And so to Siam Reap

From Battambang, we journeyed on to Siam Reap, to the jewel in Cambodia’s crown, Angkor Wat.

Angkor Wat is a little misleading. Rather than one temple, the site consists of multitudes of temples, cities, stupas, towers, moats and lakes. It was stupendous and deserved the respect of exploration.

In front of Angkor Wat itself

We spent two days touring the UNESCO site, starting with the four main attractions on the first day including Angkor Wat. We climbed up many steps to experience the heights of the biggest temples and panoramic views.

Climbing up
Bridge into Angkor Thom
Entrance to Angkor Thom
Carvings

By the end of the first day, after eight hours of templing, we were hot, tired and fairly broken but we knew there was more to see and so, with a more leisurely start the following day, we headed back out and did the Grand Cycle, the remaining temples including a huge lake.

Templing
Atmospheric

It’s impossible to capture the size and scale of this, the largest religious site on earth. It was daunting and impressive and words and photos don’t do it justice.

The smell of incense in the temples and burning wood smoke drifting through the trees are missing from pictures. The sound of peace and solitude with a hum of tuk tuks and a few determined sellers of souvenirs.

The feeling of a welcome breeze whilst driving between temples, sometimes not quite long enough and the delight of a cold bottle of water after climbing to the top of Angkor Wat in the hot morning sun.

Each temple was different, or had something memorable about it, whether covered in giant roots of a banyan tree or surrounded by a water lily moat. It was truly stunning and I’m pleased we were able to spend time seeing it in detail. It’s somewhere we’ll always remember.

Through the frame
Through the tree
Stupa
Colour and patina
Contemplation
The last stop

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