Alright you crazy kids, let me tell you a magical tale. I tale where I left Australia in the middle of the dry hot summer and found myself in the humid hot summer of Cambodia. For three weeks (including an eight-hour stop over in the Singapore airport..I missed one of the tours so I just rode the shuttle cars all day) I stayed in a country where it felt like I had immediately stepped into a sauna the second I stepped out of a shower but it was all worth it and allow me to tell you why…but first, a back story.
During my third year of university I was living on campus with about 14 others in a house and there was one girl I lived with who had spent six months working with animals in Africa. I was completely blown away by her stories and all I could do for an entire week (without missing one deadline might I add…but missing about on a lot of sleep) was research how I could go to Africa and do the same thing.
This split second decision that I was to leave Australia and travel to another country on a whim may have sort of kind of started a huge argument with my boyfriend at the time, and thus…I was not going to Africa….THE VERY NEXT DAY, as if the universe heard my of yearning to travel and threw me a freaking bone, on a light post standing in the campus yard was a flyer. This flyer was asking if I wanted to travel the world and work with people and animals at the same time and it just so happened that if I wanted to do all this, all I had to do was go to the lecture hall where the seminar was being hosted for one day and one day only…learning can wait! I need to see the world.
Deciding to skip class that day was one of the best decisions I ever made, it was the day I was introduced to Reach Out Volunteers (just for your knowledge, I’m not getting paid or anything for this is this not like sponsored or whatever to talk about Reach Out, but if you wanna hear my story…this is kind of a BIG part of it). However in fairness, if you wanna learn more about my Reach Out experience and the overall trip then click here–I’ll write this story tomorrow, promise!! If the Temples of Angkor is what you really came here for then read on reader…
There are many temples as the name suggests, namely Wat, Bayon, Ta Prohm and Banteay Srei; but the focus of this piece and the focus of my day spent there was Angkor Wat. Whichever one you see they are magical temples full of history and stairs for days!
So I guess the first thing you guys need to know is this where these temples are. Angkor Wat is about 20 minutes out of Siem Reap; you can either hire a car or take a Tuk Tuk (the cheaper version for the most part) and it now costs about $40 to get in or $70 for a three-day pass..I’ll be honest I had to google that because it was $20 when I went and I’m sure if you also googled around you would be able to find a number of guided tours if getting all info is your joy.
Secondly, the place is massive, there are just temples all over the shop and all of them are just as impressive, majestic and beautiful as the one before it.
As you walk through and up and around you will notice that the artwork within the stone is something to be awed upon and some of it is actually a little but funny but shows just how historic these temples are:
If you can climb all the stairs, and again if you have the time to pace yourself I really really recommend you climb the stairs, if you can’t I guarantee you still won’t be disappointed in visiting this Wonder of the World, you have some amazing views of the land and the area in which these temples were built. I’ve always been such a fan of getting to the highest point of anywhere just so I can see everything, this is definitely one of those times.
Tip- I was only there for one day guys but seriously, if you can, go two, or even three. There is just so much to explore, to be honest they are quite spread out so if you want the full effect you shouldn’t rush.
Once you start looking you’ll notice that parts of time still stands still and the touch of the notorious Khmer Rouge still remains. Statues of the Buddha everywhere with no head show the terror and torment that once touched Cambodia, although I believe as painful as they are, the memories are a reminder for humanity to never make the same mistakes again (we still have much to learn).
If you want to know about this time in Cambodia life, having a tour guide would be the most helpful at this stage, otherwise you can Google it…I recommend the tour guide.
That’s pretty much everything guys, my story and anything else you read about when seeking info on the Temples of Angkor really don’t do it justice. If you want to see this magic, you have to go. I hope this helped you out a little, please feel free to comment on any tips you want to add, we’re all here to help each other see the world!
Tip– Do NOT ride the elephants, seriously. These poor creatures are starved and dehydrated and mistreated for hours and hours every day for your enjoyment. That and would you really wanna have to piggy back other people all day everyday?