|"The Lane" next to Pub Street offers excellent dining options. We loved
the Amok chicken and Cambodian BBQ at Traditional Khmer Foods.
|You cross a causeway to reach Angkor Wat. A rectangular moat surrounds the temple on four sides.
Where We Be
|Inside the temple walls you can see the towers and steep staircases up close
|Watching the antics of the monkeys adds to the fun of a visit
|Robin took this delightful photo of a lotus blossom on the silvery pond
|Crowds gather around 5 am each morning to watch the magic; get there extra-
early to avoid having to take pictures over other peoples' heads as we did!
|Carvings of apsaras (celestial nymphs) add
interest here and there along the inner walls
|A walk around the perimeter at sunrise offers beautiful views of the golden towers
|The world's largest religious monument emerges out of darkness
|Angkor Wat was a Hindu temple when it was built in the early 12th century
by Suryavarman II, but it was later adopted as a Buddhist temple
|Angkor Wat is well worth seeing a second time in the late afternoon when the crowds are less and the lighting softer
|The Churning of the Ocean of Milk is the most famous bas-relief at Angkor Wat. While it looks like a huge
tug of war involving a giant snake, the gods are actually working together to create the elixir of immortality.
|Be sure to walk around the Gallery of Bas Reliefs. The western wall depicts
dramatic battle scenes from the Hindu epic tale known as the Mahabharata.
The highlight of our first day in Cambodia was
watching Angkor Wat emerge out of darkness.
When we arrived by tuk-tuk at 5:30 am, we
couldn’t even tell where the temple was; but
gradually the day dawned and we could make
out the silhouette of the iconic towers across
the lotus pond. It felt a bit funny standing there
in a crowd of people all taking photos in the
dark -- what an odd modern ritual! If you asked
me at the time if I was having fun, I might have
said kinda, but in hindsight it did seem special
watching those towers appear out of the black.
Angkor Wat is the world’s largest religious
monument, and it's at the center of the largest
temple complex in the world. Virtually no one
walks between the temples at Angkor; they take
tuk-tuks (motorcycles with wheeled carts) or
else bike. It’s flat enough for bikes, but the
heat can turn even a short ride into an ordeal.
Speaking for ourselves, we liked our tuk-tuk,
which offered cool breezes in between each
temple. Our friendly driver was ours for the day
for $15. He waited for us at each temple until
we were finished, then took us to the next site.
We saw Angkor Wat a second time near sunset.
This let us catch the late afternoon sunlight on
the towers while also getting a closer look at
the Gallery of Bas Reliefs, fine Hindu carvings
extending around the entire 1st-floor perimeter.
|Sunrise photos are backlit -- offering fine silhouettes of the iconic towers
|Huge statues of seven-headed cobras, called "nagas,"
stand guard at the entrances to Angkor Wat
|The two symmetrical buildings near the entranceway offer
a good vantage point for temple viewing away from the crowds
|After some heavy-duty temple touring there's nothing better than a beer at Angkor What?
|Siem Reap also offers a pleasant riverside walk and the top-notch Angkor National Museum
|Coming home after each tour day to V&A Villa ($25 per night) was a real pleasure. The beds were
comfy, there was a restaurant on site, and the room even had a shower with tub -- rare in Cambodia.
|Angkor Wat -- the place to be at sunrise in Cambodia
|The famous pub is appropriately located on Pub Street -- the tourism center of Siem Reap