A Travellerspoint blog

If It’s Tuesday - It Must Be Cambodia

sunny 34 °C

We’re on a bit of a package tour at present: Hong Kong on Sunday; Bangkok on Monday and now we’re in the ancient Khmer Kingdom of Cambodia to visit the historic temple of Angkor Wat. Here’s a glimpse of the magnificent monolith to whet your appetite…
We nearly visited four years ago when we were in this neck of Indochina’s jungles but some hack travel writer, who had obviously never travelled further than the end of Brighton pier, wrote in The Times’ Travel Section that anyone who had experienced Borobudur in Indonesia could more wisely spend their money on a crate of ice-cold Guinness in the Irish Pub in Bangkok than spend 11 hours in a mini-bus on the road to Cambodia. Oh. He of little knowledge! We have been to Borobudur, but we’re not Guinness fans and our friends Keith and Helen who were at Angkor just two weeks ago said it was a “Wow!” So here's Sheila together with our guide and tuk-tuk driver, Mr. Wan...
Granted the stone temples at Borobudur and Angkor Wat are of similar age and religious persuasion, but that’s where the similarity ends. Borobudur has been knocked down and rebuilt so many times that hardly a stone has been left unturned, whereas much of Angkor is still in the wonderful state of decay you might expect after eight hundred years in the tropics. Many of the temples are only held together by enormous tentacles of giant fig trees…
Other temples, including the mind-blowingly enormous Angkor Wat itself, have been restored, and even rebuilt, by a number of foreign countries including France, Japan and Germany. Here’s another view of the main temple...
Understandably, Angkor Wat is one of Southeast Asia’s most visited tourist attractions and we had heard that the place can be an absolute zoo at this time of the year. So imagine our surprise when the only sounds we heard were the calls of tropical birds, the screeches of cicadas, and the whoops of monkeys, and there wasn’t a tourist in sight. Check it out for yourself…
Can you spot a tourist anywhere here?
Or here at the Lolei...
What about here at the Bayon...

Either we have bought a camera that simply doesn’t like people or we had the whole place to ourselves under a perfect blue sky for six hours. What do you think?
Either way - take no notice of The Times. Whatever your travel plans, don't miss the incredible ruins of Angkor Wat, (and try to get here before the tourists come back), because it is absolutely impossible to capture the grandeur and splendour of this wonderful place in a photograph - but we tried...

Posted by Hawkson 00:24 Archived in Cambodia Tagged angkor wat

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Amazing pictures. How did you manage to get there without other tourists?

by Janet

Was it really an eleven hour bus ride? That might explain it. Would have killed motion sickness me.

by R and B

Well, your camera definitely captured the grandeur!

by joyce

Enough is enough with your puzzles.....how did you avoid the tourists? Looks hot and sunny there....counting down the days! Thanks for the confirmation of a definite must see!!

by Maxine Stewart

A newspaper headline forecasts record cold temperatures here next week wish we were there

by David Henderson

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