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Siem Reap Travel Blog

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Inside Ta Som

I chose to cram in as much of Angkor Wat and its surrounds in eight hours and it made for a very long, exhausting day. Yes, you can take your time and spread it out over a series of days, but I know me. My patience for sight-seeing, even an arguable wonder of the world, is limited. My main goal for the day: get photos without other tourists in them. Not an easy task given the shear number of people even during this "low season" of tourism.

First some information. Angkor means Capital or Holy City, and the Angkor Empire existed in the area of Cambodia between the 9th and 12th centuries AD. The temple ruins around Siem Reap are the remnants of this empire that at one point dominated the area along with parts of Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.

Ta Prohm entrance
The architecture of the time is definitely something to behold, but there is so much to see you have to make some decisions and sample bits and pieces.

I chose not to flock with the hoards of tourists to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat. I chose well. I ran into a couple I met on the boat here and they did get up for it and said it wasn't worth it. It ended up being a cloudy day and not one for a good sunrise or sunset. I started with Ta Prohm, a great place to see trees and vines imbedded in the temple after years of growth. From there a forty minute ride up to Banteay Srey, which I read was the "jewel"of Angkor, but I found it not so interesting. This was disappointing given the fact I had to pay extra to get up there. What I did find fascinating was a tree nearby that was home to an army of big, red ants.

Ta Prohm
I ended up spending most of my time admiring their work ethic. Then back over to the main area where I saw Ta Som, my favorite temple. It is not as well visited for one, but it has this massive tree that spreads out all over one part of it. I enjoyed being there. I finally got someone to take my picture. Next up was Preah Khan, a massive complex and former monastery. It could take days to go through there, but for me, thirty minutes. I'm not so into rubble and ruins. Plus a pineapple was calling me. Anyway, there are interesting carvings, but without a guide to explain, you miss something (I'd already spent a small fortune on the day pass and tuk tuk for the day). Then onto Angkor Thom, the walled and moated royal city. It is home to Bayon, one of the most recognizable temples due to its standing towers with carved faces.
Ta Prohm
I finally had a breather and just sat admiring the place. At that point I think my driver thought I was crazy as I was going, going without a break, not even for lunch or the bathroom. I was on a mission. I was slowing down by then for sure in the afternoon sun. After checking out the terrace of elephants and Phimeanakas, finally, onto Angkor Wat. I was hoping for a good sunset but another storm started moving through, so the photos were hard to come by. I love storms so it actually made it enjoyable given my exhausted state. So what can I say about it. It's a big temple surrounded by a moat. That about sums that up.

I then went back to the hotel and collapsed in my room. Somehow it seemed like a day at work. I filled up my memory card taking photos, so I'll leave you to enjoy those. Unlike Agra, home to the Taj Mahal, Siem Reap is actually a pretty cool place to just hang, which I plan to do today. A local doctor who has a children's hospital here is putting on some cello concert tonight. I'm looking forward to that, and the price is right - free!

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Inside Ta Som
Inside Ta Som
Ta Prohm entrance
Ta Prohm entrance
Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm - kind of a scary tree
Ta Prohm - kind of a scary tree
This was especially interesting th…
This was especially interesting t…
Banteay Srey - this was a Hindu te…
Banteay Srey - this was a Hindu t…
Banteay Srey statues
Banteay Srey statues
A carving at Banteay Srey - good a…
A carving at Banteay Srey - good …
Ta Som
Ta Som
At Preah Khan - I like the multipl…
At Preah Khan - I like the multip…
Preah Khan
Preah Khan
Bayon
Bayon
Bayon
Bayon
The colors make this my favorite f…
The colors make this my favorite …
You can see the two faces on eithe…
You can see the two faces on eith…
Elephant Terrace
Elephant Terrace
Bridge to the South Gate
Bridge to the South Gate
Outside the main gate to Angkor Wa…
Outside the main gate to Angkor W…
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
Looking back from Angkor Wat
Looking back from Angkor Wat
Storm is brewing
Storm is brewing
Carving inside Angkor Wat
Carving inside Angkor Wat
Another carving inside
Another carving inside
Siem Reap
photo by: genetravelling