Monday, May 21, 2012

Playing Tomb Raider II : Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is the largest temple complex in the world and a symbol of Cambodia. It, in fact, appears on their flag. It was so vast that it took us roughly 2 hours just to take photos at every amazing site we found. Just imagine how long it would have taken us had we hired a tour guide and checked every single detail and history behind each. It was tiring and yet rewarding. It may have served its time, but it still looks as grand.

When you go around Siem Reap, you'll notice a good number of establishments -  hotels, restaurants, shops - named or has a name bearing the name "Angkor". Even one of the local brew is named Angkor. This just shows how such name - which in English means "city" - plays an important role in Khmer life.

You can't get away with stealing someone else's ticket. The guards regulary checks your ticket and your face to make sure you're a legit.

When you visit the Angkor Archeological Park where the ruins sit, you've got to pay a whopping 20 usd for a day. This includes not only a visit to Angkor Wat, but also to other temples, one of which is Ta Phrom where the movie Tomb Raider was shot. However, to visit all the ruins is not possible in one day. That's why the park has a "package" of 40 usd for a 3-day visit, and 60 usd for 7 days. You also need to hire a vehicle to go around since the ruins are far from one another. You can take a tuk-tuk for 15 usd a day, or a van for 50 usd. We took the van because the weather wasn't friendly at that time. If you're more adventurous, you may also hire a bike for 3 usd and bike your way around. But then, if you chose this, just remember you've been warned. :)

Don't be deceived. This is only the entrance. From here, you are still around 500 meters away from the real thing.

On the way up to the main tower of Angkor Wat.

Intricate carvings on the walls.

The view from the tower - simply magnificent!

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