Friday 22nd June
Today was the day that we went to Angkor Wat- the main reason for our visit to Siem Reap. You have to purchase your tickets beforehand and there are 3 options; a day pass, 3 day and 7 day pass. We opted for the day pass which was $37 (Around £29). Be careful where you buy your tickets and make sure that it is an official place as there are counterfeit ones. Luckily our hotel was able to hook us up and we went to the right place. You'll have to take a photo at the venue using a webcam but otherwise it's all pretty straightforward. Hold unto your tickets for dear life as you are constantly asked to show it when you go to the different temples.
I did not really know what to expect but our driver knew what he was doing and the first stop was the one and only Angkor Wat temple. The whole region is known by that name but it is only one temple that is called that; all the other temples have different names. As we chose the day ticket we were able to see four or five temples. To see everything then maybe a three day and certainly seven day ticket would suffice. It is worth noting that only a quarter- if that of the Angkor Wat temple is open for public viewing so imagine just how big the temple is. It really is breathtaking. It is also still an active temple and I saw quite a number of monks- both young and old walking around.
If you are really about that temple life then I would suggest getting a helicopter ride so you can get an aerial view of the temple as a whole. Something interesting to note is that the temple was originally used as a Hindu temple. Somewhere along the line this changed however to the present day temple which is identified as a Buddhist one. Angkor Wat in itself was an ancient town and the temple was used as a palace and as a capital for the Khmer Empire. It is understandably a UNESCO World heritage sight owing to it being the largest religious monument in the world. You really have to see it to believe it but I am hoping that the pictures below do it justice.
Where it all began
With my hiking boots because it's a whole lotta walking
Beautiful scenery surrounding the temple
Outside the temple
One of the quadrants inside the temple
Looking through an opening
These are just some of the shots I took at the Angkor Wat temple before going off and checking out the other temples. On our way to the other places we stopped by a beautiful lake.
I wish I could tell you which temple is which but I can't and it all soon became a blur. Simply put, I became 'templed out' and so I will just share pictures from the different temples that we visited within the Angkor area. It was a taxing day as it required a lot of walking. To think that we did not even see all of Angkor Wat is shocking and shows just how large the place is. The other temples were also lovely though after some time I was getting lost in some of them. Some of the temples are falling apart unfortunately though for the most part many are well kept. The ruins of some of them reminded me of the game 'Temple Run' -quite fitting to be honest, except that I walked in reality. Below are some of the pictures of the rest of the temples.
So there you have it, my day of temple hopping and boy was it a long, tiring and enjoyable day. If I was to visit again I would definitely try and buy the three day pass in order to see the many more beautiful temples that are there. Angkor Wat really is a sight to behold and everyone should check it out at least once in their lifetime!
P.S. Next week I move unto my time in Vietnam where my first stop was Ho Chi Minh City a.k.a. Saigon so keep your eyes peeled for that!