We visited Angkor Wat three times in total; once when we attempted to watch the sunset but were forced to leave because it was closing; the second time we took the back entrance but were forced to share the temple with hundreds of other tourists, all clamouring for photos; the final time for a somewhat anticlimactic sunrise. Despite these not fully successful endeavours I was astounded by the shear effort and patience that must have gone into creating such an amazing and beautifully carved triumph of ancient architecture.
This was my first glimpse of the temple. The long walk certainly gives one plenty of time to mull over its grandeur, I wonder what visitors thought of it 800 years ago.
My version of the classic temple reflection photo after deciding that I didn’t fancy vying with the crowds to use one of the ponds on either side of the walkway.
Unlike most other Khmer temples, Angkor Wat faces west not east. This is thought to either be because it is dedicated to Vishnu or because it was intended to be the resting place of the Khmer King Suryavarman II who had it built. This was the best shot of the sunset I managed to take before the whistles of the guards drove us back to our tuk tuk.
At least everyone leaving meant some nice (relatively) tourist free photos.
What’s a trip to the temples of Siem Reap without a few monks?
Seemingly every surface save the floor is engraved in breath-taking detail. I was particularly impressed with the engraving of the story of how the gods’ and demons’ quest for the elixir of immortality led to the churning of the sea of milk and the creation of the cosmos.
Why take the public steps when you could take the Indiana Jones route? Or as my German friend liked to shout, “TEMPLE RUN!”
The best photo from our sunrise outing and I have to admit, my camera made it look considerably better than it was.
Since we were at the temple early we planned to try and make it up to the very top of the temple as the queue had been too long the previous day. However, it was not be as we would have had to wait a further forty minutes for the central stairs to open. Fortunately, I at least got this rather nice photo before the sun was too bright, causing all my other photos to have blindingly white skies.