After Miranda and I spent a few days trying to get our tan on, we recovered with a quick workout at Primal Ape, then hopped on a plane to Siem Reap. Mark joined for this trip and we met Miranda’s friend from med-school at the airport in Siem Reap.
Our hotel sent a tuk tuk to pick us up and opened the door to a huge room complete with a sitting area, queen bed, double sink, shower, full bath, and balcony. Unfortunately, the A/C didn’t do a great job cooling the large room. We went to sleep early so we could be ready for a full day exploring temples.
Day 1: Angkor Wat
We paid for an air conditioned car and set off to Angkor Wat, the most famous temple. On our way in we met a guide who we decided to pay to tell us about the history. He was helpful at the time, spoke English very well, but there were still a number of things that were unclear – I still have to look them up for clarification. I think I’ll do that after this.
We had to wear pants past our knees and a shirt that covered our shoulders to climb to the top, so we put on the layers and headed up. The stairs had been rebuilt for safety, but they were still steep. It was close to 100 degrees, but the view from the top was worth it. We got to look down on the ruins surrounded by a jungle.
After a quick lunch, we went to the Tomb Raider Temple, better known as Ta Prohm. It was here that we learned you can take a vertical panoramic picture. The ruins were engulfed in the roots of trees. We were able to get closer to the stone and felt more inside of the temple here. It was pretty cool to look at, definitely one to stop by.
Visiting two temples in one session/day was plenty, so we headed back and took a nap. We walked over to Pub Street for dinner. It’s definitely a tourist trap, but we were able to get a good meal, cheap drinks, and good people watching. I wish we had been a little less tired so we could stay out and see the party scene later in the night.
Day 2: Bayon
Miranda and her friend from med-school, Michelle, woke up early to catch the infamous sunrise over Siem Reap. Mark and I opted to skip the 4:30am wake up call and crowds and slept in. The sunrise that morning wasn’t as impressive as some of the pictures online, so, no regrets.
Since I qualified to regional, I needed to get a workout in. We asked a tuk tuk driver to take us to a gym. We were dropped off at Angkor Muscle Gym – the Angkor Body Building Association gym. Needless to say, there were lots of guys flexing in the mirror right after sit ups to see if they magically got abs after that one exercise. It was stinky, there was no real squat rack, only a smith machine, which I don’t even know how to use. I was able to get pretty much everything done, though I felt very out of place wearing shoes and being a female.
We left the gym and found at tuk tuk driver to take us to Bayon. I, personally, preferred this temple over Angkor Wat. It felt more like ruins and we could walk through more of it than Angkor. The stone was not as clean, so it felt more like we had just found it. Something about it seemed cooler to me, I can’t explain why exactly. Anyway, if you go to Siem Reap, make the time for Bayon.
That night, we got on a late plane and headed back to Manila. Two days was enough to see Temples and not get burnt out by it, any more than three and I think you’d have to leave the city and explore to find stuff to do.
I would post pictures, but I accidentally deleted all of the photos on my phone.