The bus ride from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap was about 7 hours. By the time we got to our hotel, we had time to check in, eat, and catch the sunset at Angkor Wat. One of the most amazing things about Angkor Wat was that it was built in about 35 years.
Siem Reap, although the third largest city in Cambodia, had such a different feel to it then Phnom Penh. While PP had a “city feel” to it with it’s open spaces surrounded by high rises and modern architecture, Siem Reap is best described as a jungle city. There are trees everywhere, not a ton of huge buildings, and a more low key feel to it. Kind of like center city versus Fairmount.
We spent all of Saturday on a temple tour. While every temple we visited was unique and awe inspiring in it’s own way, there is such a thing as templed-out. We visited Ta Prohm, Chau Say Thevoda, Prasat Prei, and Bayon (aka Angkor Thom).
Ta Prohm is the temple where some of Tomb Raider was filmed. Anyone who knows me knows the level of my excitment about this. Obviously the whole temple was great but the main goal was to get to the tree and take a picture. Success.
Chau Say Thevoda was a smaller temple ruins site. We had some yoga fun here. Tried to have some climbing fun but the guards may or may not have had something to say about it…..
Prasat Prei was an off the beaten path temple. We convinced our tuk-tuk driver, who we had for the day, to take us to ruins that are not on the typical tour paths. Charlie deserves kudos for making this happen. It was awesome. Not to mention we were the only ones there other than a cattle farmer and 10 of his cows. We had a lot of fun here, because there was no one to yell at us for climbing all over.
Can you spot the boys in the picture above??
It was time for a lunch break at this point. Note about Cambodia, and a lot of SE Asia for that matter, there is such a thing as “tourist pricing”. While most of our lunch selections were priced around $6, our tuk-tuk driver gets his for $2. It pays to be a local!
Next and finally was Bayon. Bayon is a temple in the Angkor Thom complex. While Angkor Wat is the famous Cambodian temple, even being featured on the Cambodian flag, you can fit 4 Angkor Wat complexes inside of Angkor Thom. The scale of these temples is unreal, not to mention the extremely fine detail seemingly on every stone surface. We were tired by the time we got to Bayon, and it was pretty hot.