[Photojournal] Siem Reap, Cambodia – Walking Into History

[Angkor] extends over approximately 400 square kilometres and consists of scores of temples, hydraulic structures (basins, dykes, reservoirs, canals) as well as communication routes. For several centuries Angkor, was the centre of the Khmer Kingdom. With impressive monuments, several different ancient urban plans and large water reservoirs, the site is a unique concentration of features testifying to an exceptional civilization.

Sunrise over Angkor Wat is not to be missed. Morning calls were at 345am as I tip-toed around the dorm room like a stealthy thief in order to avoid waking the rest of my roommates up. At 430, we were already hitting the roads to catch the sunrise in time.

Before entering, you’d be dropped at the ticketing counter to purchase the pass if you have yet to buy them. A one-day pass costs $20 usd, 3 days – $40 and 7 days – $60. At the ticketing counter, you will be asked on your nationality and a photo will be taken and printed on your pass.


It was almost time when we were dropped off at the first temple. The roads were dark but you could see the first ray of sunlight making its way across the universe.


We chose a spot further away from the other tourists while waiting for the sun to make its grand appearance.

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We started making our way into the temple after the sun has finally spilled its warmth over Mother Earth. It looks really bright and sunny but really, it’s only 5:45am in the morning. 

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I was particularly intrigued by this pillar as it would likely require unique tools to mold and shape them into symmetrical shapes. Furthermore, the carvings were extremely detailed.

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Famished, we decided to succumb to our growling tummies with some food near the temple. They had different names for the different sections and you can choose who you feel a better connection with.


Food was pricey and we ordered a beef fried rice to share. This was about 6 usd and we had to battle with the flies by swatting them to prevent them from settling on our food.

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Afterwards, the driver took us to the second temple site which was even more spectacular and majestic. P1080517

If you notice, there are actually faces sculpted on the temples!

The architecture amazes me and it makes me wonder how people managed to get to such a height in order to pile and build the temple up with the little tools they have.

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We were already dead tired at this point of time but we managed to drag ourselves to the third site.P1080555 P1080558

This was smaller scale and took us less than half an hour to complete.

We saw many monuments that were defaced throughout the three sites and I wonder why or how this happened.

If you’re considering to give Angkor Wat a visit, here are some tips for you

Wear comfortable shoes

The compound is huge and it can take you hours to unravel the mystery of the monuments. Sometimes, you may need to climb steep steps so ensure that you are wearing proper shoes and not heels or slippers as you’ll be walking around… alot.

Get protected

It was extremely dry and hot when we visited in May. The humidity was insane as we roasted under the sun. Apply sunblock, wear a cap, drink up; basically do anything to keep yourself protected and hydrated.

Rest early

Retire early the night before heading over to Angkor Wat. Pickup to catch the sunrise over Angkor Wat starts at around 3-4 am and you’ll need lots of energy to walk around and discover the beauty.

Filled with mystery and beauty, you will be amazed by the largest architecture monument in the world.

Till then,

Olivia L.

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