During our admittedly lengthy travels whenever we came across someone who had been to Angkor Wat they describe it as the ultimate temple; the best. With such glowing recommendations we knew we would be disappointed. That’s our skeptical, negative personas peeping out. Nonetheless this was on my list of things to see in this lifetime so I was looking forward to it. Angkor Wat is just outside the city of Siam Reap. These series of temple cities were built at the height of the Khmer civilization between the 12th and 16th centuries with each king building their own to show the extent of their influence. With our fancy laminated photo tickets we were ready to tackle the mega temple complex. We were stunned with the parking lots full of tour buses. There were equivalent quantities of souvenir and snack shops to match. Over three days we took our time admiring the numerous temples. They were in various conditions of renovation. Many had been cleaned up and the jungle pushed back though half of it was still in rubble mounds.
Others were left mostly to the environment and looked like the set of Tomb Raider, which is probably why they filmed it at this location. The only time we got away from the hoards of tourists was when we biked the entire 37km grand circuit to see the lesser visited sites. That was the best day there. If you go expecting the Las Vegas strip then you’ll be delighted but to expect anything less would be setting yourself up for disappointment. I think we found a comfortable middle ground.
There’s always a little time for monkey business and napping on the job