The big Indochina trip: temples of Angkor day 1

From Sihanoukville we took a night bus to Siem Reap. The bus was surprisingly good and we were both able to sleep most of the way. When we arrived we were lucky enough to be able to check on right away. After resting up for a little while we headed out to what is bound to be an important part of any trip to Cambodia, the temples of Angkor. 

Our original plan was to rent a motorbike but I read that there is some kind of ban on renting motorbikes for use in the city and apparently there are a lot of police near the temples. Not wanting to risk getting fined we went by tuk tuk instead.

We started with Angkor Thom which is the biggest of all the temple complexes but not as famous as Angkor Wat. The main temple, The Bayon, is extremely impressive but also popular, we had to jostle a bit with other tourists to gwt space to see. I could have been much worse, and I suspect it is in the high season but I still wish there were fewer people.

Yini was really happy to see the temples 

The south gate with its many statues 

As a bonus there were some monkeys frolicking in the grass just inside the gate

The Bayon 

Various shots of the Bayon

The main stupa and lots of tourists 

More various Bayon

Me in Angkor Thom 

Yini in front of the Bayon 

Bayon selfies

Stone lion

Except for the Bayon there is the less lavishly decorated (and also less crowded) Baphuon, as well as the elephant terrace and the leper king terrace. There were several other minor temples as well but we didn’t take the time to see them.

Entrance of the Baphuon temple 

Various Baphuon temple

One of the smaller temples 

The elephant terrace 

The leper king terrace is covered in little figurines 

Sneaking round the corner at the leper king terrace 

In the afternoon we went to Ta Prom which is famous for the big trees growing in the ruins, their roots creeping through the cracks between the stones.  I liked the temple a lot but there were several chinese tour groups there so it was a bit too crowded for my taste. Because of its  iconic look, Ta Prom was used for filming some scenes for the Tomb Raider movie. 

Small building near the entrance of Ta Prom

Giant tree just outside the temple, with roots spreading across the flag stones 

 

The first tree with roots in the ruins. I had to stand in line to get this photo

It looks more impressive from a distance though

Various shots of Ta Prom 

Another tree in the ruins, this one is really cool

More shots from Ta Prom 

Tree root selfie

See the statue disappearing behind the roots

I like this cracked carving. 

Here is the iconic door with roots from Tomb Raider 

Tree root couple

We ended the day with Banteay Kdei and the Srah Srang pool. After the others they were perhaps not so impressive but it would have felt bad to skip them when we were so near. 

Srah Srang pool 

Yini at Banteay Kdei 

Various Banteay Kdei 

Banteay Kdei gate with snake balustrad 

Exiting Banteay Kdei 





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