We spent three days in Siem Reap. During that time we visited three temples and a silk factory. We’ll write about the silk factory in another post.
The largest religious monument in the world is Angkor Wat, enclosing about 400 acres. It was built to worship the Hindu god Vishnu by King Suryavarman II in the early twelfth century. The temple gradually came under Buddhist control by the thirteenth century.
In the spirit of saving the best for last, we wanted Angkor Wat to be the final stop on our tour.
After visiting Ta Phrom Wat (Jungle Temple) on Day 1, we went to see Bayon, a structure with a multitude of massive serene faces and impressive bas-reliefs, showing historical and everyday scenes.
Here are some of the faces of Bayon:
Here is an example of the bas relief:
On to Angkor Wat. People like to see Angkor Wat at sunrise. We woke up at 4h30 to get there ahead of the (huge) crowds.
The sunrise was really pretty. Here are some pictures. The first was shot around 5h15:
Inside Angkor Wat itself there are very steep stairs to get to the top of the towers. The stairs are steep to reflect the difficult climb to get to heaven.
It was a great visit, unlike anything we’ve seen before. One could spend a year visiting all the wats here but we found that seeing three of them, spaced out over three days, was just right. Ida and Saga loved it and enjoyed the pace. So did their parents.