A day at Angkor Archeological Park

Angkor Travel Blog

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Angkor Wat at sunrise
My day for the park did not get off to a good start. I was told my driver would pick me up at 5am and he only showed up at 5:30am (I could have slept an extra half hour!). I was still able to get to Angkor Wat for the sunrise but JUST in time. After a beautiful sunrise along with the other hundreds of people, I took the advice I had read online and explored the temple when it wasn't busy. I guess most people go for the sunrise and then return to town to eat or sleep because there couldn't have been more than a a dozen or so people there, or at least that I saw.

After roaming around Angkor Wat, we proceed north 2km to Angkor Thom to see the Bayon Temple (the temple covered in 216 faces), the elephant terrace (XXm long way covered in elephant carvings) and the Baphuon, which was big, but inaccessible due to restoration.
The Bayon Temple


After some quick pics of the north gate, we had quick visits at Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Ta Som and East Mebon. I wanted to do the "big circuit" in this direction to save Ta Prohm for last.

Ta Prohm is famous for several reasons, the reason I was most interested in being the fact that Tomb Raider was filmed there. The temple is set in the jungle, with trees climbing over the walls in several places. It seemed like being on a movie set. By the time I arrived here there were lots of people but I was able to get some pictures in between the tour groups.

By this time it was almost noon and I had sped through the temples. I didn't feel like I would have taken any more out of it staying longer, and by this time it was getting very hot and humid outside.
The Bayon Temple
I did return to the Bayon to see it in the mid day light. It was packed and very unpleasant compared to 7am when there were only a few people there.

I asked my driver if he could bring me back to town and then back out to Angkor Wat for sunset. He told me it would be an additional $3 (on top of the $18 I was already paying him), which I thought was too much (it was). When I returned to the guesthouse I told the owner who told me that the driver wasn't one of their usuals and that he shouldn't have charged me extra. I had already given him US$20 (for a couple dollar tip) and didn't pay him the additional $1 out of spite for him trying to rip me off.

He did pick me up in the evening and I returned to Angkor Wat one last time to see it in the evening light. I was also convinced into buying a small painting from one of the stalls near the temple. Once again, I probably paid too much, but at least I'll have a memorable souvenir of my time at the park :)
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Angkor Wat at sunrise
Angkor Wat at sunrise
The Bayon Temple
The Bayon Temple
The Bayon Temple
The Bayon Temple
Elephant Terrace
Elephant Terrace
The North Gate
The North Gate
The North Gate
The North Gate
Ta Phrom
Ta Phrom
Ta Phrom
Ta Phrom
Ta Phrom
Ta Phrom
Ta Phrom
Ta Phrom
The Bayon Temple
The Bayon Temple
My ride for the day
My ride for the day
Angkor Wat at sunset
Angkor Wat at sunset
Angkor
photo by: ulysses