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Go to Siemreap Part-1


The number of people seeing the sunrise at Angkor Wat is astounding but luckily the temple is very huge to accomodate the number of tourists and locals. The view is breathtaking and incredibly beautiful, only marred by the incessant sound of people chatting and people walking about.



Postcard perfect view of sunrise at Angkor Wat



The West Gate of Angkor Wat in the moonlight



View from Angkor Wat Towers



Angkor Wat Tower



Intricate cravings on the walls of the towers



A view of the treacherous steps to climb up the temple

We spent a few hours admiring the carvings, the view, the beauty and the scenery of Angkor Wat. The steps up the temple is really quite dangerous as they are steep and narrow. A misstep or slip will cause you plunging down the stone stairs from a height of around 20 metres and it will either cause multiple bone fractures or concussion which can lead to death. Luckily, there are railings on 1 of the 4 sides of the stairs leading up to the temple. Ascent is easy if you have strong thighs and calves but descent needs good balance as well as good grip. There were significantly less people on top of the temples compared to the people at the bottom due to the safety level.



The only thing lacking in our visit was a tour guide describing all the details and history of Angkor Wat to us as we were merely just looking at these carvings, structures and buildings without much understanding of their origin and purpose. We asked our driver if he knew all the stuff about the temples but he did not know much as well. After contacting our guesthouse to see if there is any available tour guide, we found out that they were fully booked as it was the holiday season.

We had followed a few of the tour guides showing other tourists for a while and read the temple guide which our driver provided us as an alternative. We then headed over to numerous roadside eateries beside Angkor Wat for breakfast. They were screening the History of Angkor and the video deepened our understanding of the history.

The driver then took us to the South Gate of Angkor Thom. Angkor Thom consists of more than a dozen temples and the most famous one is definitely Bayon.



South Gate of Angkor Thom

We then went inside Angkor Thom and headed to Bayon, a temple with many stone faces.



Near the entrance of Bayon



Exceptionally intricate 3D carvings on the walls of Bayon



One of the many faces of Bayon



The massive structure of Bayon

There were many tourists at Bayon as well and we tried to explore most of the temple. Another breathtaking temple comparable to Angkor Wat. We went over to Baphuon and there were many pieces of stone that were not assembled yet. In Angkor Archeological Park, many of the famous temples have been restored but some of the less famous ones like Baphuon are still undergoing restoration works. It is indeed a phenomenal task to assemble all the collapsed stone pieces (super many) and i believe the restoration will take years to complete.



Baphuon

We did not spend much time there as there wasn't much to see since half the temple was closed for restoration works. We crossed over to Phimeanakas, the king's royal temple, beside Baphuon and conquered the peak again. The view from the top is not that impressive as we can only see trees and tourists below. We are gradually getting used to climbing the steep steps and all of us were covered in sweat from the climbing, walking and the intense afternoon heat.



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