First sunset at Angkor Wat
Siem Reap Travel Blog› entry 176 of 254 › view all entries
We took the Mekong Express bus service to Siem Reap this morning, and it was the best bus in Asia so far; our bags were checked in, tagged and we were shown to our seat by a hostess. We couldn't cope. We set off punctually at 7.30am, waved off by the 'team' on the pavement! It was a pleasant journey, during which we were even given a snack and some commentary on passing landmarks. We stopped about half way for a toilet break, during which Carol had to remind the Chinese woman who had pushed to the front of the toilet queue that actually, she was there first.
We arrived in Siem Reap at lunchtime, with much more of a laid back feel to it than Phnom Penh. We arrived at our guest house for the next few days: La Villa Loti, set in a lovely tropical garden, with rooms/balconies overlooking.
The temples of Angkor date back to AD802-1432, a period of history that established the Khmer empire as one of the most powerful of SE Asia. The Cambodian god-kings each strove to build temples bigger and grander than before, culminating in Angkor Wat and the walled city of Angkor Thom.
Our drivers dropped us off and we walked over the moat towards the entrance. Even the moat puts the ones in Europe to shame: it forms a huge rectangle measuring 1.5km by 1.3km and is nearly 200m wide. Once we got onto the inner causeway, it looked much more impressive, making the people who were swarming all over it look tiny. Most people seemed to be making their way out, so the last hour before it shut was relatively quiet. We wandered around the inner temple, and watched people climbing the very steep stairs up to the central tower. We weren't allowed any further as they were starting to close. More on Angkor Wat in the next few days.
Diane was sick when we got back so didn't join us in the garden for a meal and a good bottle of wine, much to her dismay.