South of Angkor Thom lies the icon of Siem Reap, Angkor Wat, the other of the two must visit temples in the Angkor Archaeological Park. Visit to the legendary Angkor Wat, a UNESCO heritage site is included in the park ticket.
Check ticket pricing and purchase requirements at: Angkor Thom & Bayon – Siem Reap.
To catch the much talked about mesmerizing sunrise over Angkor Wat; we woke up at 4.30am, paid an early journey surcharge to our tuk-tuk driver and arrived at the best spot at Angkor Wat by 5.30am to await our reward!
Tips: If you intend to catch the sunrise (and I know you would), apply mosquito repellent or brace for lots of mosquitoes bites.
Though we had been warned that that mesmerizing sunrise is hard to come by, we took our chance and waited patiently for it. Unfortunately, as the clock ticks and the sky gradually turned bright, we knew our patience hadn’t been reciprocated. It was a cloudy morning! 🙁
Our disappointment was compensated with a fantastic breakfast back at the hotel. Since we were the early birds, we were able to down glasses after glasses of freshly squeezed fruit juices without a queue.
Later that day, we went back to explore Angkor Wat. Being the main attraction of Siem Reap, you can imagine the crowd. Numerous tuk-tuks, tour buses and hired private cars crowding the entrance, loading uncountable number of tourists turned the place into a chaotic marketplace!
After much efforts, we finally got pass the crowd and started our long walk to the Wat. As we stroll on the bridge flanked by ponds full of blooming lotus flowers, we were enveloped by its beauty while the mystery of Angkor Wat slowly revealed itself with each step closer to it.
We explored every levels of the Wat, and found the third level to be most interesting. *Word of caution: the steps leading to this level is very narrow, steep and uneven. Some tourist were seen crawling up the stairs to keep their balance.
On the third level, the breeze was welcoming and it provides a breathtaking view of the overall compound of the Wat. Due to the difficult climb, it is an oasis of tranquility here. We had the place almost to ourselves to slowly appreciate the carvings on the walls closely and immersed ourselves with the rich history of Angkor Wat.
Besides the walls, each of the five spirals (that’s what makes Angkor Wat picturesque) are filled with deep and intricate carvings as well.