“TRAVELING’S NOT SOMETHING YOU’RE GOOD AT, IT’S SOMETHING YOU DO, LIKE BREATHING.”
No visit to Siem Reap, Cambodia is complete without a visit to Angkor Wat; the largest religious monument in the world. Stretching over more than 400km2, the Angkor Archaeological Park contains the magnificent remains of the Khmer Empire including the Temple of Angkor Wat and, at Angkor Thom, The Bayon Temple. Words cannot describe how incredible this historic masterpiece is and why experiencing this rare beauty at sunrise should be on your bucket list!
A bright and early wake-up call (at least 3:00am depending on the time of year) will have you heading out to the Temple of Angkor Wat.
Having your path illuminated only by torchlight, you will be directed through the Eastern Gate to watch the sun’s first light peak out from behind the magnificent monument. Prepare yourself, you will be surrounded by hundreds of other visitors at the historic site, but don’t fret, people tend to come and go quickly.
There will be plenty of time for photos, so don’t stress! Be sure to grab an Iced Coffee and find yourself a nice spot to watch the sun come up.
Most tours offer a local guide that will take you through the UNESCO World Heritage Site once the sun has risen, sharing stories of the Khmer Empire, explaining the sacred sites whilst giving you ample time to explore, take photos and spot a few cheeky monkeys.
Whether you return later the same day, or head back the following day, the temples at Ankor Thom are just as impressive as Ankor Wat and can’t be missed. You will have time to explore the jumble of 54 towers, 216 repeated faces plus it’s four massive faces carved out of rock, each one looking towards different compass points – there is nothing else like it!
A visit to the vine-covered Ta Prohm Temple – famous from the movie ‘Tomb Raider’ – is a must! Discovered in 19th century, this site has been transformed into a natural wonder.
I did my tour with Contiki, but there are many other reputable companies including G-Adventures, Intrepid Travel and Angkor Wat Tour Guides that also run tours. Though I’m sure if you inquire at your hostel/hotel they will be able to recommend a trustworthy company that runs a simple day tour if that’s all you’re after.
Be sure to follow my adventures on my Instagram!!