My trip to Cambodia 2 months ago reminded me how the world was marvelously created and how the Khmer history was drawn creatively into the ruins of the Angkor temples. I was in awe of everything that could be seen on every temple and I felt honored to touch and smell those century old walls which are still and proudly standing and surviving the challenges of years.
During my stay in Siem Reap, I traveled back in time. I felt that I was reconnected with the past. I can feel the sacredness of Siem Reap and feel history everywhere. I could also feel loneliness, courage, and triumph as my soul wandered around. There is something about that small province that amazed me. Something that I can’t explain. I may say Siem Reap does captivate my heart in a way. And if I will be given a chance, I will still go back to explore and love Siem Reap more.
Exploring the Angkor could be conveniently done by hiring a Tuk Tuk for a day which will cost US$ 15-20. Before you can enter the Angkor, you need to pay for US$ 37 for a One-day Angkor Pass. They will take your photo and be shown in your pass with all other rules and regulations written at the back.
My Angkor Pass. The price increased from US$ 20 to US$ 37 starting Feb. 1, 2017.
The following temples are on the top of my list. I can say each temple is unique and different but historically speaking, they are all gems of the Southeast Asia.
My Top 4 Temples in Siem Reap
1. Angkor Wat
The UNESCO Heritage Site of Angkor Wat is the most visited temple in Siem Reap. The temples were constructed in the 12th century by the Khmer people. Some of the temples were restored and some still overgrown with jungle vines but the sunrise view in Angkor Wat is simply amazing. Every sunrise is the most awaited part of the day for every traveler.
2. Bayon Temple
Located in the western part of Angkor and 15 minutes Tuk Tuk ride from Angkor Wat gateway. Bayon Temple is smaller compared to Angkor Wat. What I liked about Bayon is the many faces carved in stones. There is also a wall where ancient stories depicting their life like hunting for food and battles were carved. The details are intricate and magnificent.
3. Ta Keo
This temple is less crowded compared to the other two. Many areas were restored but still look ancient to me. Do not underestimate the stairs you see in the picture because it will knock you down. This is the steepest stairs that I ever walked into my entire life. But you know in every sacrifice there is joy when you reached the top you will be able to enjoy the scenic view. That is the price. How glorious is it?
4. Ta Prohm
Well, who can forget the movie Tomb Raider? One of the famous temples in Siem Reap is Ta Prohm. If you have watched the movie, this temple will be familiar to you.
What to Expect in the Angkor?
1. There are a lot of tourists so you should arrive early to catch the sunrise and have the most picturesque view of the Angkor Wat.
2. You need to walk within the vast temples. Wear comfortable shoes.
3. The weather is usually hot and humid. Wear light clothing, bring water and an extra shirt.
4. Bring your own food for there are few restaurants and food stalls situated outside the temples.
5. Touring the temples could be exhausting, be physically ready.
Enjoy touring the Temple of Angkor!