Today we would be visiting Angkor Wat, the whole reason that Siem Reap has developed in to the tourist attraction that it is. Siem Reap has a population of around 250,000 but has over 5 million visitors a year and that number is climbing steadily. The temples were first discovered by westerners in the early 19th century by a French explorer Henri Mouhot, but were then mostly forgotten about during the civil war and Khmer Rouge control during the 70’s and 80’s. It’s only in the last couple of decades that the temples have become a popular tourist attraction again.
Angkor Wat is the largest temple system on earth, covering nearly a mile square and is one of the most amazing places I have ever been on earth. We had to get up early though as the best time to go is for sunrise at 6am. Johan had introduced us to his friend Kris, a professional photographer who offered to come with us and show us the best ways around to avoid the crowds.
We got together in the bar at the hotel for a coffee at 5am and then headed off. The temples are only 15 minutes from the hotel so in no time we were queuing up for our tickets, $20 gives you a day pass and that’s all you should need. Having my trike made 80% of the temple system accessible and the few stairs that I could access were made easy with the help of a couple of extra hands from locals and other tourists.
There are a few parts of the temples that I couldn’t reach but I was 100% happy with what I could see and Damo took some photos of the inside walls that I couldn’t get to. An experience that will live with me forever as one of the most amazing places I have ever been. Here are some of my pictures, which describe the place much better than I can. For more details and better facts about Angkor wat visit the Wikipedia page: Click Here