10 January 2010 4,446 views 9 Comments
Angkor Wat at sunrise is a mesmerizing sight. As the sky turns purple and goes progressively lighter, you will see more and more details of the distinctive cone-like structure of the famous temple.
Ta Prohm temple became famous when Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) met the little girl here, in the movie The Tomb Raider. Most of the structures in the complex have been taken over by the huge voracious trees they call strangler figs. Man and nature battle for supremacy, and it is clear who is the winner.
When you enter the Victory Gate, imagine yourself back in the ancient times, approaching the Angkor Thom complex on the back of an elephant. Even riding in the tuktuk, you can still get this feeling.
Bayon Temple has 50 or so towers crowded in a small area. Each tower has four faces carved in stone. This half-smiling one I took from an open doorway. It can be quite tiring to go around, given that there are over 200 faces in the complex!
Which is probably why this tourist felt so tired enough in Bayon that he had to sleep!
Going to Siem Reap, Cambodia from the Philippines:
There is no direct flight from Manila to Siem Reap. For budget travelers from Manila, take the Cebu Pacific flights to Saigon, Vietnam. Take some time there, for you can do a lot of things in Ho Chi Minh City.
Afterwards, there are buses which can take you to Siem Reap via Phnom Penh (a 12-hour trip, for only USD18, one way). There are a lot of travel agencies arranging such trips in District 1, but I recommend The Sinh Tourist along De Tham Road.
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Aleah Taboclaon is a freelance writer and editor. She likes running (completed one marathon, training for the next!), diving (PADI open water diver), and traveling with her Kindle. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. You can also email her; she would love to hear from you!