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Siem Reap Travel Blog› entry 134 of 151 › view all entries
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.
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.
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!