Angkor Wat

 

Previous page: Arriving in Siem Reap

 

In a mad panic we opened out suitcases, got ourselves changed and trotted down to the foyer to meet up with our group. Despite both of us being hungry there was simply no time to eat.

Gathering and chatting in the foyer we soon found all of us were Australian apart from two people from Scotland.

Our group filled two buses. The buses were comfortable and air-conditioned. We were all given water bottles plus of course we had brought our own with us too. On the way to Angkor Wat we had to stop so that our admission passes could be purchased. To get the pass a person had to be photographed which might have seemed like a time consuming job for all 60+ of us but it really didn't take too long at all. This will be an informative read for those folk needing to know more about site entry: Angkor Wat Visitor Information.

Before getting back on the bus Ian spied a snow dome at their tourist shop. Our daughter collects snow domes so we were impressed to find one so early in our trip. In fact there were a couple to choose from. We picked the one we thought our daughter would like and the man behind the counter grabbed one in a box from under the counter for us. Back on the bus we thought we better look in the box to see if he had given us the one we wanted. Yes, he had but we were somewhat astonished at the colour of the water in the dome. It was quite muddy. I think the water would have come straight from the river.

It didn't take too long to arrive at Angkor Wat. It is huge - absolutely huge. After all, it is the world's largest religious monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is built from sandstone blocks that were carried there from 25 kilometres away. I won't go into the history of the temples because that is recorded all over the web. Here are a few of our photos.

 

Angkor Wat - Facts About Angkor Wat

Wiki page about Angkor Wat - Facts about Angkor Wat

Angkor wat seen from further backFabulous from a distance and even better up close

 

 

Walking into the temple complexWalking across the Causeway
Angkor WatAngkor up closer

 

After we had crossed the causeway and a large patch of grass we stopped to take photos of the temple with the water in front of it. Our guide told us the area was over 1km wide in both directions. It was a much larger complex than we expected.

 

Video - The Moat At Angkor Wat

Interesting explanation about the moat - the moat at Angkor Wat

Grassy areasThe large grassy areas surprised me
Closer to the templesAnother view of the complex

 

 

Third level at Angkor Wat The third and highest level

 

It was incredibly hot and humid - remember we were here at one of the hottest and most humid times of the year. I guess that is why the cruise was so much cheaper than at other times of the year. It was hard to gauge whether you were cooller with your hat on or with it off and an umbrella shading a bigger area of your body. The umbrella was a bit of a pain in the neck to carry around. I don't know how many times it went up or down depending on whether we were walking or standing in a tight knit group listening to our guide. Plus there was always the issue of inadvertently poking someone in the eye with it.

Boy did we enjoy our drinks of water but, seriously, the amount we had with us was not enough for the conditions. We must have been sweating bucket loads.

One of the upper levels Everywhere you looked it was astounding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The place was chock-a-block with tourists. It was hard to take photos with so many heads bobbing in and out of the photos. Most of our group had clambered up to the second level of the complex without too much difficulty. Some of the group would have liked to have climbed up the steps to the third level. The guide told us that we could take a look at the queue when we got further around the corner but he felt it would be a long queue and hence the wait in line (in the sun, I might add) would be probably around an hour. We all turned our noses up. We were hot enough already without standing in a queue to get up to a higher level. As we turned the corner we then all saw the REAL length of the queue. The guide turned to us and said "that is more like a 2-hour queue than a 1-hour queue." We were all happy to skip the third level.

Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat

It wasn't the best time to be at Angkor Wat

Altogether we were at Angkor Wat for three hours. It should have been much longer but it was time to leave. Everyone was so tired. Many of us had arrived in Siem Reap having had no sleep on the plane at all. We were exhausted from lack of sleep and from the heat as well. The afternoon was way too hurried. We wished we had arrived the day before and had been able to go on an early morning tour of the complex. A visit at the hottest time of the day wasn't the best of ideas.

So, lesson be learned - don't go on a booked tour to Angkor Wat on the same day you arrive in Siem Reap. You need time to rest up so you get the most out of your visit. You at least need 24 hours to acclimatize too.

 

Temples Of Angkor - Read More Here

Interesting informative site resource- Temples of Angkor

 

We buy a book about Angkor Wat

On the way back across the causeway we were accosted by lots of Cambodians wanting us to buy stuff. We rather liked the look of one of the books a boy was holding up. I think initially he wanted $25 USD for it. One of the tourists standing behind him was gesticulating to us that you could get that same book in town for $5 USD. Oh my goodness. We dislike situations like this. We told the boy that $25 was too much. He started reducing his price. Eventually we paid $10 for it. We figured he needed the money more than we did so we didn't push for $5.

We wandered on to the area where the bus was going to pick us up. Everyone was looking for a place to sit down. We were 60 odd, totally knackered tourists looking for somewhere to perch our weary bodies. Everyone had red faces. We were pooped.

 

 

Dinner at the Raffles Grand Hotel

Back in our hotel room we summoned up the energy to have a shower. We were originally going to head into town in a tuk tuk for dinner but we had no energy left for even that. Instead we opted for dinner at the hotel restaurant which is the sort of thing we rarely do because generally hotel restaurants are a total rip off. In this instance the food was totally divine. We loved it. The restaurant was quiet so we got heaps of attention from our waiter. In the end it wasn't really all that expensive. We were glad we went there.

 

 

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