Finally Angkor Wat

This post is way late but it deserves to go out. Our last full day of temple trekking we went to Angkor Wat. We figured it would be best to end with the most dramatic part. And without a doubt it did not disappoint. We started the day off bright and dark, our Tuk Tuk driver didn’t show, but lucky for us another guy swung by and asked if we needed a Tuk Tuk. We waited for our original driver but after 10min, we figured we had to get a move on if we were going to catch sunrise over Angkor Wat. We were a little apprehensive about getting up so early for the sunrise because we have told before that run rise at other places is amazing only to be disappointed, this time we were anything but disappointed. From the entrance of Angkor we continued visiting temples until just about sunset. We ended the day completely exhausted but thoroughly satisfied. We got our temple fix. I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story in more detail.
Sunrise over Angkor Wat, with the moon still showing.

I felt like I had to post two, since we took about 50. What you don’t see however is the tons of people standing directly in front of us taking the same picture.
Angkor Wat Sunrise

The morning fog starting to lift.


As we started walking into Angkor Wat.


Caitlin and I in the first courtyard area of Angkor.


Close up of us.

The outside of Angkor Wat was completely covered in massive reliefs, each depicting a different religious story.

 
This relief looked a lot like the Aztec origin story.

As we were tooling around we came across a tour group who had hired a couple of models to dress in traditional clothing so that they could take pictures of them on the ruins. We couldn’t resist to snap a couple shots ourselves.

Posing as Lions. If you notice there were a lot of stairs, it was Incan flat.

Caitlin and I in the inner courtyard.

The center part of Angkor Wat.

Angkor Wat

Looking out from the top of Angkor Wat.

From the top looking down into a courtyard.

 

The back of Angkor Wat.


On the backside of Angkor Wat we encountered monkeys.

They didn’t really mind being worked into our photos.

The next stop after Angkor Wat was Bayon. Bayon might have been my favorite.

Caitlin and I on the outer wall with still more relief.

Caitlin standing in a frame.

Close up of one of the faces.

The faces were on four sides of each spire.

Posing in one of the doorways.

Another view of the faces.

You could go up multiple levels to get almost even with some of the faces.

Me up by the faces.

Bayon

Through a doorway looking at a face.

Bayon

Faces everywhere.

Bayon

I tell my students the hardest part of photography is choosing which pictures to share and I have to admit I am guilty of not narrowing them down, so bear with me.

The following stop was the Terrace of the Elephants, where the king used to watch ceremonies from the back of his elephant.

Caitlin with Mark and Gillian standing on the Terrace of Elephants.

Reliefs at the Terrace of the Leper King. This was right next to the Terrace of the Elephants.

We swung through the Kings house after the Terrace also known as Phimeanakas.

Phimeanakas

Caitlin with Gillian and Mark infront of the palace.

One of the hallways of the palace.

 
The back of the palace was made into a reclined Buddha by a later civilization

One of the doorways at the palace.

At the entrances to a lot of the ruins there were musicians playing. These musicians would frequently be injured from land mines. Cambodia was truly beautiful but its recent troubled past was very noticeable.

There was a fair amount of trees growing over Banteay Kdei as well.

The front of Banteay Kdei.

The back of Banteay Kdei which was impressive in its own right.

This was the back of the temple. This temple was a lot less touristy than the other ones we visited.

Ta Prohm was the next big stop.

Ta Prohm is famous for its trees growing out of the ruins.

In one of the courtyards.

Trees growing out of the ruins.

The power of Mother Nature.


Throughout the day we climbed every temple and set of stairs we got to. Caitlin was definitely a trooper and climbed everyone. This one got us to the top were we saw a whopping couple of bats.
The last temple we visited. It was small and less impressive then all the rest, but still a nice temple. We were a little too exhausted to truly enjoy it especially after seeing some of the most impressive temples in the complex.

The complex had a wall with these awesome gates that you drove through. This was the gate that we exited through.

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