Oversea, Travel

Siem Reap Day 3: Angkor Wat & Ta Prohm (Part 1)

Here’s Day 1’s & Day 2’s recap:
Siem Reap Day 1: Khmer Kitchen Restaurant & Artisans d’Angkor (Part 1)
Siem Reap Day 1: Angkor Temples – Preah Khan & South Gate & North Gate of Angkor Thom (Part 2)
Siem Reap Day 2: Center Market (Phsar Kandal) & Red Piano

On day 3, we had an early breakfast at our B&B and then we’re off to the temples. I was back to my normal self. No more stomach-ache or nausea. Wohoo! &*@^!# carrot juice & antibiotics!!!

This will be our last day visiting the temples (as this is the third day; our temple pass expires today). We started our morning adventure at Angkor Wat.

In our tuk-tuk with morning breeze hitting our face and a view of Angkor Wat not far ahead.

They’re coming! Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese…
If you want to avoid ‘CROWDS’ come earlier… say 6am-7am. Hehe But not us. We’re okay with it. The time is 8am. Roger that.

Ahh loooook! Angkor Wat’s front facade is undergoing restoration. Aww too bad.

Walking on the main causeway. The magnificent Angkor Wat standing tall and proud. πŸ™‚

I love this ‘dreamy’ like scenery. It was taken along the long walk towards Angkor Wat, left side somewhere near the library.

‘Must-take-compulsory’ photo of Angkor Wat with the temple reflected in the pool (tsk this is dry season hehe). This is the best I’ve got. Others were hideous. Haha

We found a lavatory behind the monastery on the left side right after the pool and stalls. A compulsory visit is a must!

1,000 riel (equivalent to about US$0.25). We pay to a small boy monk.
Even in daylight, you can’t see anything in the toilet. All I did was quickly do what I have to do and get out of there fast!

The Bas Relief Galleries which covers the whole 4 outer walls of Angkor Wat… from top to bottom, left to right. Seen here is the Battle of Lanka. It was really impressive… the detailed carvings, the color of the stone. Some are red and green! If you have plenty of time and are really interested, take time to go by all of them. I think you will need to spend whole day in Angkor Wat! Haha

This is the Gallery of 1,000 Buddhas (only some Buddha relics can be seen today as most were removed and stolen). In the middle is a pool (there are 4 ’empty’ pools in total).

I love how the morning sun light up the pillars. Very HDR-like. Perhaps I shall process this in Photomatix.

Charming… with a little morning sun flare.

These are the Apsara dancers carvings. Apsara means celestial maiden/bidadari/tin lui.

I love this angle. Was sitting here resting and to get away from the 9am sun at Angkor Wat.

This is the 2nd level of the temple.
Tourists are queuing up. What for?

To go up the top most level, the towers.
When I was there (February 2010), this is the only place to go up. The authority have shut down others stairs entrance to the towers. I think this is good for the safety of the tourist.

Look at the sandstones… see how they stack ’em? AMAZING yeah? I wonder how they haul the sandstones up there.

One way up, one way down. These are man-made stairs with railings.
I bet the view up there would be really stunning.
I didn’t go up. Was contemplating whether I should and just when I decide I wanted to… suddenly I find myself lost in the seas of Japanese/Korean/Taiwanese. Looks like they have catch up on me!

No regrets though. I know I will be back. πŸ™‚

Old and ancient. Pretty and detailed. Wonder of the world Angkor Wat was and still is.
I must admit I’m really fortunate to have step on the soils of 2 wonders of the world, namely Angkor Wat and Great Wall of China.

Majestic towers!!!
On the 2nd level there are a few places with stone slabs. That’s where we sat, rest and admire the beauty of Angkor Wat. I really did not want to leave. But the heats and tourist forced me to!

A mystical-dreamy-Tolkien-like tree at Angkor Wat. It’s on the right side of the library (near the pony/horse?).

I have more photos actually but I think this is enough to slow down the loading time? Hehe

The best time to visit Angkor Wat is actually mid-afternoon but I know the heat would be horrendous. Even the morning sun is giving me a hard time.

When we were exiting Angkor Wat about 9.40am, just walking along the main causeway was a hardship. It was THAT HOT!!! Even with the help of an umbrella and a hat! Every time the sun is shining, I find a spot to hide. And every time the sun is hiding behind clouds, I hasten my steps.

At last we reach the main entrance. Very easily we found our driver and we demanded another toilet break. Haha There’s a toilet just opposite Angkor Wat (too far to walk, no, too hot to walk). After freshen up, our Indiana Jones spirit is still there (although diminishing fast as the sky is turning into a hot oven), we told our tuk-tuk driver to bring us to Ta Prohm.

When we reached Ta Prohm (yes this is where Tomb Raider’s was filmed), guess what? CROWDS again! This time too many. Haha

Awww too bad, some restoration work is going on too. Soon everything will be ‘fakey’. You know what I mean?

Ta Prohm was built in dedication to Jayavarnam VII’s mother. Whereas Preah Khan was a dedication to his father.

What else to say except magical. πŸ™‚

Ahh puzzle time?

Trees growing and taking over the temples. Notice the background tree on the left?

That’s it from Ta Prohm. We were there for like only 20 minutes. Ta Prohm is quite small actually (correct me if I’m wrong) and with the non-stop incoming legions of tourist, all that I wanted to see is diminished. No feeling of magic. πŸ™

Ta Prohm would be good at 6am or 7am in the morning… with the morning rays shining through the leaves of the trees. That would be magical.

Let’s run. No point staying here. Ta Prohm is too small for all of us.
Even with all these trees shadowing us we are still sweating like nuts.

My tuk-tuk driver has a ‘shock’ face painted on him when we greeted him. LOL That must be the fastest visit ever by any tourists to Ta Prohm. A RECORD!!! hahaha

We told him which temple to go to next… judging that it’s going to be mid afternoon soon we better hurry for we are going to melt… Hahahaha

To be continued…

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  • Reply tekkaus April 22, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Wow…I don’t know how to comment…breathtaking? :p Simply too awesome…

  • Reply Cecil Lee April 22, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Looking at the… crowds, I think I need to visit Angkor Wat in the short future… before it’s being ‘vanished’ by tourism.

  • Reply Dawn April 22, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Again, love the pictures. Definitely need to put Angkor Wat on the top of the must-see list when some of the originality is still there. Who knows when the entire Angkor Wat is all sort of rebuilt! πŸ™‚

  • Reply moz April 22, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Nice … however I must add that I much prefer visiting just at the start of the rainy seasons when the crowd is thinner, and everything looks more green, less dust, and more pleasant to walk about ! The only thing is a short shower in the afternoon, which is ok by me !

  • Reply jam April 22, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    I hope there is no more restoration work when I visit Angkor Wat in August. I want to take the panorama pictures of its front arcade. And I think I will spend more times in each temple.

  • Reply lechua April 23, 2010 at 12:07 am

    ooooh brings back memories…. when i visited in dec angkor wat was also under construction.. the stairway up also wasn’t open – there were men doing works.

  • Reply Che-Cheh April 23, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Tekkaus, make Siem Reap as your next travel destination okay? πŸ˜‰

    Cecil Lee, hopefully it won’t be swallowed up fast. I still need to make another trip there. Hehe

    Dawn, thanks. Yes better hurry. In Angkor Wat itself, I can see a few restored windows, walls… aiya. But then if the place is not repair it would crumble I guess.

    Moz, ah yes I learned my lesson. I will definitely choose rainy season over dry season.

    Jam, hmm don’t think the restoration work will complete that fast. Anyway you can always take silhouette shot. I think you need more than 3 days if you want to spend more times in each temple. And you said you wanted to visit a lot of temples ya? I wonder how you’re going to fit all in. How long are you going to be there?

    Lechua, ohhh… did you went up the towers? I guess it’s for the best ya… only allowing 1 stairway to the towers.

  • Reply jam April 23, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    I will spend 3 nights there before another 2 nights in Phnom Penh. Looks like a lot of planning to do if I want to cover majority of the temples.

  • Reply Che-Cheh April 24, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Jam, wah you have a lot to plan. Good luck. πŸ™‚

  • Reply fufu April 24, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    yeah when in was there in 2007… i climbed up here and there… but now gotta line up to go up πŸ™‚ hihihi but still wanna go back again this nice place

  • Reply Adino April 28, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Wow really nice photos!

    It’s amazing how they can build such things last time, and it can last so many centuries. I think our modern buildings cannot even last 100 years!

  • Reply Che-Cheh April 28, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Fufu, wah so nice. That time is there any railings?

    Adino, hehe our building eh… kena earthquake already habis. πŸ˜›

  • Reply foongpc April 29, 2010 at 12:12 am

    Oh your post is making me very excited about going there! A lot of planning? Jam, please do the planning on my behalf! Thank you! Haha!!

  • Reply foongpc April 29, 2010 at 12:15 am

    Love all the photos! So it’s very hot? All my holidays so far had been hot! I hope to go to a cooler place on my next destination after Siem Reap!

  • Reply keeyit April 29, 2010 at 11:29 am

    1.) You climb the building at Angkor wat? That time we went the building was closed. We can only see see. But indeed the staircases very high and about 70 – 80 degrees… We need to climb with hands and legs… This can see that ancient people really so loyal to their kings…

    2.) Ta Prom – One of the places that I like besides Bayon. Amazing trees crawling on the roof…

  • Reply Irenelim April 30, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Wow, magnificent place! I want to go too!

  • Reply Che-Cheh May 3, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Foongpc, you’ll get some afternoon August rain in Siem Reap so no worry.

    Keeyit, nope didn’t climb up the towers coz too many people lining up already.
    I didn’t see much in Ta Prohm. The crowds was huge. All blocking the way.

    Irenelim, yes I think you need some holidays since you’re very busy with your business. πŸ™‚

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