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[CAMBODIA] Day 4: Angkor Park @ Siam Reap

After a disappointing trip to Tonle Sap, finally it comes to the much anticipated destination at Cambodia - Angkor. Angkor literally means "Capital City" or "Holy City", and  is a region of Cambodia in the Khmer Empire and the temples ruins are scattered over the places in Siam Reap

The magnificent view of Angkor Wat - the most prominent temple in Angkor
Admission pass to Angkor
An admission ticket is required to visit the temples and sites in the Angkor Archaeological Park and the ticket is purchased at the main entrance on the road to Angkor Wat. Depending on one personal preference, one can choose to purchase different pass - one-day (20 USD), three-day (40 USD ) and seven-day (60 USD). The three days pass is valid for one week and can be used within any 3 days within the week; while the seven day pass is valid for one month.

If you are an enthusiast at the history of Angkor or having some knowledge at Angkor history, then 3 days or 7 days passes are good enough. Otherwise, just purchase the one-day pass and arrange for a tuk-tuk driver for the whole day trip at inner circle of Angkor (12 - 15 USD) - negotiate for it! Do not even think of walking as the distance between each temples are too far apart for foot travelling. Alternatively, cycling is getting popular in the park though one must prepare for some sweat.

The park opens from 5:30am - Sunset with the exceptional of Banteay Srey closes at 3pm while the admission office opens at 5:00am. Come early for an exciting trip to Angkor!
Map of Angkor

We made our first stop at the major attraction in Angkor city - Angkor Wat. 

Entrance to Angkor Wat
Entrance to Angkor Wat
Picture time
Angkor Wat - restoration work in process

Fortune telling in Angkor Wat

Crafting on the wall still well preserved. 

The magnificent crafting at the roof top.

Hordes of people queuing up to to the top level of Angkor Wat. Appropriate dressing, i.e. pants above knee levels and shirts covering shoulders are required to visit the holy place.
View from top level
Another magnificent crafting

Wefie time!
There are people offering incense for you to pray at Angkor Wat. Just politely say no, thank you to reject them. If you take the incense offered for praying, most likely you are required to pay a sum of money.

Bayon temple exterior look
Restoration in process

Tower with gigantic face - 1
Tower with gigantic face - 2

We continue to visit Bayon, the temple with 216 gigantic face on the temple's tower and also the last temple to be built at Angkor. 

Pathway to Baphuon temple
Entrance to Baphuon temple - 2
Nice view from outside of Baphuon temple
Baphuon temple is located northwest of Bayon and is one of the temple at Angkor Thom. Part of the temple still undergo restoration process and we just passed by it.

Terrace of the Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King are just nearby and we would not want to miss the incredible architecture of it. 

Entrace to Ta Phorm temple

Giant root of a spung at Ta Phorm temple

Another tree at Ta Phorm temple
Leng Lui in the temple!
Lego was spotted as well! Khmer people used it to build the temple?!
Ta Phorm, another interesting destination for the one day visit. Perhaps you may have Deja Vu with some of the picture in Ta Phorm even though you never been there physically because the temple was used for part of the scene in the movie Tomb Raider. 

In addition, the trees growing in the temple are another point of interest at Ta Phorm. It appears the trees are growing still and adding damage to the structure of Ta Phorm

As time is limited within 1 day, we only managed to visit a few of the temples. the are other major temples in Angkor Archaeological Park should you are here for more than a day. Phnom Bakheng (hilltop location, best for sunset view), Preah Khan, Ta Som, Banteay Kdei and Thommanon. 

There are also a few notable temples worth visiting such as Banteay Srey (38km from Siam Reap) and the comments from the internet says it well worth the extra effort travelling there (we never been there). On top of that, Rulous Group (13km of Siam Reap) is also a collection of monuments representing the remains of Hariharalaya, the first major capital of Angkorian-era Khmer Empire worth visiting and the entrance is included in the regular Angkor Park admission ticket. 

From top right clockwise: Chicken Lemon Grass (7 USD), Tom Yam Shrimp (7.5 USD), Pork Lemon Grass (7 USD), Pork and Rice (6 USD)
From top right clockwise: Coconut, Lok Lak English (7 USD), Amok Chicken (7 USD) and Fried Fish (7 USD)
We had our lunch at one of the so called restaurant which the tuk-tuk driver brought us. Food was expensive here and not worth the price for it. There was nothing great about the taste. If one were to save some money during the trip to Angkor, considering buying some breads or any other food and keep in your backpack for lunch. 

To be frank, all of us got pretty tired at 3pm due to the hot sun and slowed down our pace and reduce the time spent at each temple. If you are not a person who enjoys history or crafting, you may ended up seeing just stones at Angkor Archaeological Park.

We went back at around 6pm, take a break before head to Siam Reap Old Market / Night Market.

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