Sunrise, and a long day
Siem Reap Travel Blog› entry 4 of 9 › view all entries
Waking up when it is still dark is not fun, no matter where you are. But, the prospect of seeing something that not everyone has the opportunity to made it worth it. Even at that time, Angkor is still crowded as people make their way to their sunrise viewing local. In Angkor Wat, kids and adults are offering breakfast and coffee, the latter of which comes with a free chair. Now, the coffee is a dollar, which is expensive by SE Asian standards, but that's what you're going to get I guess, within Angkor Wat. The sunrise met expectations, and from there we headed to Angkor Thom to miss the huge crowds pouring into the temple after sunrise.
Angkor Thom is not a temple, but a ancient city holding several temples.
I was unaware that you can climb all over the temples, which is pretty neat, considering that I expected everything being of the "no touch" policy that you so often see at similiar historic sites. The steps are insanely steep and about as wide as a western half-shoe, so climbing up and down is not as easy as one may think. The chance for views and further exploration of the templs make it a no brainer for me.
After Angkor Thom, was the infamous Ta Phrom temple, or as increasingly made aware to us "The Tomb Raider Temple".
After a late lunch, we headed into Angkor Wat to explore the most famous temple in the park. The walk past the outer gates of Angkor Wat into the main temple is inspiring enough without even setting foot in the temple. The artwork on the temples walls are still in great condition and if you don't mind dodging tour groups, you can explore at your own pace. If you want to actually know what the art is of, I suggest a guidebook.
After Angkor, it was naptime, in order to be rejuvinated for the evening. A nice Amok dish later, and we headed for Bar Street, but first making a brief detour at this guesthouse at the reccomendation of our driver. Fifty cent drafts and a billards table, dotted with locals and travelers alike, it was a good place to start the evenings drinking. Bar street, however, is basically all western..at least at the bars we went to. Both Angkor What? and Temple Bar were intrestingly decorated and cheap enough, so the duration of the evening was spent there for myself, however my one friend saw fit to go to one of the "clubs"...
With a morning to somewhat sleep in, it was nice getting out for a while.