Today was Angkor Way day, a day everyone has been anticipating. We as a group decided it would also be amazing to see at sunrise so that meant a very early morning for everyone…im talking 4:30-5am wake up. It was on a private bus from the hotel to the temples of Angkor for us!
Once there (in the dark) our personalised photo tickets were issued and we were ready to explore! We arrived parallel to a long and wide moat that surrounded the temples, 18km long that was built by the hands of slaves. Crossing the long bridge over the moat we headed to the gateway to Angkor Wat. We had our tour guide Ratha to explain much of the history and we sat on a the gateways wall to wait for the sun to show itself. When there was enough light we ventured to the best place to see the sun rise and waited. Although it was cloudy it was absolutely beautiful and an amazing time of day.
Into the temple we ventured where the carvings on all the surfaces were a marvel to behold. The amount of stone needed to create this temple is immense not to mention carrying the stone all the way from the mountains 40kms away! (It is thought it was done through the use of many elephants and also utilising the river system that flows through Angkor)
It was onwards to Angkor Thom, which is known for the 216 carved smiling faces throughout the temple. It was nice to just walk around this one as it has not been restored to a level Angkor Wat has, rather you can walk around and see this temple like it would have been when it was discovered.
Afterwards we headed to the Bayon temple which I did warn the volunteers had A LOT of steps. The adventurous side of them won out and it was a steep climb to the top but definitely worth it for the view! Also the incentive of lunch/brunch may have helped!
And now for my favourite temple…Ta Prohm! Although some of you may know it as the ‘Tomb Raider temple’. It had stunning fig trees growing all over the stone temples and is surrounded by the jungle and its noises. It’s an amazing mix between nature and man as you will see by the photos.
A picnic lunch was had near the big lake and it was nice to relax after a lot of walking around. I think a few people at this point were feeling a little tired from their early start 🙂 So we made the short trip back into the city of Siem Reap, and the afternoon was then free to do as everyone chose. A lot of naps we had, massages and trips to the markets. Tomorrow is our last day at the village and we have lots of work to do to finish the house, so it was a pretty early night after dinner.