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Angkor Wat

"Angkor What What?"

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After a 12-hour journey crossing the border from Thailand into Cambodia, I finally arrived at Siem Riep, the town where the Temples of Angkor Wat are located. I arranged for a tuk tuk driver to pick me up at my hotel in the morning and head to Angkor Wat for sunrise. Known as the world’s largest religious building, it was truly majestic at sunrise as you the beautiful etchings in the stone glowed in the sunrise.

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The main building at Angkor Wat.

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Next, my driver took me to Angkor Thom, an immense complex that houses Bayon, a state temple of Cambodia’s legendary king, Jayavarman VII. This temple had 216 enormous etchings of his face which glare down at you like the one below.
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Beautiful old buildings with moss growing on them in the main complex
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Angkor Thom
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Then we journeyed to Ta Prohm, made famous by Tomb Raider starring that ho that broke up Jennifer Aniston’s marriage to Brad Pitt :p The temple itself was incredible, with trees growing out of the temple. Apparently, the temple looks much the way most Angkor monuments did when European explorers first set eyes upon them. Built in 1186, its crumbling towers and walls locked in the muscular embrace of centuries-old trees.

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Tomb Raider Temple

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I also went to the temple of Preah Neak Poan because it was supposed to be a temple with pools surrounding it, as if a Vegas style pool. Unfortunately, the pools had been dried up due to lack of restoration since some flooding the year prior.
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The last temple of the day was Preah Khan, which once housed more than 1000 teachers and may have been a Buddhist university.
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Just as I was exploring that temple, the heavens opened and it started pissing it down.
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After a break in the rain, I found my tuk tuk driver and we headed on.

Since I had rented my tuk tuk driver for the day, I asked him to stop at just one more temple so I could take a photo of it. He refused, saying he was going to take me back to the hotel instead. I explained that since I had paid for the service, I expected him to stop. This obviously ended in an argument that left me quite upset, particularly when he threatened my life. I make light of it now, but at the time it was a bit overwhelming.

One of the other tuk tuk drivers at the hotel, who had seen the argument continue when my tuk tuk driver dropped me off was nice to me and apologized for the other man’s behavior. He then invited me and two English boys to his home the following night for dinner with his family.

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Putting the past behind me, I happily accepted and so the following night we had dinner with his family in his one-room home.

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Posted by kendallwallace 11:27 Archived in Cambodia Tagged angkor wat

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