Finally got to sort my Cambodia photos out!
I headed straight to Siem Reap from Ho Chi Minh since it was just an hour away. Honestly, from the beginning, I couldn’t wait to get here since I’ve always been such a fan of Angkor Wat ever since I saw it in my history books back in high school. Not only is it the biggest Hindu temple complex in the world, but it’s pretty much the symbol of Cambodia!
I stayed at this nice resort hotel that was situated in the center of the city! Actually, hotels were EVERYWHERE because of the huge amount of tourists who fly to their country just to see Angkor Wat and immerse themselves in Cambodian culture. The city of Siam Reap alone gets about 3 million visitors every year. I wasn’t surprised at all when I heard this, because this place is absolutely breathtaking.
Some of these places might look familiar if you’ve watched Tomb Raider before!
This is the south gate of Angkor Throm, the old (and not to mention last!) capital city of the Khmer empire.
It’s near the Siem Reap River, which is super clean and ethereal! The locals did a wonderful job maintaining a lot of their natural resources. Just look at all those trees too!
The first structure you’ll see when you enter the gate. It doesn’t look too big in this picture, but it’s really complex inside, and tourists are free to go up to the top to take pictures, etc.
So I did. Watch out for all the cheesy tourist-y poses I’ll be doing in this entry! Decided to wear comfy, fuss-free clothes because we were out under the sun almost the whole day. Wearing a loose Topshop top and mint Zara pants! And my Suelas pink flats which kinda died after this trip, haha fml
Apparently it was an immensely busy day at Angkor Thom because we saw a lot of crew cleaning, restoring, constructing and maintaining a lot of the structures that we saw. Later you’ll see that even the Angkor Wat was being fixed so I couldn’t really take the best pictures.
More amazing details! Just makes you wonder how long it took them to create these structures considering the tools and limited technology they had during that time.
Tourists were also free to ride these giant elephants if they suddenly found themselves unable to stand or walk properly under 38 C weather.
Temple Run is real.
Complete with monkeys!
I spent some time inside this complex… because it was just too hot when I got here. I was afraid I would just melt away and not materialize in time for my next road trip to Angkor Wat, lol
Was able to talk to some tourists from other countries who were also waiting for the weather to be a bit better. Most of them were surprised that a “little girl” like me carried a Canon 5D Mk II and a 24-70L lens.
All for the sake of pretty, professional-looking pictures, I don’t really mind carrying something that weighs like a baby! ;)
The Elephant Terraces!
This place where the trees’ roots growing out of the ruins is called Ta Phrom. A place you shouldn’t miss besides Angkor Wat.
These trees are the most distinctive feature of this 12th century temple. They’ve been around for a long time, so you could just imagine how tall and thick all these trees are!
ANGKOR WAT. This is best place to take a picture of it, since you could also include its reflection in the water. Unfortunately, some parts were being restored… and the main facade was covered in these bright green scaffoldings :(
Near the temple was this old, deserted, mini graveyard of sorts, where you could see how ornate their tombstones looked like in the past.
The interiors of Angkor Wat were HUGE! Included myself in these pictures so you can see how incredibly gigantic this place was.
Forgive me for the cheesy tourist pose that screams “HELLO!!! THIS IS CAMBODIA!!!”
One of my favorite parts of the complex. Reminds me of white and milk chocolate.
Found some performers resting in a corner. I love their traditional costumes!
The monkeys were so cute. But they kept stealing people’s food, haha
One of the entrance gates to Angkor Wat. By this time, people started going to a different temple.
Which was on top of a hill, where the view was unreal!
We had to line up because the temple could only accomodate a certain number of people. Good thing we arrived there just in time!
Hundreds of tourists spent the last leg of their temple tours in this place.
Random photo of this Korean girl with the most glorious hair ever.
Hot air balloon surrounded by birds. Vast grassland. Pretty, but people went to this temple not for this view. :)
They went for this one. One of the most surreal sunsets I’ve seen in my entire life.