Bucket List: Angkor Wat

Siem Reap International Airport

With a week to go, before my visa entry date for Vietnam, I decided to make a pit stop in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The visa application process for Cambodia is very simple: get yourself to the airport, go to through the immigration line, pay thirty dollars (in US currency), and have a nice time!

Lotus Blanc Resort Hotel

I picked a hotel that was between the airport and the Angkor Historical Site. The hotel offered free airport pickup (the return will cost you $15.00). Using Tuk Tuks or the Grab car sharing app is much less. The resort has three restaurants, a large pool, gym, and Spa. The staff is very helpful. I booked my private car for Angkor Wat with the hotel. My driver was a hotel staff member.

Angkor Park Pass Ticket Counter(s)

The great thing about having a local driver is they know the ropes. We arrived at the ticket office and the lines were long. My driver kept walking to the right. The ticket office sells passes for different lengths of time. I only wanted a one day pass. For some reason, tourists were bunched together in the first three or four lanes. My driver walked me to the furthest one and I basically walked up to the window. The total time, from leaving the car and getting back in, was about seven minutes.

Angkor Wat
Walk way to the West Gate

We began the day with the big one, Angkor Wat Temple. My driver dropped me at the East Gate. Most tourists are dropped at the West Gate, with that long picturesque view of the bridge. The walk from the East gate was shorter and much appreciated. After walking around the temple, I did walk down the bridge, leading to the West gate. I didn’t walk all the way. I returned to the car, where my driver greeted me with a cold bottle of water and cold face towel.

The road to Bayon Temple!

Bayon Temple was next. It’s part of the big three (Angkor and the temple used as setting for the Tomb Raider movie). Before getting to the main temple, there were many scenic views along the way.

Bayon Temple
Be ready for a lot a stairs!
Tomb Raider

I could have spent hours here. There were two Big Buddha statues, smaller buildings to explore, and spots where I just wanted to sit and chill. You can also hire a Tuk Tuk, at the temple, to drive you around. There was a lot of ground to cover. Plan on doing more than just the main temple.

Incredible site!

After Bayon Temple, we stopped for lunch. I’m guessing that my driver up got a free meal for bring me. I was perfectly fine with it. Then, we headed to Ta Phohm Temple, the site for the first Tomb Raider movie. The location does not disappoint. There’s a lot to see and you just follow the signs. Be ready to climb up and down!

It was a tad warm! 😂

Physically, I was probably not prepared for doing all three temples. I was very happy that I hired a driver and could go back to a car with air conditioning. Tuks Tuks are cute, but some of those roads were dusty. I’m also OK with not having a guide. Let’s face it! I’ll probably go back again!

That’s the thing about Bucket List items. Before you do then, you think in terms of once in a lifetime. But … for some, you know you’re going back! Catch you, next time, Siem Reap! XOXO — GGT

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s