ASIA, SIGHTSEEING

Temples, temples & more temples (Cambodia edition)

As you already know, I loved visiting Cambodia. Although it’s a great city, the main reason I visited is the same reason you hope to visit… the temples! There’s so many temples to see that you’ll get sick of them before you see them all. But that’s a good problem to have.

We planned a 2-day private tour with Angkor Wat Photography. Our guide, Tom Whittaker, was fantastic. He provided just a little history (sorry guys, history really starts to bore me after a while), helped me get incredible photos and showed us around the temples. The best part was that he helped us avoid the crowds, by planning our itinerary around the schedule of the tour buses. Less people means better pictures!

What I loved about this tour was the customization. I told them exactly what I wanted to achieve and they delivered. Technically we could have done all of these temples in 1 day, but it was extremely hot and we were exhausted. We even opted to skip the sunrise portion of the tour… A girl needs her beauty sleep!

If you want to see more of what we did in Siem Reap, check out my previous post here

Our tour began when Tom picked us up at our hotel and took us straight to buy our Angkor Passes. The passes are sold at a different location, so you have to go buy them before heading to Angkor Archeological Park. The passes are good for entrance to almost every temple in the city and they offer 3 variations:  1-day, 3-day and 7-day passes.

All of the temples we visited were inside Angkor Archeological Park (except for Wat Thmey), which is where all of the main temples are located. I was shocked at the size of the park. I expected it to be big, but it’s HUGE, at over 154 square miles (400 square kilometers). You could easily spend a week exploring it.

Since I got so many amazing photos, I’m going to let them speak for themselves. Enjoy my photo diary…..

Ta Prohm

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img_4730The face has never been covered by the tree

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img_4747The holes were once filled with precious gems… It must have been amazing!

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img_5267If you’ve seen the movie Tomb Raider, this should look familiar

Banteay Kdei

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Ta Nei

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North Gate

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Bayon

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Wat Thmey

We stopped at Wat Thmey on the way back to our hotel to learn about Cambodia’s history, although I’m not all that into history, this was very interesting. This place is also known as the Killing Fields Pagoda. It is a small memorial containing the bones and skulls of Cambodians killed during the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge was a communist party in the 1970’s (not that long ago) that led the Cambodian genocide, killing up to as many as 3 million Cambodians. The people executed were primarily professionals and intellectuals, so basically anyone that was educated or wore glasses (which they considered a sign that they were smart). If you’ve never heard of this, don’t worry, neither had I! I was shocked to hear about this happening, not that long ago, yet I never learned about it in school. 

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Angkor Wat

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img_5205Look at the difference in color where the water runs down the wall

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South Gate

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Preah Khan

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