Sunrise over Angkor Wat, photo by Andrew Ingersoll
As you read this post by Andrew, we are winging our way across the Pacific to Beijing for ten more days of exploring.
This post brings back fond memories for Katy and me. The people, the sites, smells, heat, humidity and culture so different from the good old USA. Put Angkor Wat on your short list. You will not be disappointed. There is a nice Le Meridien nearby. — Rick
Built in the 12th century, the temples are part of the Angkor World Heritage Site and comprise a large area well worth enduring the hot humid Cambodian weather. I spent three full days in the area, waking up early, arriving at the temples just after sunrise, and then retreating back to the B&B just before the midday heat became unbearable. I returned in the evening as the sun set, which provided eerie shadows and pockets of light in and among the stone carvings.
This place is truly amazing. Those of you who have also visited it would surely agree. However, I fear for the future and the preservation of the temples. Angkor, rightfully so, has become a tourist for those traveling in Southeast Asia. I was, in fact, one of those travelers. Be prepared for throngs of tourist buses and, as a local described it, mobs of organized tours groups. Numerous charter and scheduled flights service the Siem Reap airport and thousands of vacationers decent upon the temples throughout the year.
Unfortunately, the word is out. This is a cool place to see and I would say, a must-see. I can attest to the awesomeness of feeling like Indian Jones, Mowgli from The Jungle Book or Angelina Jolie as Laura Croft Tomb Raider while I was exploring the temple’s wonders.
If you’re ever in the Southeast Asia neighborhood, make the side trip. But do not expect to be the only one.
Reap-Angkor International Airport is served by numerous low cost and alliance member airlines, including AirAsia and Jetstar, as well as Asiana, China Southern, Korean Air, and Vietnam Airlines among others. Depending on your hunger to dive into Cambodian culture, there are numerous hotel options in Siem Reap, from local “mom and pop” bed and breakfast inns to luxurious five-star accommodations. Those looking to redeem some hotel points can do so at either Le Meridian or the Sofitel.
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