Day 51 - First Day of our Angkor Temple Tour
Siem Reap Travel Blog› entry 52 of 69 › view all entries
Having arranged to meet our tuk-tuk driver at 9am we had a nice
relaxed morning, grabbing breakfast and getting ready for our first day of the visit
to the Angkor Temples. The first thing we had to get was ourer tickets of
course. The tickets are priced at $20 for 1 day, $40 for 2 days and $60 for 3
days. Depending on how much time you want to spend looking at the history and
detail of each temple, normally 3 days suffices to see most of them. The 1 day
ticket would be a very rushed day while only seeing about 10 of the possible
500 temples, the week long ticket is best for people who want to research the
temples, but for us as holiday makers, the 3 day ticket would be perfect to
take in all the important temples.
The first temple we made it to was Angkor Wat itself and
approaching it, it looked amazing. The temple has a moate around it that is
about 50m wide and then has a wall that is 8m thick and 6m tall stretching for
12km, a very well fortified structure, that accordong to the lonely planet
book, puts any castle in the rest of the world to shame. The Cambodian
government as well as several internetional agencies are currently restoring
many of the main temples and Angkor Wat is one of them that is mid way through
a restoration phase. On entering through the main gate the temple area opens up
into a large green area with man made lakes/ponds on either side and the main
temple itself in front of you in all its glory. All the temples were built
between the 9th and 13th centuries under several kings of the Khymer Empire
that covered the majority of what now is Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos,
the most important and powerful empire of the period.
After taking in Angkor itself, next we were off to the main complex of Angkor, Angkor Thom via the magnificent south gate entrance, the entrance having some lovely carvings and a large bridge in front of it lined with 2 large 7 headed serpents being held by rows of ancient soldiers.
The next temple was Bayon another splendid representation of the
magnificent craftsmanship of the time, this time decorated with over 200 faces
of Avalokiteshvara staring at you from every angle.