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One last World Herirtage Site, Angkor Wat

Posted: December 24th, 2012 by Scott

Our last stop in Cambodia before heading back to California was the town of Siem Reap, which is the closest town to Angkor Wat.  The area around Siem Reap includes a huge number of temples, both Hindu and Buddhist, built by the kings of the Khmer Empire from the 9th to 15th centuries.

This is possibly the temple used in the Tomb Raider movie, or maybe it was another one that looks exactly the same.

This temple gate has been completely engulfed by the Strangler Fig tree.

One more cool temple, because this one had lots of giant faces.

The area was eventually abandoned in the 15th century when threats of invasion from Thailand forced the capital to be moved to Phnom Penh.  Angkor Wat, the most famous of the temples, is the largest Hindu temple in the world. It was built in the first half of 12th century by King Suryavarman II and remains one of the finest monuments in the world.

Angkor Wat “artistically framed”, or just “through a doorway and partially obstructed by a tree”. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

We spent two days touring the many temples and were fortunate enough to be able to see both sunrise and sunset at Angkor Wat.   Both made for some amazing photo opportunities.

Angkor Wat at Sunset

Sunset the other way.

The Sun Also Rises

We stayed in Siem Reap for 6 days to try to include some down time for relaxation. We took full advantage of our hotel’s pool enjoying the last bit of warm weather we are going to see for a few months.

I may not look like it, but I’m pretty excited about our pool, because it was HOT!

When we weren’t lounging or exploring the temples we wandered around town to see the Old Market, the numerous night markets, the local artisans’ workshop and of course the center of the western section of town “Pub Street”.

A stone carver at the workshop

Some of the partially finished products

The famous “Pub Street”

Courtney enjoying her soya bean drink in a bag we got at the Old Market

Its sad that our trip is finally coming to an end, but we were both pretty satisfied with everywhere we’d been able to get to in the past few months and we were excited to get home to see our families for the holidays.

More photos of Siem Reap and lots of photos of Angkor Wat and other Temples