12.12.2013

Siem Reap and Angkor Wat, Cambodia

We arrived in Siem Reap one very hot and humid day.  Well actually, every day that we were in Cambodia was so intensely hot and humid that I felt like I would actually melt into the ground.  I have never felt heat like that before.  And supposedly April is the hottest month of the year.  I am glad I was there in November.  I really loved the town of Siem Reap.  It is quite the happening spot.  There is a street called Pub Street, including its surrounding streets,  that have one bar and restaurant after another.  There is no lack for food or drink though I would say that I preferred both the Vietnamese and Thai food over the Cambodian.  There was even a Mexican restaurant, if you can believe it, called Viva, that we ate at.  There is so much Asian food a Southern California girl can eat before she gets that craving for a good taco and a margarita.

Our purpose for stopping in Siem Reap was to visit the ruins of Angkor Wat.  We booked a 2 day tour with Kim of Hidden Angkor.  Kim grew up with Angkor as her playground.  So she really knows the best of the best as far as what to see and what time of day.  She loves photography as well and was always pointing the way to the best shot.  Our itinerary included Angkor Wat, Ta Promh, Banteay Srei, Angkor Thom, Prah Khan and the floating villages of Tonle Sap Lake.    

Angkor Wat


The building of the city of Angkor began in 802.  The largest religious monument ever built is Angkor Wat.  It was built in the 12th century and was dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu, the preserver.  In 1431 Angkor was invaded from Siam.  Buddhist monks came with the Siamese and placed a figure of a Buddha.  It was eventually abandoned.  Vines and trees took over the city.  In the 1970's, the Khmer Rouge overtook Angkor and looted it's temples and stole the Buddha heads, as you can see above, to raise money for war.

Ta Promh


Do you see the Hidden Buddha?

Lights, camera, action.  They were filming a TV commercial for some jewelry line from China while we were there.  Ta Promh is probably the most visited of the temples in Angkor and to me the most beautiful with the massive tree roots and jungle atmosphere.

Banteay Srei
Banteay Srei is a 10th century Hindu temple dedicated to the God Shiva, the god of destruction.  The temple is built of red sandstone.

Angkor Thom