop, Preah Pallay
* It is located in a nice forest setting
* Chimeny-like tower
* Nagas – seven-headed and crowned
4th stop, Suor Prat Towers & The Khleangs
While searching for our driver, we stumbled upon the Suor Prat Towers. A row of 12 identical towers lining the E side of the Royal Square. Here you will also find the Khleangs. You can see that the style of this place is different from the ones I had originally visited.
5th stop, Thommanon & Chao Say Tevoda
Both of these sites are in the 12th century and both are similar in style of Angkor Wat.
Finally, Ta Prohm
I honestly wish I would’ve seen this site in the morning. I think this one was the prettiest of them all. It has a romantic atmosphere to it with strangler figs and silk cotton trees entwines among the ruins. It did feel like Disneyland here though. So many people were doing the same route with us and by the afternoon, this place was filled with many travelers abroad. This site is famous for being in the Tomb Raider movie.
After a long hot afternoon, I decided to treat myself to some carrot cake at the Blue Pumpkin.
Since that didn’t please my appetite, got myself some rocky road ice cream. I don’t like this flavor much but it was the best rocky road ice cream ever!
On my way back to the guesthouse, I decided to get some Fried Banh Beo, vietnamese appetizer. It’s about 3p now and I am so tired. The lack of sleep I have been getting is starting to wear me out! In a few hours, I will test out the Cambodian BBQ and Night Market in Siem Reap. Until next time.