Roaming the Temples of Siem Reap: Part 2

Bayon

It’s the second day of our 2-day temple tour. We’re well-rested after the previous day of eating, cooking, eating and more eating, and pumped to go.

Because we didn’t read much about the temples of Siem Reap before we went for this trip, we didn’t know much about them other than Angkor Wat. So when our driver told us we’d be going to Angkor Thom and 2 to 3 temples after that, we thought it’d be a relaxing day slowly exploring the few temples.

We soon found out that Angkor Thom is the last capital city of the Khmer empire with many temples within its walls!

We first went to Bayon, the temple with many faces. Imagine being in the middle of all the faces in the night, and feeling their eyes boring into you… But you can’t do that anyway, since the temple closes at 530pm!

Bayon
Bayon

After Bayon, we went to Baphuon. Although its name sounds similar, there are no faces here.

Baphuon

Then we walked to Phimeanakas, and climbed the steep flight of stairs up to the top.

Phimeanakas

And we went to Preah Palilay, where there was no one else around.

Preah Palilay

We got a bit lost while trying to find our way out to the Elephant Terrace. A teenage (I think) boy came to talk to us, and said that he was practicing his English with temple-goers. He took out a list filled with names and asked us to donate some money for his school, which we did. I hope that wasn’t some kind of hoax!

Elephant Terrace

After the short tour around at the Elephant Terrace, we walked the short distance to the Terrace of the Leper King. And that was our coverage of Angkor Thom. Pretty big, huh.

Terrace of the Leper King

Our driver took us to Thomanom and Chau Say, which were just opposite each other. I really can’t remember which was which as the look very similar!

Thomanom
Chau Say or Thomanom

After a delicous lunch (of Khmer curry for me again), it was time for Ta Prohm. This is the temple where Tomb Raider was shot at. The tree is impressively tall, and I spotted a teeming beehive on one of its branches!

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm

For the last temple of the day, we went up the steep steps of Pre Rup to enjoy the sunset. Like the day before at Angkor Wat, Lady Luck was not shining on us. The setting sun was blocked by the clouds. But we did get to see some oddly shimmering multi-coloured sunrays! There was also a lot of people gathered on the roof, and it was lucky we managed to get a good spot aside from the main crowd!

Pre Rup
Pre Rup
Pre Rup
Sunset at Pre Rup
Sunset at Pre Rup

We booked our 2-day temples tour through our hotel, Golden Temple Hotel, at USD$80 for the both of us. This is Day 2 of the tour. The driver provided us with plenty of ice-cold water throughout the journey. For a tour guide (English), it’ll cost USD$35 more. We’d initially wanted to hire one, but couldn’t get one as we’d booked too late the night before! I highly recommend that you hire a guide to explain the history and architecture of the temples instead of eavesdropping on other people’s guides or making up our own stories like we did!

Charmaine Chan
Drools whenever she sees photos of places with beautiful scenery. Charmaine longs to travel the world and explore every inch of it.

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