Cambodia - Roaming through Ruins

Tripoto
19th Jul 2017
Photo of Cambodia - Roaming through Ruins by The Fragile Cargo

In this post I will be talking about my visit to Cambodia. Now before my trip to this lovely country, the only thing I knew about Cambodia was that it was featured in the Tomb Raider movie. The Angelina Jolie one! So my stupid mind had exactly this picture to expect-

Photo of Cambodia by The Fragile Cargo

Later I realised that this was shot in a studio (of course!).

Now coming back to the actual city, I visited Siem Reap which is probably the most popular city in Cambodia. Siem Reap is the closest city to Angkor Wat, the ancient temple. Angkor Wat is one of the oldest and definitely the largest temples in the world. It was initially a Hindu temple to Lord Vishnu but was later converted to a Buddhist temple.

Photo of Siem Reap, Cambodia by The Fragile Cargo
Day 1

For anyone planning a visit to Angkor Wat, I would recommend you to forgo your sleep that night. Or get in an early sleep. You definitely want to be on the temple complex before sunrise. Because on a very lucky day you get to see the sun rising over the temple premises and its reflection in the pond. If your visit is on a slightly cloudy day (like ours), you won't get to see the sunrise. But the view is still definitely worth it.

Photo of Angkor Wat, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia by The Fragile Cargo

The temple complex by itself is huge and will take up a good amount of time to explore. On the grounds, the main areas you would want to cover are the central temple structure, the temple to wers and the archways. From the central structure you can see out onto the surrounding areas and truly witness the expanse over which the complex is stretched. Usually one tower is open for visitors to climb to the top. These stairs are extremely steep and not very comfortable for someone afraid of heights. But again, totally worth the experience. Because the inside of the tower is adorned with beautiful carvings and statues of Buddha.

Photo of Cambodia - Roaming through Ruins by The Fragile Cargo
Photo of Cambodia - Roaming through Ruins by The Fragile Cargo

The Ta Prohm temple (from the movies) is also within Angkor Wat. It known by the distinct banyan trees growing through the temple premises.

Photo of Ta Prohm, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia by The Fragile Cargo

Another interesting thing about Angkor Wat is that because of the beautiful ruins, it is frequented by both artists and architects. So don't be surprised if you find someone sitting by a tower sketching into their notebooks. On the flight back from Cambodia, I saw the person next to me finishing his rough sketch of an 'Apsara' (angel) from a temple statue. It was absolutely brilliant!

Now coming to other things you can do in Siem Reap. You must definitely watch one of the plays about the history of Angkor Wat conveyed through dance in the city. We saw 'Smile of Angkor' at the Grand Theatre. There are also others you could catch.

Photo of Smile Angkor grand Theater, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia by The Fragile Cargo
Day 2

Take a boat ride through the Mekong river. Along the river you will see many floating markets, schools and houses. Infact its an entire community of floating villages.

Photo of Kampong Phluk Floating village, 812, Kampong Phluk, Siem Reap, Cambodia by The Fragile Cargo

A floating market

Photo of Kampong Phluk Floating village, 812, Kampong Phluk, Siem Reap, Cambodia by The Fragile Cargo

Also while you are in Cambodia, do not forget to travel by the Tuk-Tuk, their local form of transportation. It is rather fun.

My parents with the Tuk Tuk driver

Photo of Siem Reap, Cambodia by The Fragile Cargo

Of course all this temple hopping and city exploring is going to make this trip extremely tiring. Thankfully in Siem Reap you will find many places to get a massage to relax you. I decided to go for the neck and back massage option. That day, I slept like a baby!

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