Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Angkor Wat

We had long been looking forward to the temples of Angkor Wat and we were finally there! I had been a little worried about the crazy amount of tourist that has exploded in Siem Reap in recent years as Angkor Wat has become a major international tourist destination. And if this had been my first sight I would have been worried.

Pub Street
But luckily that's just the center, which while quite devoted to tourism still has some good eats. I imagine it gets a bit rowdy later in the evenings, but by then we were snug in our beds just outside of town. Definitely a good splurge for us. With a lovely pool it offered a cool retreat in the afternoons after a long morning at the temples.

We decided to spend 3 days at the temples, and keep Angkor Wat for the end. We hired a tuk tuk for the day (best way to explore temples) and headed off.

We loved the Cambodian tuk tuks!
The temples are a collection of ruins from the dominant Khmer empire that collapsed long ago. Some have been meticulously restored, while others are overgrown with trees as the jungle tries to reclaim its land. I am always wary of having too high expectations for places like this, but it did not disappoint. We trampled around temples, impressed by ornate carvings, mass size, and deep moats. One of our highlights was playing hide and seek at Ta Prohm, the now famous temple where Angelina Jolie filmed Tomb Raiders.

Overall, we loved Cambodia. Of course, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh see their fair share of tourists and Cambodians have responded brilliantly. The Khmer cuisine is also very good, with amok and lok lak among our favorites . People were friendly and service was excellent. I would love to go back and explore more of the country, which is more rural and I am sure has a very different feel. But we got a very good feeling from our experience in Cambodia, despite our stroller being stolen from one of the temples! If you ever get the chance, it is well worth the effort to visit Angkor Wat. It has been one of the biggest highlights so far.

I know this post doesn't do it justice, but just enjoy the pics and trust that we had a great time. Trying to catch up before we add our 7th country to our list tomorrow!


1 comment:

  1. I love the pics! Especially the one of the three of you in the tuk yuk. Great!!