Angkor Wat – “Temple City” is a historical site that lies just outside of Siem Reap, Cambodia. It’s been referred to as the Machu Picchu of Asia and is the largest religious monument in the world.
Tickets are necessary and run $20 for a one day pass, $40 for three days and a seven day pass is $60. You can trek in on a bicycle, hop a ride on a tuk tuk or pay for a tour and bus. (Bicycling was our first choice but due to a back injury, we opt for the tuk tuk). Guess who our driver was? The same smile that picked us up at the bus station!
A familiar face, two tickets and a nice ride to the city was a brilliant start for a gorgeous adventure.
When approaching the main entrance, your driver will drop you off at any temple you’d like and will patiently wait until you’re ready for he next. First thing to catch my eye was the peaceful orange robes that made their way across the path.
The length of the main entry is long and gives you plenty of time to take it all in. It also allows a pause for an upside down handstand shot (in respect for the entry way).
Here are some photos in no specific order as we explored the sandstone grounds of Angkor Wat.
Although there are many tourists, it still doesn’t take away from the wonder of what these walls have seen. With the broken path ways and stressed stones, I can only imagine how many sets of feet have made there way through this area.
This specific scene stopped me in my tracks and struck an emotional note in my heart. Was this her first time here… after many years, did she finally make it? Or was this an annual thing and today was her visit of 2013? Would if she comes here every day to pray? No matter what the scenario, the unconditional support she got from the young man and the help that came along was priceless.
My gratitude for health, life and love just jumped another notch. Thank you gentle example that was set before me!
Following the steps of that delicate scene, we entered what seemed to be a shrine in which some were kneeling at and others observing from a distance.
I could hardly pass up the opportunity for a blessing and a red string bracelet from this kind smile. Depending if you’re following Buddhism, Hinduism or Kabbalah the meaning varies as well as which wrist to wear it on. According to traditional belief, generally it eliminates unwanted energies in a person’s life to make room for positive ones… I like that.
We jumped tracks a bit and left the crowd when I spotted out these stacked rocks. If you’ve seen some of my other posts, you’ll know this is one of my favorite out doors scenes. How neat to find it here!
Who else was enjoying this view? It was one of the friendly guys that assisted the elderly woman! With a nice conversation and a photo, we now have new friends to catch up with!
Who wouldn’t want to climb a stair case that looks like this?
The reward was a beautiful view and a couple fun silhouette shots!
What goes up must go down!
Another view that welcomed a great handstand photo.
If you choose to stay in the city for an extended amount of time, hunger is bound to present itself and your options range a bit.
Along the path of the souvenir stands, there’s the typical cooking pots that are usually full of pork or chicken with rice and seasoning.
Next you have several restaurants that are all called by different names, but will offer you the exact same menu as their neighbor with identical prices.
The other option, and our choice, is located in the back alley behind the restaurants where we found all of the local employees eating… Jackpot! My buddy knew where we were headed!
We took a seat on a tiny chair at a miniature table and kept our fingers crossed for what was about to be served. Fish soup with a mound of rice next to a plate of sticks, greens and flowers, all complimented with a raw garlic hot sauce. The jug on the table was all you can drink light green tea, perfect for our hot day.
For a grand total of $0.75 each, we got all of the above, smiles from our table friends and a genuine “thank you” from the chef (or we just gave them free entertainment each time we smelled a bite and swapped spoons). Either way it beat restaurant prices and I’m sure it tasted better than the “pot of surprise” across the lot.
So we’ve seen the Siem Reap Night Market and donated at the Angkor Children’s Hospital.
After exploring Angkor Wat, it’s time for the bus ride back to Phnom Penh to finish up my stay in Cambodia.