Day 11, Siem Reap – Angkor Temples

This morning we started our bike ride to the entrance of Angkor Wat at the visitor center where one needs to purchased admission tickets. It’s like an airport  . . . long lines!!!

Rather than take a bus tour with a guide, we would ride around the grounds on our bikes, being led and toured by our own guide, Nak. On the red roads we went to a ‘secret’ back entrance . . .

. . . the only elephants I saw in Cambodia . . .

. . . were giving rides to tourists!!

Soon we were at one of the entrances to the walled city.  Besides being  a World Natural Heritage site the area is more recently known for being the film site for much of the Tomb Raider movie. The area was deliberately left by French conservationists in the same condition as it was discovered; overgrown by strangler fig and silk-cotton trees, giving the temple a mystical and romantic appeal.

. . . we rode past the long line of buses and entered the temple area. You can see the wall on the left side of the entrance . . .

. . . which is is about 15 feet tall and 15 feet wide. We rode right on top of it and around much of the 500 acre compound.

Some areas are in better repair than others . . .

. . . many of the carvings are well preserved . . .

. . . and you can see the green fence on the right where restoration is being done.

Nak explained the intricate carvings . . .

. . . which all tell the story of Ankor Wat.

Back on the bikes we rode some single track to avoid the roads, traffic and to have a pleasant ride to the next site.

Again, as you can see from the tree . . . the forest is trying to reclaim the temple!!!

I always get a kick out of visitors to places like this, the Grand Canyon, etc. ,etc. or any other natural or man made masterpiece. Everyone wants to have their photo taken at it. The selfie is still very much in style . . .

. . .  some even dress up in special ‘photo shoot’ attire . . .

. . . and as you can see herer, Bo jumped right in and captured a few images . . . I wonder if she is single???

. . . as I walked through one of the temples, this woman was posing for her boyfriend . . .

. . . this tree was reclaiming a wall . . .

. . . and covering some of the statues. Peek a Boo!!!!!!

This is the main temple of the complex . . .

. . . and was really very impressive. The builders hauled the stone . . .

. . . for these structures over 70 miles to the site from the quarry.

This was the high point of the temple and a VERY steep climb. We would have climbed it but there was a two block long line to get to the base and only 10 people were allowed up the stairs at a time . . .

. . . so instead we pedaled back to our hotel and sat on the veranda watching the world of Siem Reap go by while drinking 50 cent USD beers!!!

Time to head out in ‘tuk tuk’s to our . . .

. . . second floor restaurant.

Daniel, Spice Roads CEO, has joined us for several days of riding and here explains the wine list.

Nice restaurant, great food and a nice way to end the day!!

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