Our Trip To Siem Reap-The Angkor Wat Edition

As should be obvious to all by now, I like to take photos. Like, a lot of photos. I think I am averaging about 1,000 per trip we take, obviously depending on the length of the trip. Our recent adventure to Siem Reap was no different. The temples make for easy photos and some of them might even make me seem kind of talented but I assure you it’s because of the easy subject matter. Oh, and my massive loads of talent.

We went to Siem Reap over Diwali, because Iris got three days off and I had some vacation time to spare. Rest assured, my employer did give me the mandated one day off and I am not complaining about that. It’s always a bit hard to complain about holidays in KL since we get a ton of them every year. Iris just gets more because her employer is awesome. Oh that was a delicious pun for those in the know! An inside joke for like 3 people in my blog! Great way to get new subscribers!

So day one was spent getting our Angkor Archaeological Park tickets and sort of farting around the city and doing some shopping. Two fun facts. One, Siem Reap means Siam defeated in Khmer. Siam, to those who are not fans of the great movie “The King and I” is the old name for Thailand. So yeah, they don’t really like Thailand around here, or at least in the past they did not. They also don’t really like Vietnam. I am not sure how they feel about Lao. Second fun fact, Angkor Wat and all the other temples are kind of privately owned. In theory the government owns it, but they have a private company who maintains the temples and does all the ticket sales. Even by their own statements, this company only gives about 25% of the money back to the local population in some form, which is probably still a big sum considering how many people visit the park, but it’s still kind of weird. That’s about all I have to say about our first day there. I would say this over reaching kind of thing though. My trip to Phnom Penh was not that long ago, and the prevailing thought I had during my trip there was a general rumination on the Khmer Rouge and the evil that men do to each other. I didn’t think about that on this trip, which is maybe a bit odd because the name of the head organization of the KR was called Angkar and they certainly evoked Angkor Wat and it’s glory as a way to rally the people to their cause and justify their power grab. It was to this general part of the country, the northwest, that they fled after being kicked out of the capital. (by the Vietnamese no less, but people still don’t like them. Go figure: It was the USA and the West that recognize the Khmer Rouge as the legitimate rulers of the country until 1997) No, my thoughts on this trip were focused solely on the glorious past of this country and on ways to avoid Chinese Tourists. Excuse, I should clarify: mainland Chinese Tourists. More on that in another blog/video. On to the photos!

We got up super early to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat. We went to the East Gate to avoid the crowds but once we realized there was no view from this side we walked around to the West Gate. EVERYONE was around the lake to get the shot of the temple reflected in the lake (more on that later in this blog post. And by more later, I mean photos of course) so we stayed closer to the temple and still got the great view of the sunrise.

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I bought a strong portable tripod so lots of photos of the two of use finally

Okay enough of this sunrise stuff, let’s go inside!

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There are these long hallways all around the inside courtyard that contains reliefs depicting old Hindu stories or the funeral procession of the king who built this temple. It is rumored that he is buried beneath the southern wall, making this one heck of a tomb

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me getting blessed by a monk. Because who doesn’t need the blessing of a monk? Well, Iris for one. She did not get blessed by the monk. So between this and that “against mother’s laws” thing I did in Phnom Penh and being blessed by a Hindu Priest in India AND being blessed by an elephant in India, I’d said I am going to be just fine!
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There are all these little food shops outside the temple and they all have really weird names like this one and terrible spelling of course.

 

And now on to the front of the temple!

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This is the view EVERYONE tries to get for sunrise. I get why, but I don’t think it is worth the massive crowds. Where we were standing it was quiet except for the chants of a monk on the loudspeaker of the local wat and it was beautiful
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I am not sure what she is doing

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We went back out the way we came, the East Gate. Nice view now, but at sunrise there was really nothing to see.

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Okay, that’s it for this blog post but not for what we did this day. We visited the big three today and this was just our first stop. I am going to break it up into a few different posts because it is just easier and lets me share more. The same is true for the amazing videos I am making for this trip. Look for those coming soon and tell all your friends to watch the amazing videos. My goal is to get ONE video over 100 views. This video is getting kind of close!
I can’t believe we actually did that

 

Jumpa Lagi!

Kevin


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