The four of us, Ellen, Lucas, Julie and me arrived in the city center of Siem Reap. The city near the site of Angkor.
After a nice swim in the hotel pool we went for dinner and ordered a tuc-tuc for the first out of 3 days of our Angkor experience. The decicion was made to do the sunrise at Angkor Wat right away so we left at 5 in the morning the next day.
Early in the morning Boo our tuc-tuc driver, Ellen and Lucas picked us up and there we go!
Ofcourse we were not the only ones to watch the sunrise. With +- 5000 other people we searched for the best spot to make the coveted pictures of Angkor Wat with the sun right behind it and the reflection in the water. You can say whatever you think, but it’s sight is so stunning that you don’t care so much about the +- 5000 other people. Only when you’d like a photo without any people in it, which seemed impossible at first… I’ll save that story for the end of this post, so I’ll be sure you keep on reading till the end.
After the sunrise we got ourselves a quick breakfast and we went inside the Tempel. The inside is as epic as the outside. Every stone upon every stone is engraved with the most detailed imagery and patterns. Our Lonely Planet told us that Ankor Wat is the most impressive of all the tempels and you should save it for last. You now ofcourse know that we did it right away, and was the rest a dissapointment..?
Angkor Thom: Bayon Tempel
We got dropped of at the east side of the tempel. Wich looked like a building site. A lot of cranes and constructors. But wow, when you look from any other side… More stunning than Angkor Wat in our opinion. 216 carved Buddah heads looking at you from every perspective. And a small altar in the very center tower of the tempel.
This is were we lost Ellen and Lucas. You know, the temples can really feel a bit like a maze sometimes. So we went left and they went right. After half an hour we waited at the backside of the tempel. But realised they werent there anymore. So we walked around a bit and found them and our tuc-tuc driver at the restaurants and souvenir shops.
It was getting to hot outside so we went for an afternoon swim back at our hotel.
The next day, starting a bit later than the day before, Boo drove us to Ta Phrom made famous by Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft’s: Tomb Raider. Yet another masterpiece of a tempel. It lays in ruins but the trees that grow around and upon the ruins make the sight mysterieus. It gives you that “i’m in an Indiana Jones movie” kinda vibe.
Banteay Srei, is the furthest away from all tempels aroud Siem Reap. Julie wanted to see a red tempel and was at a certain moment, before we went to Siem Reap, sure that Angkor Wat was red. So to make up with that dissapointment Banteay Srei is a beauty of a red tempel. With a lot of detailled carvings which come out really nice in the red stone.
That evening we went for dinner and while walking through ‘Pub Street’ a little boy came to me with the question to buy him some milk-powder at the supermarket. Julie and Ellen both read in the Lonely Planet that this is a scam. The boy had a deal with the supermarket to bring the milk-powder back to te supermarket unopened, to sell it again. And they both split the money we would pay. So when I told the boy I didn’t feel like buying milk-powder, I got a “Fuck You man!” And the boy walked off.
Morning had broken, like the first morning… Back in the Tuc Tuc, this time at 2 in the afternoon. With the first destination: Preah Kahn, a completely destroyed tempel that lost the battle to nature. But the hallways where so cool and reminded me of the game Tempel Run. So i started to reanact the game, heaps of fun 🙂
After a full afternoon of sightseeing we ended up where we began: full circle.
Sunset at Angkor Wat, not so stunning per se, because the sun sets at the opposite side of the tempel. But it was at closing time so all the people left…
To get back to the story in the beginning: a picture of Angkor Wat without people?
We did it and nailed it! Full frontal glory and no people at all! (Only a shitty sign in front of the building)
After this it was time to say goodbye to Ellen & Lucas who went to continue their journey to Thailand. Tears were shed, hugs were free. We moved on to Battambang… So we thought, I got a serious case of the flue… So we had to stay for another night.
Will Hidde survive? Will Ellen and Lucas arrive in Thailand?
Stay tuned for the next blogpost to find out!
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