Best of South East Asia: #5- Angkor Wat

This summer was a pretty epic one. It started off with four weeks bopping around four countries in South East Asia. Carrie and I had planned this trip over a year and some change. We gathered info from everywhere- blogs, friends, guidebooks.. it was info overload. We had google docs and google maps overflowing with info. Which made for a pretty fantastic trip.

Our trip took us to four countries – Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. We moved around pretty often. We dreaded packing/unpacking our backpacks, but got quite good at it by the end.

I’m not going to recap every part of our trip just my top 5 favorite memories.

Coming in at number 5 is actually our last stop of our trip- Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Just a short tuktuk ride from Siem Reap.

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Angkor Wat is a temple complex and the largest religious monument in the world. It is nearly 400 acres. We spent two days there and still didn’t see it all.

A popular thing to do is get up very early to catch the sunrise- if you know me at all you know I love a good skyscape. I wasn’t missing that one. Waking up at an ungodly hour, we jumped in a tuktuk and headed out.

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The early wake up was worth it. Gorgeous! Bonus- it wasn’t that hot and the crowds were manageable.

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Considering this was built around the 12th century it was mind-blowing. The carvings and sculptures, called bas-reliefs, looked flawless.

Next we headed under the South Gate to the next stop. The South Gate was so cool and our first glimpse of many faces we would see.

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A lot of what we saw was ruins. So much so that sometimes it felt like it was a bit unsafe..
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I thought this was amazing. However.. it was nothing compared to what I would see later.

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Our first day concluded around noon. It was hot, we were tired, but we returned the next day- for the two most anticipated temples.

First was Bayon Temple. Aka the temple of faces.

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Doesn’t look like anything but piles of rocks, until you get close enough.

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There are 216 faces – some in better shape than others – carved into 54 towers. It was unbelievable.

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Our last stop was Ta Prohm. This temple was complete overtaken by trees. (Angelina Jolie also filmed Tomb Raider here)

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It was hard for me to wrap my brain around this place.  After seeing that many temples they all started to blend together. Luckily we did two half days, or else I think I would’ve lost appreciation for them. If you go here I would suggest definitely breaking it up into multiple days. A day ticket is $20, 3-day ticket costs $40. We got the 3-day ticket and used it only two days, because thats all we had time for.

If its not on your bucket list already, it should be. Seeing this in person is necessary.

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