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Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor

February 15th, 2011 by

Oh, hey there! While most of you are (or…were) piled under inches or feet of snow, we are becoming exhausted every day by the heat. Two extremes.  By simply walking for 10 minutes to downtown Siem Reap at 5 pm, Ryan’s entire back is drenched in sweat. I’m trying to avoid being a stinky farang, but daaaang. I curse what my friend Sam calls my English Rose skin, while Ryan gets all tan and more resistant to the sun.

I’m not complaining though (except to Ryan, when it gets really awful) because we are seeing some incredible stuff here!

After a pretty rough two days in the capital city of Phnom Pehn, we were diligent about finding a good guesthouse in Siem Reap.  After doing our research online (thus, avoiding the Lonely Planet trap), we found this awesome spot, Golden Takeo, where for a measly 8 bucks you get a clean room with bathroom, rad upstairs restaurant/hang out area, free bicycles and free breakfast. Kick ass. Oh…they also have a free fish massage. It feels insanely creepy to have those little suckers eating your dead skin!IMG_0871

We met a tuk tuk driver right away during the (again, free) pick up from the airport. He was our driver during three fabulous days visiting the temples. You have a few transportation options here for visiting the many ancient sites. You can bike. (See HEAT, referenced above.) You can take an AC bus with tour guide. (Shoot me.) Or you can hire your own tuk tuk driver, which I think is the ideal way to travel in style. Our guy,  Kob, also acted as a tour guide at times, giving us a bit of history about each site before we ran around exploring. You get the full on experience with the tuk tuk…the smells, sights and sounds of Cambodia. Like, pigs on the back of scooters. This piggy busted out a loud WHEEEEEEEEEE right behind us.IMG_1137

You also get to feel cool–when do you ever get your own driver?!-and you have a lot of freedom to create your own schedule for exploring the temples.

I’d love to give everyone a detailed history on the ancient temples of Angkor, but the truth is we cobbled together the majority of our information from a National Geographic article from 1982, internet research, and Kob. I am by no means a history buff on this subject, but it was incredibly interesting and exciting to be there learning as we go.

We started with the first group of temples to be built-Roulous.  Each site has its own characteristics and history. We took on a lot the second day, including Ta Prohm, which may have been my favorite site. It’s one of the only temples that they did not try to save from mother nature. Indiana Jones territory!IMG_1050 IMG_1110 IMG_1067 It’s pretty wild what trees, wind and water can destroy over time. Many of the temples are being restored or have been looked after for years by various international groups.

Our third and final day was the big O–Angkor Wat at sunrise and Angkor Thom in the afternoon. crowd Although it was insanely crowded, (see photo) I’d have to say it was 100% worth it.

Angkor Wat at sunrise Here is a cheesy one of us, in case an of ya’ll miss us. (Sniff, sniff.)


3 Responses to “Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor”

  1. Little Babie says:

    OH. MY!!!!! I will write more tomorrow, but all I have to say it is—WOW!!!! So. Awesome. Miss you guys SO MUCH!

  2. mom says:

    Awesome…wish I was there (but I WOULD be taking the AC tour bus)

  3. Matro says:

    That’s what I’m talkin’ about- how fun! Miss you guys.


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