Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Angkor Wat from Sunset to Sunrise :)

Cambodia was one of the countries that I-had-to-go-alone-cause-nobody-wants-to-follow trips. I started in Phnom Penh and ended in Siem Reap. In between was an 8 hours bus ride. I reached Siem Reap around 1 am in the morning and was waiting silently at one side while touts gathered around larger group of tourists.

Nobody came to me to offer a ride. I was being ignored so I continued looking on, amused. You no want me money?

Suddenly a boy shorter than me by a few inches with messy hair came to me and asked, "Where you go?". I showed him a piece of paper with a Malaysian owned hostel address on it and he says USD 4 per motorbike ride. I refused, I asked for USD 2. 

He agreed thus started our two days driver and tourist relationship. :)

I decided to hire him for the next two days to tour me around Siem Reap, an offer he was too happy to decline. It was mostly pity from my side seeing how diligently and dutifully he was in sending me safe to my destination that night. 

The trusted motorbike he owned during our Angkor Wat site visit.
Angkor Archaeological Park

I bought a one-day entrance ticket - USD 20 and it comes with a free entrance to view sunset and ONE full day entrance the next day. Luckily, my hired motorcyclist brought me to watch sunset that very afternoon AND also the sun-rise the next day! Haha. Let's call my young driver, Bae. 

Sunset was viewed at Phnom Bakheng temple while sunrise was viewed at Angkor Wat itself.
I felt like the luckiest person in the world to strike such luck in being able to catch both sunset and sunrise at Angkor Archaeological Park. Bae was such an agreeable young lass. He agreed to everything I had to say. If I wanted to go here, he'll take me. If I wanted him to buy me mineral water at the cost of 500 KHR, he'll go buy it for me. Never once did he take my money to buy himself food or water. Huhu.

How to prepare oneself when visiting the temples? First, get yourself a map. I got mine from the hostel I was staying. :)

A scanned copy of the map in my possession. I have highlighted the temples I visited with red colored numbers from 1 to 9. 
Number one on the map was the first temple I visited to catch the sunset. The temple, Phnam Bakheng [1] is situated on a hill, and I had to hike quite a distant to reach there. So be prepared with enough drinking water and perhaps a pair of hiking shoes.

There are a lot of temples in the park within an area of more than 800 square acres. And being me that doesn't take a lot of pictures, I was able to cover 8 temples (excluding the sunset temple) in 7 to 8 hours. But if you're on a tight schedule, these following temples are must visits! 

Ankor Wat [2]

Built in the first half of the 112th century, Angkor Wat is an architectural masterpiece! It was initially dedicated to Vishnu but later converted to the Theravada Buddhist monument. Visitors go here especially during the mornings to catch the sunrise. I was here as early as 5 am! It was an exhilarating feeling groping my way in the dark into the complex, alone and depending on other people voices to be sure I was on the right path. Haha. *scary*

The sun was still rising when I went to explore the insides of Angkor Wat.
I had nobody to help me take my picture so I resorted to putting my camera on autocapture mode and place it on some high flat slab in the complex, and voilla!

Yeah, guess the camera was not high enough and I couldn't position it correctly. Hehe
There are also some shops at the sides selling Cambodian wear and handicrafts. This is where I bought some pair of buggy pants costing me USD 6 each. Hehe. Bae was always waiting patiently outside the complex. I have no idea what he does to kill his time waiting for me.

Bayon [3]

Built in late 12th century, Bayon fascinates visitors with its more than 200 large faces carved on 54 towers! That's a lot of faces! 4 faces on each tower, one on each side. 
The entrance into the complex. Surreal right? 
This is where I first met with Ms. Ivy who is an American but grew up in Malaysia. She spoke to me first and we spent the time exploring and helping each other taking pictures at the complex. It was adorable to hear her say, "satu, dua, tiga" in her American accent every-time she took pictures of me. Hehehe. Nice to know she still had some Malaysian in her. :)

Ms Ivy and I before we said our farewells. She bought the 3-days ticket and had all the time in the world 
Moga dapat jumpa lagi Ms Ivy! I had a great time with you there!

Ta Prohm [6]

The Buddhist majestic complex of Taprohm is one of the largest sites at Angkor, having been left untouched by archaeologist. This Bayon style temple is ethereal in every aspect with its stone pillars and tree roots intertwine in this impressive complex.

OMG! Look at those tree roots! This is what the tourists came to see. 
So there, that's the top four temples that are worth visiting in my humble opinion, Phnam Bakheng [1] for sunset, Angkor Wat [2] for sunrise, Bayon [3] and Ta Prohm [6] if you have limited time and loves to stay longer periods of time in each temple. Or you could follow my style, walk through, take some pictures and move to the next one. I was lucky to have a willing Bae that obeys my silliest command. Thanks to him I covered a lot more area than normal tourists with their hired tuk-tuk or bus drivers. =P


Alid Abdul said... [Reply]

Sunrise in Angkor Wat full of people, so crowded. But it was worth to visit.

Btw where is Bae's picture? oh ya... how on earth you put yourself picture on your blog ahaha, cisss korang kata tak suka difoto :p

Alid Abdul said... [Reply]

Sunrise in Angkor Wat full of people, so crowded. But it was worth to visit.

Btw where is Bae's picture? oh ya... how on earth you put yourself picture on your blog ahaha, cisss korang kata tak suka difoto :p

syieda said... [Reply]

Lucky u !!!! Masa I g ta phrom hujan. Sedih.

Henry Lee said... [Reply]

such beautiful sunset... jeles la sy ni! :P

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ alid.. komen sampai dua kali! muahahaha...

No picture of Bae.. he was too shy. hehehe. foto of my self? well.. influenced by you of course. haha!

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ syieda... I went during the hottest months in the year where I was sure there'll be no rain but drought. But it was bloody hot.. and well worth the visit. :)))

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ henry.. meh join me next time! hehehe. jgnlah jeles. u can do it too. =P

saiful mohamed said... [Reply]

tak sabar nak tengok sunrise n sunset.komen sebab kena komen.

saiful mohamed said... [Reply]

tak sabar nak tengok sunset n sunrise. komen sebab kena paksa komen.

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ saiful.. kejam komen kamu begini. hehehe

PerenLee said... [Reply]

So about your total budget?

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ perenlee.. total budget for 4 days 3 nights is around USD150 for me without shopping. hehe

1 night at Phnome Penh (K ravie Guesthouse) - USD 13
2 nights at Siem Reap (Explorer Hostel) = USD 12

Entrance fees for the following=
Museum - USD 5
killing Fields = USD 5
Genocide Museum = USD 2
Tuk Tuk Phnom Penh City Tour = USD 18

Lunch+Dinner = perhaps USD 5 per meal.

and at Siem Reap for motorbike = USD 25 for two days. I tipped him tho. haha :)

Masy said... [Reply]

*take note*

HEMY said... [Reply]

gigih budak tu bawak ko naik moto dengan rega 7 inggit seharian..huhu

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ hemy.. bukann.. tu utk dari bus station to hostel. hahaha

Denaihati said... [Reply]

percutian hebat bila dapat lawat tempat penuh sejarah.

Mus said... [Reply]

tempat yang menarik untuk dikunjungi

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ denaihati... betul tu bro. hehe

@ mus... wajib dikunjungi oleh para kaki travel. :)

@ kak masy... jom kak.. pergi lagi. hehehe

fyna said... [Reply]

beautiful place ^_^

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ fynn.. it certainly is :)

Hafizul said... [Reply]

Cantik..bila lah dapat ke sini..hehe