Lexi and Hiro's Round The World Journey 2008-2009 travel blog

Hiro overwhelmed with details of Wat inside

View from inside the Prasat Kravan

Banteay Kdei

Tree growing inside Ta Prohm

Tree taking over Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm with another tree

many parts of Angkor are suffering collaption

Ta Keo, very steep stairs that made Lexi panic half way through

So only hiro climbed up this one

Bayon, face towers


Reclining budda on the pyramid, took us while to realise it was...

Hiro trying one of the steepest stairs, acclaimed his new name "Monkey...

Photo on the walls of Angkor Thom

Amazing sunset over Angkor

We took a Siem Reap Air flight from HCMC to Cambodia, we actually didn’t know that it was Siem Reap Airline until a few days before our departure (as we booked it on Bangkok Airways’ website). On the same day we also found out that Siem Reap Airways has just been black-listed by EU as their safety standard is not up to international safety level! So we weren’t looking forward to this flight. As it turns out the plane was empty, there were only 10 passengers including us, and the flight was actually great, had no problem, and service was fantastic.

Anyway we finally arrived in Siem Reap, Cambodia, the place we dreamed to be for a long time. Temples of Angkor, aka “Angkor Wat” is UNESCO world heritage listed and one of the seven man-made wonders of the world. It was built in early 12th century by the Khmer kings in a process that lasts almost 4 centuries, this magnificent area has been abandoned and hidden by the forest. Re-discovered by a French man about 150 years ago, Angkor Wat is one of the most visited archaeological and artistic sites on the planet.

On the first day, we hired a tuk-tuk for a day to take us around the Angkor as the area was so huge that you can’t just see the whole thing on foot. We entered inside the area of Angkor, we were just overwhelmed with all the beautiful architectures, and felt its history on our skins. We started off with smaller temples in the morning. All the temples were just fantastic, but the one we loved was Ta Prohm. It was a huge complicated temple with trees interlaced among the ruins, which creates its unique atmosphere like “Indiana Jones”. Many parts of the temple were collapsed, which makes it more complicated to explore, but we just loved to see such great combination of history and nature living together.

In the afternoon we moved into Angkor Thom area, where again consists of many wats and historical architectures. Our favourite was Bayon, which is famous for its huge stone Buddha-face towers, with one facing outward and keep watch at each compass point. There were originally 49 towers, but now only 37 standing. Walking inside there were again many faces looking at us, making us feel being watched all the time. It was just like a maze inside, and took us a while to find the way out.

We looked at so many more incredible wats, but there were just too many to explore. Very steep and narrow stairs definitely slow us down and sometimes make it almost impossible for people to climb. Hiro started to climb up one of the steepest stairs in Angkor, but he soon regretted it as it was just way too steep and dangerous. It wasn’t “going up stairs”; it was better described as “rock climbing”. He had to keep climbing up as he didn’t know how to come down. Once he got up to the top he was very relieved to find easier stairs to go down on the other side. Even a local lady from the souvenir shop was surprised to see a tourist just come up that steep way.

We finished up our long first day by watching sunset over Angkor from the top of the Phnom Bakheng, the highest point in the area. It took us 20mins to the top (again steep stairs) but paid off with one of the most amazing sunsets we have ever seen in our life, over Angkor Wat area.

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