Siem Reap: Angkor Wat

After Angkor Wat Complex and Ta ProhmTa Prohm, Angkor Wat was our last activity throughout the day.  This temple is the biggest of all the three temples in Siem Reap.   The way alone going to the temple is exhausting or maybe we were really tired that day since it was our last activity before going back to the hotel.  Visiting this huge temple and UNESCO World Heritage Site is overwhelming and exciting, I can’t  find any other words to describe these temples.  All I can say is, during our 3-day trip, it was all memorable.

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Walking towards you
Mesmerized by your beauty
Let me be with you.

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A sacred journey
Keep on traveling while young
memories are prized.

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Happiness is a choice – why are you not picking it?

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All that matters to me – experience is the best learning.

 

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Staying together – getting to know you.

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Could not ask for more – thanks to him.

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Look at the sky – it’s an ocean of possibilities.

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My home is calling
This journey does not end here
I’ll keep on roving.

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Siem Reap: Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm is formerly known as Monastery of the King, a Buddhist temple.  It is a combination of jungle, nature and man-made art.

After Angkor Thom Complex, Ta Prohm is the most famous of all temples.  I hadn’t watched the movie Tomb Raider yet and just recently found out when I was in this location that the cast and crew did indeed shoot the film in this temple.  The entrance alone is magical, it’s like a jungle hopeful for Tarzan to rope swing on his forceful strength.

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The photo is the famous “Tomb Raider” tree.  Everyone is keen to pose and take a closer look at the tree.  Since the weather is sunny and I was with elders, we didn’t lineup for close-up photos.

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When we visited this place, the restoration is in the process.  They said, restoring the area is a challenging one because of the huge trees growing over the structures.

Even with big crowds, a sunny day, and how the buildings and nature have become one is fascinating.

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The charm of those gigantic trees and how the roots covered the architecture is mythical. I don’t really mind walking under the sun with a massive crowd if the reward is pleasant to look at.

Part 1: Crossing Cambodia From Vietnam

Part 2: Siem Reap: Angkor Thom Complex

Siem Reap: Angkor Thom Complex

After a long and exhausting land trip from Saigon to Cambodia, here’s the highlight of our journey.

We visited the said old town of King Jayavarman VII, known to be the most dominant and recognized king in the late 12th century.

Angkor Thom

The south gate and bridge going to Angkor Thom is the most eye-catching area to take photos.  It is surrounded by man-made river and relic trees.  Sitting just outside the gate and stirring those amazing structures makes you think as if you are part of the history.  Very impressive!

Too bad we arrived late, too hard to take a clean shot due to heavy vehicles and tuk-tuk going in. As we go nearer, there are statues on both sides.  The left side is called “the gate of the god”, while on the other side is “the gate of the demons”.

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The gate of the gods (54 figures of devas)

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The gate of the  demons (54 figures of asuras)

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The south gate tower has four magnificent curved faces on different directions or commonly called as “face towers”.

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After passing through the south gate tower or face towers, here comes the Bayon Temple with crowded tourists in and out.

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Next to Bayon is the Baphoun Temple, just a short walk,  but need a lot of energy to climb hundreds of steps just to be on top.

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I must say, it was indeed a physical challenge to ourselves in our 40’s and we survived.

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Prepare your camera for panoramic views like this..

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The most difficult are actually, the going down part.  If you have acrophobia, either you face it or back out.  Some of the tourists went down backward to avoid the breathtaking heights.

Angkor wat is strikingly historic.  There are no other words to describe it, just go and visit to see for yourself.

2017 Travel Bucket List:12 Locations to Visit

Part 1: Crossing Cambodia From Vietnam

Crossing Cambodia From Vietnam

We traveled a total of 14 hours from Pham Ngu Lao, Saigon to Siem Reap, Cambodia through Mekong Express.  It was a long journey, a bumpy but fun adventure.  Inside the bus, we were the only Asians.  At exactly 0730 military time, we left Saigon, and our day one starts here.

There was much nothing to see until we arrived the Vietnam-Cambodia Border. We stopped for immigration purposes, immigration officers were unsmiling and sedated but better than those immigration officers in Manila, Philippines.  This was my first border crossing experience which was more educational than riding in a plane which took us a total of 5 hours from Saigon.

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After passport stamping and everything, we transferred bus from Phnom Penh, going to Siem Reap. The trip is about 6 to 7 hours, and we were entertained well by the female bus attendant who is friendly and ready to accommodate all her passenger’s inquiries.

When it comes to long journey by land, the good thing is, you see good sceneries along your way, and if you are an observant person, you can’t avoid comparing even the simplest things that you see while the bus is moving.

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We arrived Siem Reap at 21:00, I immediately saw our driver with a banner in his hand.  He helped us with our baggage and drove us directly to our hotel and informed us to pick us tomorrow at 0900 to give us enough time to rest and be ready for our hectic schedules for the following days.

Alright, so after checking-in on our chosen hotel. We just left our pieces of luggage and immediately went out to the night market.

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We went out for just an hour since the night market is closing at 2200.

2017 Travel Bucket List:12 Locations to Visit2017 Travel Bucket List:12 Locations to Visit

Part 2: Siem Reap: Angkor Thom Complex