Another bus journey later and I arrive at Siem Reap, the town closest to Angkor Wat. The town itself is nothing special, so I decided to chill out at the hotel for the evening and recover from the bus journey. Chilling out however is made impossible due to the hundreds of mosquitoes buzzing around my room. I try to hide under my blanket and pray I’m not bitten to death during the night!
The next morning I’m up early and shooting along the road in a tuk tuk to the famous site. Even though I’m here in low season there are already a lot of tourists around. My guide takes me to the famous Angkor Wat first and I am totally absorbed for at least 2 hours. It is a huge site, although if I’m honest it’s not quite as big and imposing as all of the photos make out. I’ve bought a guide book from a young boy for $5 and happily wonder through the site teaching myself about the beautiful bass reliefs (wall carvings).
Throughout the day I visit about 6 of the famous temples that make up the complex. I have 2 favourites, Bayon, a temple consisting of lots of towers with hundreds of faces carved into them. Absolutely stunning and because it is smaller than Angkor, much easier to take in. My other favourite temple is Ta Prohm which has been left relatively untouched since the site was discovered by the French. This is designed to show just how much jungle has been cleared from all of the temples. It’s incredible to see these enormous trees growing into the structure of the temples and looking like they are balancing precariously on top.
After just a day touring around Angkor Wat I’m totally exhausted, it’s incredibly hot here, lots of mosquitoes and I’m just about full of culture for a while. The following day I jump on a bus heading for Bangkok, home in only 5 days!