So, I typed this whole sweeping epic yesterday, and accidentally deleted it while I was fighting while photo uploads. Ugh. Technology’s great!
Nevertheless, day 2 was fairly epic. I spent the whole day exploring the various temple complexes. The start of the day was at the central ticket building. Don’t worry about bringing passport photos with you, as many internet sites I looked at suggested. The whole place is digital these days. It took about 3 minutes to get the ticket, picture and all. There are three ticket choices. The 1 day, the 3 day, and the 7 day, and they are priced accordingly. I opted for the 3 day tickets, as I planned on two days of temple sightseeing. It cost $62.00 US. There’s that us money again. All of the main ticket seller pricing is in US Dollars.
The first stop after the tickets was at a building drive through to get my ticket punched. Then, it was on to Angkor Wat. Tickets are checked at every ticket complex and there is a heavy fine for not having on readily available, so don’t lose it.
Angkor Wat was fantastic. It was everything the travel channel made it out to be. It is a world heritage site, after all. It was also overrun with people! It is heavily touristed. Getting pictures without other people in them will be a mission unto itself. That being said, it was absolutely worth the stop.
From Wat we went to the Angkor Thom complex. It houses the Bayon Temple and Baphoun. Both are a little less restored and considerable more verticals. If you have an irrational fear of heights, as I do, you’ll want to consider going up before you have to come back down. I say do it. Its worth the views.
I stood on the Terrace of the Elephants, but didn’t realize it until I was leaving or I would have gotten pictures. Its still well intact.
Ta Prohm Temple complex was he money stop, in my opinion. It was just starting to be redone. The trees were still growing up through the middle of it, and it looked like you could still make new discoveries, if you tried. Absolutely outstanding.
I had a disconnect with my driver coming out of the last complex and had a 30 minute wait till we reconnected. It happens. I didn’t let it dampen my spirits as I sat in the shade waiting.
If you come this way, remember that ever price someone gives you is just for that one thing. My Tuk Tuk driver from the day gave me a price. That was his price. The ticket price is just for the ticket. Etc. etc. don’t get confused by thinking you’re getting a great deal. They probably just didn’t tell you it was a single price.
It seems the internet, the hotels, and the drivers all have a feeling for how long it will take to view each site. They all are in fair agreement with each other. I would like to think there all on the short side as well. If you’re young and fit, the times might be fine. If you’re an excessively middle-aged dude, such as myself, they can be tight. Its especially true at Angkor Wat, where there are wait lines for the main temple that are LONG. You will probably want to factor that in and just tell your driver you plan on my time.
The two big options for getting around are Tuk Tuk and car/van service. The prices are $17.00 a day and $30-35.00 a day respectively. The internet seems to think bicycling is a valid option. I would opt for motorized transport. It is father flat, that’s true. But, the distance between complexes is not small, and the heat is high, with high humidity. If you are used to cycling in the heat, have at it. I took the Tuk Tuk option. If you are feeling bohemian and want to bike, know that the trail is well marked with distance stone from temple to temple. Take water as the area is remote. Even though it’s well traveled, I wouldn’t plan on immediate assistance in a crisis.
I guess that’s the bold strokes of yesterday. Hopefully this one uploads okay.
The locals, lounging in the sun.
Me and the Buddha at Bayon Temple.
The walkway into Baphuon Temple.
Interior of Ta Prohm Temple.
Get out there. See the world.