Cambodia is home to this World Heritage Site and is a must see for anyone in the area. What is it you ask? Well think Tomb Raider, think Indiana Jones, think mindblowing temples.
Me and my boyfriend arrived in Cambodia by train and took a taxi from the border to Siem Riep. Siem Riep is a beautiful town closest to the Angkor Wat site and is also a great place for friendly people, good food, cheap beer and free popcorn.
We hired a tuk tuk driver for $12 for the day to take us around the temples. We arrived and seeing as we were rushed for time, we took the one-day entrance not the three days. The temples were built by the Khmer people for their kings.
The first temple we saw was the mighty Angkor Wat, this temple is huge in width and height in some parts, the complex is surrounded by what seems like a 100m moat that you cross over before entering a threshold temple. This leads onto the main temple further inwards, it is impossible to take it in with just one glance, there are details and reliefs on every reveal, niche, column and wall it is spectacular. They have arranged the walk into the temple to spiral you in to the centre that allows only a few people at a time to enter. The steps up to the very top of this temple are steep, and appropriate clothing is required but it’s worth the effort from up there as you can see over the entire sight in a glance.
We spent a little over an hour exploring this temple and moved on as there are hundreds of temples within this complex. We found our driver and went next to Angkor Thom, this group of temples is enclosed and there is a one-way entrance in and out so you wait your turn with all the other tuk tuks, cars, and elephants to get in or out.
We stopped for some lunch in this area and some coconut juice. Then it was on to the Bayon Temple, this was by far my favourite temple, firstly, as it was not nearly as busy as the last temple and on it sits smiling faces at all corners and meeting points, they are amazing and fascinating to look at.
We explored the other temples within this complex and then it was onto Ta Phromh, the temple that was used in the set of Tomb Raider. This was also spectacular. This temple is being eaten away by nature, there are trees growing through the walls, within the rubble, on top of archways, just about everywhere you can imagine there is nature creeping in. This is not a new thing either, the trees tower the temple and the roots growing so far above ground give the suspicion that they may just get up and walk when we not looking!
This will leave even the most skeptical individual breathless, and is a truly one-of-a-kind experience.