13 March 2018 – Siem Reap, Cambodia – Day 3 – Angkor Wat

Yesterday we had bought out tickets for Angkor Wat. We were being picked up at 5:00 am to watch the sunrise. This meant we were up at 4:00 am. Our same Tuk-Tuk driver was supposed to be taking us along with an English speaking guide. Since we were too early for the hotel breakfast they had made us up 2 boxed breakfasts. I didn’t get a picture of these but they were massive. Crescent, cinnamon roll, bread slices, banana bread, yogurt, dragon fruit, bananas and an assortment of jams in each. Along with a bottle of water each. The English speaking guide was here when we got down to the front desk at 4:45 am but no tuk tuk driver. That’s okay he was showing up at 5:00 am or so we thought. By 5:10 there was no Tuk-Tuk in sight. Waited a few more minutes then our guide contacted a Tuk-Tuk driver he knew. He would be along in a few minutes and we could meet him out on the main road. So we headed out. As we were waiting for the new driver, who shows up? Mr. 5:00 a.m. Our guide and Mr 5:00 a.m. had a discussion in Khmer and he drove away a little angry. When you have a time sensitive arrangement, 20 minutes late is a big deal. Sunrise wasn’t going to wait for us. A minute later our newly arranged driver showed up and we were off. It was still dark so kind of weird riding along the unlit roads. The roads into the complex are tree lined with very few lights. Actually very beautiful. There are multiple checkpoints along the way to ensure us foreigners had our tickets. There is a BIG fine for being caught on the grounds without a ticket. Since everyone’s ticket has their picture on it there is no sharing.

We had so much food left in our breakfast boxes that we had offered it to our guide. He ate a little bit and then carried it for us for the first half of the morning. He finally gave them to our Tuk-Tuk driver and we never saw them again. Hope someone ate them.

We got to Angkor Wat in plenty of time for the sunrise. Our guide took us to some rocks to sit down which I thought a little odd. Turned out he knew exactly what he was doing. As the sun rose we moved locations and the sky colour changed. I got so many spectacular photos, it’s really hard just to pick a few.

This was on my list of places to see.

Apparently many people then leave and go back to their hotels for breakfast. We paid extra to have to guide start early and stay. It was so worth it as there we not many people left at all. First up was the actual Angkor Wat. Just spectacular. Even caught a glimpse of a Monk praying as the sun rose.

The walls are covered with carvings that tell a story. It was great having a private guide as he really explained a lot to us. The reason parts of the wall are darker and shiny is from everyone touching the carvings. You are not allowed to touch them, but of course people still do. It’s ruining them.

If you look hard you can see the chariot in this one. It was very clear in person, but not so much in the picture.

We hesitated about climbing the stairs, but didn’t come this far not to. We would never have been able to do the old stairs. The guides don’t go up with you as they only allow 100 people at at time up there.

And the old stairs

The view from up top was spectacular. So many photos again. There was even a hot air balloon taking off in the distance.

Some pictures from inside at the top of the Wat.

From Angkor Wat we walked along a tree lined route until got to where the Tuk-Tuks were parked.

Hopped into our Tuk-Tuk and on our way to the next temple.

Our guided tour only included the 3 major temples, Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, Bayon and the Terrace of the Elephants, which was enough for us. Had a pit stop at the toilets. Price included in admission ticket. If no admission ticket then 2,000 riel. Not sure how anyone wouldn’t have an admission ticket though.

Tah Prohm where the trees have grown around the temples. Some of the roots are just massive. Quite the sight to see.

Terrace of the Elephants photos

Bayon Photo’s. It might be hard to see in some of the photos, but just about every side of the rocks are carved with faces.

As we exited our guide asked if we would like to get a cold drink. Boy, would we! Doug ordered a mango and I ordered an orange with passion fruit. It was the BEST iced drink I have ever had. Paden, now I know why you love passion fruit!

On our way back to our hotel we saw monkeys. Lots of monkeys.

We were back before noon and were tired. Decided to have a nap. After our nap we headed out to the pool area to enjoy a couple of ice cold draft beers. Their local draft is quite good.

For dinner tonight we took a Tuk-Tuk down to Pub Street and the night market. It looks so different at night, all lit up. Even the bridges are full of lights. Each one a different design.

Walked around for a short while and Doug picked up a sandlewood bead and silver Buddha bracelet. First vendor we saw had a sandlewood with no silver beads and he wanted $15 US. No way! We got rid of our sucker tattoos. We continued looking and came across this one, which Doug liked better. Negotiations started at $3US. We paid $2.50 as we were paying the riel and that was 10,000. Just made it easy for us and it was still inexpensive.

After checking out many restaurants…

…we ended up back at the same restaurant we ate at two days ago. Ordered pepperoni pizza. As Paden said “Good Cambodian food”. Doug had his Shiraz wine and I had a red sangria. A little expensive by Cambodian standards, but good. Some of the best sangria I’ve ever had. So worth it.

As we walked back to the Tuk-Tuk area I saw a kid selling these. Silk worms, snakes, spiders and scorpions. No thank you! Yes, the people here do eat these. The lady who works at the hotel we are staying at was telling me that she eats the worms, crickets and grasshoppers, but not the spiders and scorpions.

After dinner we just grabbed a Tuk-Tuk back to the hotel. The Tuk-Tuk driver was hilarious but it’s a long story.

2 thoughts on “13 March 2018 – Siem Reap, Cambodia – Day 3 – Angkor Wat

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