7th Wonder of the World
As mentioned in my previous post, the khymer temples at Angkor Wat are a must see if you’re in Cambodia doing the tourist thing.
Here’s a little overview of the temples from Tourism Cambodia
Angkor Wat, in its beauty and state of preservation, is unrivaled. Its mightiness and magnificence bespeak a pomp and a luxury surpassing that of a Pharaoh or a Shah Jahan, an impressiveness greater than that of the Pyramids, an artistic distinctiveness as fine as that of the Taj Mahal. Angkor Wat is located about six kilometers (four miles) north of Siem Reap, south of Angkor Thom. Entry and exit to Angkor Wat can only be access from its west gate
Temple tickets = good value
The entry pass is definitely good value ($62 for 3 days) – especially if you make the most of it and see as many temples as possible…although, having said that it’s really easy to end up templed out as many of the temples end up looking the same.
Ta Prohm is the temple I found the most intriguing as the walls have been overgrown by trees in places and it’s fascinating how nature has taken hold.
Haggled and hounded
When you arrive at any of the temples be prepared to be hounded by sellers peddling their wares, persistently! They’re mostly adults but children as young as five or six hounded me, relentlessly trying to get me to buy their freshly cut mango & pineapple, postcards, magnets or guidebooks. They would follow me around, loitering beside me at every twist and turn I made.
Buying from children is a big no-no. It keeps them trapped in the poverty cycle when actually the best solution for them would be to go to school and get an education (and not to be forced to work). It takes quite a lot of strength to resist their charming English pleas (“pineapple, fresh, cheap $1), but you must politely decline and walk on by. After a while, you get used to it.
Also in and around the Angkor Wat site it is very likely that you will see monkeys (Long-tailed Macque). They are a delight to watch but beware – they will go for humans, especially if they think you have food or water!
Shortly after taking the photo below, of the monkey admiring its reflection in the moped mirror, I turned around to photograph another monkey and felt a jolt on my back, I spun around and the monkey had jumped onto my backpack… Much to the amusement of three children looking on! Fortunately, it jumped off straight away but i definitely wouldn’t have wanted to get into battle with it!
I definitely recommend a visit to the temples. They are a sight to behold. I was lucky enough to spend three days touring them during my trip to Cambodia. I hope to return one to see them again one day.