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
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
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