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!
After Bayon, we went to Baphuon. Although its name sounds similar, there are no faces here.
Then we walked to Phimeanakas, and climbed the steep flight of stairs up to the top.
And we went to Preah Palilay, where there was no one else around.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!