Cambodia

Angkor, a wonder of Cambodia

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Angkor is a must see once in your life, UNESCO World Heritage Site is full with beautiful historic temples, structures and ancient highways. Angkor Wat is the iconic temple and at the heart of the park, most reconise with its lotus-like towers.

Crossing the border on foot into Cambodia was extremely straightforward. Reading many horror stories of people being scammed before hand. We decided to be independent and cross ourselves instead of going via a bus company where it was higher in price.

Catching a tuk tuk from the town he drove us just before the border. It felt so undercover, he didn’t want to be seen as we found out later a few people which own most places on Don Det ran this town and the bus companies.

Once we crossed the border we had arranged a pick up with a mini van straight to Siem Reap. Costing around 19 dollars each. The journey was quite a crazy one with a driver who loved using his horn.

Siem Reap being only 5 km away from Angkor National Park. We booked to stay here for three nights in Adan World Hostel. It was more like a hotel but provided us with everything we needed.

Siem Reap being the capital of Siem Reap Province is fastly growing, with a wide choice of resturants to choose from at low to high prices you wont be stuck for choice. Being the gateway to the Angkor ruins it is very touristic in the main center.

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Passes to the park cost 20USD for a day, 40USD for 3 days and a weeks pass is 60USD.

Transport being relatively easy, we found hiring a mountain bike the best way to explore Angkor Wat. Tuk tuks cost between 15-25 dollars for the day depending on your plans. A mountain bike cost us 4USD for a day.

It was on my bucket list to witness the sunrising over Angkor Wat. This involved us getting up at 4am to cycle in the dark for 6 km. Arriving in complete darkness we walked up to the lake where we were met by hundreds of our people waiting for the sunrise.

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It felt so surreal to be finally standing on the site of Angkor Wat, dating back to the 12th century this has blossomed into the most significant religious site in Southeast Asia. It was a dream come true.

The early morning and the people eating their breakfast attracts some unwanted company.

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Monkeys such cheeky creatures, sitting just outside Angkor many poor travellers were victims of robbery. They just help themsleves to peoples breakfasts and snacks.

In this moment I also damaged my camera quite badly. Not great timing, but didn’t let it defeat my mood and mostly took in the magicnifent place with my eyes.

As the heat was rising we wandered around Angkor Wat, with a mix of amazement and exhaustion.

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Eating our breakfast with views across this place with no monkey in sight was peaceful.

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With so many temples scattered around, you could easily spend many days exploring. We had only one day here,  so making use of the day we went to explore Bayon temple.

Bayon is standing in the exact center of the walled city, this represents the intersection of heaven and earth. Bayon is known for its huge stone faces of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, with one facing outward and keeping watch at each compass point.

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Ta Prohm, this is another temple complex close to Angkor Wat that has been left almost untouched and as close to the original state as possible to show visitors the state in which these temples were originally discovered.

The entire complex is literally taken over by giant tree roots that seem like living breathing creatures.

 A very photogenic place, this is another reason to visit the Angkor temple complex.

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Visting Angkor was a great highlight of our time in Cambodia, and is worth a visit. This site is said to represent Mt Meru, a legendary abode of the Gods in the Hindu mythology. The towers are symbolic of the peaks of Mt.Meru, the wall represents mountains at the edge of the world.

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