The Lost City of Angkor

Wandering the Ruins of Angkor

Before coming here, we didn’t realize how many temples existed in Siem Reap.  There are so many and they’re huge!  These thousand-year-old crumbling temples are everywhere and nothing really seems to be off-limits.  We visited 8 temples in total: Angkor Wat, Bayon, Ta Phrom from Tomb Raider, Pre Rup, East Mebon, Ta Som, Neak Poan, and Preah Khan.  Angkor Wat was packed for the sunrise viewing and too touristy for our taste.  Ta Phrom was exquisite in the late afternoon when the crowds had died down.  We found that the afternoon was actually the best time to go visit these temples.  The lighting was fantastic and a lot of people had gone back to their hotels for the day.

Sunrise Over Angkor Wat

The alarm went off at 4:45.  We took a 20-minute tuk tuk ride to Siem Reap’s crown jewel - the Angkor Wat temples. We were shocked at how many people were there.  We thought that we’d be the early birds and quickly realized that we were among the later crowd.   Before they opened the gates, we sat on the ground and ate some breakfast while watching the sun rise.  The day prior, Annie had offered to take a picture of a couple at another temple.  As fate would have it, they came and sat right next to us that morning.  Chatting with them was our favorite part of visiting Angkor Wat, which was otherwise overrun with tourists.  

Our Tuk Tuk Driver

He had a great smile and told us to be careful with the playboys in Phnom Penh.  He prefers living and working in Siem Reap over Phnom Penh. He picked us up from the airport and spent most of his time hanging outside our hotel, waiting to see if we wanted to go anywhere.