Discovering the Ancient Ruins of Angkor

Angkor Wat has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. Built in the early 12th century, it is the largest religious monument in the world.



But what I didn't know was that there was so much more to see than just Angkor Wat. The Angkor Archaeological Park takes up over 400 square kilometres and is packed with countless ancient temples and monuments. Centuries ago, Angkor was the hub of the Khmer Kingdom.

We realized we couldn't see the entire park in a day. So, we bought a three-day pass and returned daily to make sure we didn't miss anything.

A heads up to all you future Angkor explorers, the entrance fees are a little pricy compared to everything else in Cambodia, but totally worth every penny. A one-day pass costs $20 US, a three-day pass is $40 US and a seven-day pass is $60 US. In my opinion, the three-day pass gives you the perfect amount of time to visit every major structure.



Every morning in Siem Reap, we woke up bright and early and journeyed to the park. We hired a tuk-tuk for the day, which is the easiest way to get around Angkor.

The first time I saw Angkor Wat, I couldn't believe how enormous and well preserved it was.







We wandered slowly through timeworn hallways and admired detailed stonework. I was snapping a gazillion photos a minute, so be prepared for lots of pictures!





Weaving in and out of passageways, we made sure to not miss a single piece of architecture.



 



After a few hours of exploration, we said our goodbyes to Angkor Wat and delved deeper into the park. The next stop was the mystical and captivating Bayon Temple. Along the way, some furry friends caught our attention and we stopped to say hello.




Tourists spoiled them with handfuls of bananas and peanuts. What an easy life they have here!

We passed the eerie entrance to the Bayon Temple and was blown away by the spectacular ruins.



Excitedly, we hopped off the tuk-tuk and pretended to be Indiana Jones.







The Bayon Temple was by far my favourite. Every corner I turned, I was bombarded with mysterious faces that have stood the tests of time. Hiding age-old secrets, I wonder what stories these ancient stones are keeping. I moseyed from pillar to pillar, questioning who these skilled artists were and how long it took to build such masterpieces.






After taking a break for lunch, we continued our adventures to Ta Prohm.




Does this tranquil scenery look familiar? If it does, it's because this location was used to film the Tomb Raider movie.

Massive tree roots fused into stone and lush green moss coated the walls. It was quite a sight to take in.


Nestled deep in the jungle, Ta Prohm was a relaxing break from the hot sun and big crowds at Angkor Wat. Only the singing of birds could be heard as we tiptoed between fallen rocks and twisted roots. I pinched myself to make sure this was real life.



From there, we zipped from temple to temple. I can't remember all their names, there were just so many! If you want to see a map of Angkor Archaeological Park, click here.

One was several stories high. We climbed all the way to the top.


Another had sunk into a swamp and was partly submerged under water.


Others, we got lost in the dark as we navigated through maze-like corridors.


And to my delight, we discovered more buildings over-grown with thick roots.


My days at Angkor Archaeological Park was a magical experience. It felt like a dream walking through these fascinating structures. If you're traveling around Southeast Asia, make sure to stop in Cambodia and pay a visit to the ancient city of Angkor.

Melissa Li

I’m a Canadian girl on a quest to step foot in every continent before I’m 30. You’ll most likely find me chowing down on Japanese ramen, partying at a music festival, hiking to the top of a scenic lookout, cuddling with cats, or chilling out at the beach. I’ve visited over 60 countries so far and hope to inspire you to do the same.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely magnificent ! I love it, I love it so much that the greedy gnome in me wants more ....

    ReplyDelete