Cambodia IS Angkor Wat for us. We went to Siem Reap, the nearest city and bought one-day passes to the Angkor temples, a whole area filled with temples and other stone buildings from the 800-1200's. This was a thriving city in the millenia gone by and the stone carvings are incredibly intricate and varied. The artists and craftsmen/women who carved such huge pieces were masters of the skill. And on a scale that is no longer done.
The Angkor Temples are one of the Wonders of the World, and deservedly so! We were pretty 'templed out' before we got here, but this place is really special and we immersed ourselves for a few days and were so glad we'd come here!
Photos, as usual, just can't do it justice, and you may get 'templed out' just looking at this small selection of the hundreds of photos we took. It really must be seen in person to appreciate the grandeur of this place.
The towers of Angkor Wat reflected in the lotus blossom pond at sunrise. This is the shot thousands of people get up at 4AM to get here to take! You must have a photo ID taken for your Angkor Temples Park pass, so everyone must stop and stand in line to get their pass and pay the fee. Very inefficient and we were glad most of us had done so the night before. Paraic took this shot and it's like a postcard.
The evening before we visited Angkor Wat, we took a tuk tuk to Ta Prohm, another temple site known for its tree roots taking over the stone temple buildings. Awesome example of how Mother Nature will take over if left a chance. These trees are several hundred years old.
Before we got to Siem Reap, we had to cross into Cambodia at the border with Laos. The brush here was on fire and the smoke was rolling about. What a welcome to Cambodia!
The most important building, the toilet, at the border crossing was a wooden outhouse. With the brush fire raging just beyond it, I hurried to do my business before it caught fire! It didn't, but it could've.
They wanted a donation to use the outhouse! Not getting my money--they didn't even spell it right.
This is where we were told to wait after crossing into Cambodia. We were dumped and the guide eventually disappeared, leaving us to our own to wait hours for the bus to come take us to our first stop in Cambodia. We had been told, and the bus schedule showed us getting into Kampung Cham about 1-2 in the afternoon, so we didn't book a room ahead. We would find a guesthouse or a cheap room upon arrival as there weren't many online options. Many places just don't advertise on the internet. We sat in the heat here at the border crossing for hours and knew we were in for trouble ahead. NEVER believe anything you see, hear, read or are told about bus travel in Cambodia. The buses are always late and take longer to get to your destination. And they don't make pit stops for you, either.
Part of the temple in downtown Siem Reap. Clean and new.
Skewered chicken for sale. Just like the ones offered through the windows as the bus went through a town.
Karen at a fabric stall in the market.
This was the grandmother of the girl who spoke English. When the monks came by for an offering, this lady got out some money and gave it to them.