After leaving Saigon (sadly!), it was time to head to our next destination – Cambodia. We had three-ish days in Siem Reap and I was looking forward to more warm weather and a lot of temple viewing. So – warning. This post will be mostly pictures of temples. Or me and temples. Or selfies with really old temples. Because that’s pretty much what we did in Cambodia (besides check out the Siem Reap night market – because let’s face it … we did that in every city)! And it was worth it – such a great experience.
We got in one afternoon and had time just to head to Angkor Wat, the most famous temple of them all, to catch the sunset before it closed at 5:30. During the next two days we made sure to stop off at as many temples as possible – each unique in their own way. Some were very large, city-like and impressive, others were smaller but with greater detail, others were old and in near ruins as they hadn’t been repaired yet, others had trees growing through their impressive structures.
To get around, we hired a tuktuk (essentially a motorbike with a cart with seats behind it) who drove us from temple to temple each day.
Our list of temples included (I apologize in advance if I am mixing any up – they are all running together in my head now!):
- Angkor Thom – a big city with a large gate and elephant terrace AND includes Bayon- a temple inside the city of Angkor Thom and has huge faces carved into the buildings
- Préah Khan- another city with a huge temple
- Nêak péân- a smaller temple on water
- Ta Som- a smaller temple
- Pre Reb-reddish bricks with steep steps
- Mebon- similar to Pre Reb but had big statues of elephants
- Ta Prohm- big temple with lots of trees growing all over everything and in the walls and bricks. The trees were pretty amazing themselves – their huge roots looked like large snakes, growing in and out of the old building. It’s famous for being in the movie Tomb Raider – I’ve never seen it but I think I may have to now!
- Angkor Wat- the most famous temple of them all. It is massive and you could spend hours and hours there. We went there twice!
- Banteay Srei- a little further from the other sights, this temple was not as large but wow – what detail! The carvings on the buildings here were incredible.
I’ve heard of some people getting templed-out and I can see how – I can’t believe how many temples we went to and most of them were in one day. Still, it was an amazing experience to see these famous and grand buildings up close and in real life. They were all so different looking and all have different histories. The whole time we were in Cambodia I was counting my blessings and felt so lucky to be able to witness and experience it in person!
Haven’t had enough? Read about the rest of our Asia trip, here.
Some questions for you:
- Do you have a travel bucket list? What’s on it?
- Have you ever visited any old temples? Or what about the pyramids? Or Colosseum?