I’m guessing that pretty much every tourist who has ever set foot in Siem Reap intends to visit “Angkor Wat.” What many people don’t know is that Angkor Wat refers to one specific temple.
The Angkor Archeological Park is about 400 square kilometers and contains dozens of temples. In fact, I read that there are nearly 300 temples in the Angkor complex. Not all of these, however, are accessible — some are still encased by the jungle and there is still a small threat of landmines if you get off the beaten track (don’t worry moms, we always stay on the paths and are perfectly safe).
Angkor Wat is one of the largest of temples and the most iconic. It was built in the 12th century and, at least from what we’ve seen, is the best preserved.
We didn’t have Angkor Wat very high on our list of “must see’s.” I had been there back in the early 2000’s and Robert and I had been there in 2007.
But, yesterday when the skies cleared, we hopped in a tuk-tuk and got there for a late afternoon visit.
Our timing, combined with our tuk-tuk driver’s guidance, was impeccable — we entered from the East Gate and managed to climb the tower before the late afternoon tour bus guests arrived from the West Gate.
But the best part? Now we feel absolutely no obligation to go there for sunrise!