24 Hours at Angkor Wat

By Mark Wiens 26 Comments
Temples at Angkor Wat
Temples at Angkor Wat

With a time constraint in Cambodia, I was only able to allot a single day to the brilliant World Heritage Site of the Angkor Wat Temples near Siem Reap.  I was able to see a significant amount of temples that were truly spectacular in complete regards.

The single day really began on the evening before the day.  We arrived to Siem Reap in the mid afternoon and tuk tuked our way to the entrance by around 5pm.  If you arrive at 5pm, you can purchase your $20 single day ticket in the evening for the following day.

That way you can observe the sunset at a temple of choice to get the slightest bit more bang for your buck.

The next day began well before dawn with a massive congregation of camera flashing happy humans at the Angkor Wat Temple.  The crimson sun rose, the cliche of tourist huddled together in awe and the stones glistened to reveal their antiquity.  The antique towers of Angkor Wat were reminicent of Prambanan Temple in Indonesia, yet on much more significant foundation and overall larger structure.

Walking around the temple was staggering.  The stones are neatly fitted in place, the steps are steeply designed, and the carvings and reliefs are intricately carved.

As I caressed the moldings with my naked fingertips, I could only marvel at the time and effort that normal humans put forth to create such aesthetic beauty.  Many of the reliefs appeared similar to what I had seen at the Buddhist Borobudur Temple in Indonesia.

A rush of a tuktuk ride and we were hurled towards the stunning Bayon Temple in it’s ruinous glory.  This temple couldn’t help me from thinking that I was Socrates himeself in the midst of a philosophical genius of a thought.

The temple emerges from a foundation of crumbling stones and rises with sets of posts and lintels and heaps of stone blocks.  On entrance, one can observe ornate details of teachings and thoughts engraved into the lichen covered stones.

By late morning we had arrived at the Preah Khan Temple.  This temple seemed to continue on a single floor for a couple hundred meters as doorways lead to hallways and hallways opened into caverns.

Thommanom and Chau Say Thevoda Temples were less impressive if compared with the others, yet still gorgeous in all manners without comparisons.

The next temple was the Ta Keo.  The steep and narrow steps lead directly to the summit for an incredible view and pleasant thigh burning hike to the top.

When the fatigue of my body began to kick in we proceeded to the famous Jungle Temple, also known as the Ta Prohm Temple.  Though the masses also chose to visit it at our precise time, all was worth it.  The vines and trees were holding the ancient blocks in place and binding the entirety of the temple together in a splendid view.

In conclusion our tuk tuk driver shuttled us to the Banteay Kdei and Sras Srang Temples.  As my buttocks sank into the comfy tuk tuk seat I didn’t really desire to get up and walk around any longer.  I fought with comfort and forced my legs back into walking consciousness.

Luckily the temples were not as impressive as all the former and 15 minutes was enough.

As the sun sluggishly set over Angkor Wat, my aching thighs were relaxing and my mind was enthralled in ancient thought as I gushed back into the throne of the tuk tuk and felt like a Pharaoh.

Allow your travels to eventually meander towards Siem Reap and the Temples of Angkor Wat.  The architects and engineers were beyond their years and demonstrated the human ability of imagination, creativity, and construction skills.  Though thousands of appreciative spectators have realized this too, it doesn’t miss direct the quality of such man made structure of extravaganza.

26 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Steven Jackson

    4 years ago

    Mark, any plans to go to Otres Beach or Koh Rong?

    • Steven Jackson

      4 years ago

      Also, how do i get a phot in my circle?

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey Steven, don’t have plans yet, but I would love to!

  • Bama

    10 years ago

    I visited all those temples by bicycle (I took the small route). Can you imagine how exhausting is that? But my overall bicycling around the Angkor archaeological complex was so much fun! Cycling under leafy streets, stopping by to explore one temple after another. Oh, I love Siem Reap and Angkor! By the way, speaking of your photo at Ta Prohm, how could I miss that spot? I wandered alone and went deep into the temple where most tourists don’t go, but I didn’t see that particular spot. Nice one!

    • Mark Wiens

      10 years ago

      If I ever go again, I’d love to spend more time, and ride around on a bicycle. The tuk tuk was ok, but I bet the bicycle would add to the serenity of Angkor. Even though there are so many tourists, it’s amazing that it’s still possible to slip away into a temple where very few people are!

  • angkor wat temple

    11 years ago

    The genesis of Buddhism was founded in India and it can be one of the reason that we can find a lot of interesting facts which are common to to both religion.Angkor wat temple is one of the glaring instance of this fact.

  • ayngelina

    11 years ago

    I also did one day and while people swear by 3, I think one was just enough for me without getting temple burnout.

    • Mark Wiens

      11 years ago

      Yah, unless you really are a temple researcher, or want to only check things out for a few hours a day, a 1 day tour is sufficient!

  • Angkor Wat Temple

    11 years ago

    An Amazing collection of Pictures. Angkor Wat, one of the most tourist attractions in Cambodia is actually the ancient city of Angkor. This historic site lies at a distance of 200 miles towards the northwest of the present capital city of Phnom Penh. For more information visit http://www.travelasia360.net/history-of-angkor-wat.html

  • Angkor wat temple

    11 years ago

    Very nice temple. Angkor temple is located in the Cambodian region.This temple is the national symbol of Cambodia.Angkor Wat has also count in he Seven Wonders of the World. Best time to visit is december and January in winter.You can visit any time any day throughout the year.

  • Akila

    11 years ago

    We are heading there next month. I can see how it would get exhausting just seeing one temple after another so we will probably try and split it up and do it over a few days.

    • Mark Wiens

      11 years ago

      Hey Akila,
      If you have the time, that would be an ideal thing to do. In my opinion, Siem Reap is not a bad little town to walk around if you have spare time. Hope you guys have a great time at Angkor Wat!

  • Mark Wiens

    11 years ago

    @Dave, You guys probably went on almost the same route as I did from temple to temple. Well stated, that it was a long day but well worth it. All the sales and vendor after vendor takes it’s toll too.

    @Brook, Yah, I think you are right, probably a half day longer than what I spent at Angkor Wat would have been the most ideal.
    You have an awesome website man!

  • Brook

    11 years ago

    You did it right for a short tour—get in for free at sunset, then pay for one day!
    I spent 4-5 days there, but really, I think 1.5 days is plenty unless you are a hardcore temple junkie.

  • Dave and Deb

    11 years ago

    That is exactly what we did when we visited Angkor Wat. Sunset the night before, up at dawn the next day and then running around like mad to see the rest of the temples until sunset. It is exhausting but well worth it. We felt the same way that you did near the end too. Our tuk tuk driver pulled up to a temple and we looked out from the back seat and said “that was nice, let’s move on” He couldn’t believe that we didn’t want to go out and take a look. But looking at temple after temple can take its toll:)
    Fabulous site!
    Cheers! Thanks for the link and we have added you to our link love too!

  • Anthony Feint

    11 years ago

    It looks really nice. Pity about the masses of visitors though 😉