Yesterday, I was hesitant to go to the temples because
1. I have to hire a tuktuk, $12 for small tour and $20 for big tour plus $20 fee for 1 day pass at Angkor Wat and the other temples.
2. I haven’t slept.. Worked from 8PM-10AM
But I said, sleep is only for the weak. And I am looking for an adventure without causing me a lot of money. Luckily, Israel will cycle to the temples.. I wouldn’t go there by bike alone (I’m not good with maps and he’s like the master of maps!). It was an amazing journey with showers of rain and heat of the sun. We cycled about 45kms and was able to enjoy and appreciate nature and the architecture.. Like it was in the movies..
I have no good selfies but who cares about the way you look when you are enjoying every moment.
I saved $20 and had a good experience going to the temples. Oh how I love every bit of it. 💕
The Angkor Temples are significant to the history of Cambodia. It is the remnant of one the greatest empires in the world, The Khmerian Empire (know more about it here Khmerian Empire)
To be in the ruins of this empire is a dream come true to me. I have always been daydreaming of Cambodia since I was a kid. And while walking to the Angkor Wat Temple, I could not explain how I feel. It is something so good, so fulfilling that I fail to hold back my tears. Oh! Yes! I am here. This is it.
A sunny Friday morning. We cycled 1.4kms from the hostel going downtown, 3kms to the ticket station (You have to pay $20 for 1 day pass to the temples and $40 for 3-day pass) and 6kms to Angkor Wat. I bought the 1 day pass. There were a hundreds of tourists buying their tickets at the station. The ticket officer will ask you
Where you from? What ticket will you buy? Money. Look at the camera.
You have to stop at the tourist police and show them your ticket. Keep it because you still need to show the ticket to some temples.
The good thing about cycling is, you can bring the bike near the entrance of the temple. So, if you ride a tuktuk, you will need to walk about 350m more to reach the entrance.
While we’re walking to the temple, there’s a group of ladies selling Palm Juice. The lady shouted “Fresh 100% Natural”. I was thinking of the coconuts back home and I kinda miss it. I thought that this might taste like Tuba or just something similar to buko juice. The lady offered it for $1 per cup. I said “That’s too much, 2 for $1”
Israel did not want to drink that juice because I think he knows how it tastes. LOL! I bought it anyway and had him try it again. At first, the juice was fine but… the after taste.. NAAAH.
Anyway, we entered the temple and saw a lot of carvings on the wall. The guide said that these are epics carved by the artists back then. I wish I can show you how beautiful the carvings are, but if I do, you won’t have reasons to go and see Cambodia. So.. book your ticket now. Hehe
The carvings on my left…
We roamed around the majestic Angkor Wat and saw this altar inside. There are 2 boxes saying “Donation” to keep the Angkor Pagoda alive. I wanted to donate, not much. Just something to contribute to keep this tradition up and running.
I went around and saw a monk sitting while leaning his back to the pillar. I asked him “Where can I put this?”
He pointed to the goblet covered with a cloth. I placed the money in there and was about to stand up and go. He said “sit”– he opened his right hand, I offered my left hand. I was curious what he is about to do. He then got the red yarn braided bracelet and tied it to my left wrist.
He started to pray. I liked that moment. It was like someone is pouring good vibes to me. After his prayer, he got the tiny broom-like thing, soaked it in the water, and drizzle it to me. It was fragrant. I had a soulful moment. Until, he did it again.. This time, whisking the water to my face.. And again, like you’re head is up high while taking the shower. I was showered with water.
I bowed my head and tried to hold my laughter. I closed my eyes coz I did not want leave him a bad impression. He then said “Good luck, good luck” with a beautiful smile. I graciously said, thank you.
As I walk away, I started laughing because well, I did not see that coming. Lol!
We wanted to go to the highest part of the temple. But, we saw signs that we can’t go up. We followed some tourists and finally saw a staircase. Every corner of the temple has a Tourist Police, so you know you are safe if unexpected things would happen.
If you’re wearing skirt, micro minis, super short shorts– you are not allowed to go up. There’s a dress code set by the government. You’ll see them in your hostel, at the airport and even in the bus station. Before you go up, remove your cap as a courtesy to the place.
The view is amazing.. here are some pictures I captured atop.
This is where I found peace.. k. Hehe
We went down and decided to go to the next temple. The rain started to pour really hard. We stayed inside the temple and just ate the food that we bought from the convenience store. There’s a lot of food stalls outside the temple, but if you are a budget traveler like us, buy some from the convenience store. Don’t forget Oreos! They are the best food when traveling. hehe!
There were people selling disposable raincoat for $1. Israel haggled and got the price of 2 for $1. I have more temples to show you and long stories to tell. I’ll do that when I reach Kampong Thom. That’s it for now. Thanks for reading! 🙂