One place we just couldn’t miss while visiting Siem Reap was Angkor Wat. By far the most famous of all the temple complexes, it’s also the most visited.
TIP: we bought our tickets for the temples the day before we wanted to go at 4:40pm when they were first available for purchase. This allowed us to enter the temple complex that night until close at around 6:30. We used this time to visit Angkor Wat and therefore saving the whole next day for the rest of the temples.
We were actually planning to go to Angkor for sunset but the weather had other plans. Ominous clouds loomed over the complex as Jeremy ran to get some shots. These are not the typical rose colored shots that you typically see people capture of the temple but they have their own charm.
After capturing shots outside, we ran inside just in time to watch the downpour from the protection of the large stone structure. As the rain pounded outside and we wandered the inner passageways we couldn’t help but wonder what it looked like in its prime. Intricate cavings covered every wall detailing traditional Cambodian apsara dancers, headless statues decapitated during the rise of the Khmer Rouge lined the darkened hallways and the smell of incense from the many offerings wafted through the air. Surreal doesn’t even begin to describe meandering through such a historic site as this.
Quick history lesson: built in 802 and taking 30 years to complete from the work of 5,000 artisans and 50,000 laborers, this 500 acre temple complex is one of the largest ever built. Originally built by a king as a temple for the Hindu god Vishnu, the complex and city around it flourished until the 1400’s when present day Thailand invaded and the temple was abandoned only to be rediscovered in the 1800’s.