(Angkor Wat)

To tell you the truth, when I first visited Angkor to go see the temples, I didn’t know there were other temples other than Angkor Wat. I know. I suck. I just didn’t take the time to do any research. If you’re like me, you should probably know that there are OTHER TEMPLES to see other than Angkor Wat.

Three of the different Wats at Angkor:

1. Angkor Wat: Its name, which means “Capital Temple” (“Wat” is the Khmer word for “temple”) is the main and most popular temple of all the wats in the area. It is a perfect example of beautiful Khmer architecture. Construction first started in the 12th century and has been suffering from natural erosion. With the way the buildings are falling apart, I’d suggest you visit this sooner, rather than later in your life. I’d highly recommend visiting early to catch the sunrise. When I went, we spent the early morning exploring the temple, then went back to the hotel and avoid high noon heat, then returned to Angkor Wat to catch the sunset.

You can buy your admissions ticket at the Angkor Wat front gate. The Angkor Pass is needed to visit all sites and there is always a guard to check your tickets. You can get a one-day pass ($20), three-day pass ($40), and a 7-day pass ($60). http://www.angkorwat.org/

(Ta Prohm on the right)

2. Ta Prohm: Angelina Jolie filmed Tomb Raider here. No seriously. This wat is famous for the GORGEOUS ancient trees that have grown into the temple walls. The temple and jungle have morphed into one and is absolutely stunning. A lot of restoration is being done to this temple. Our cab-driver recommended that we visit this temple later in the day since the trees provided a lot of protection from the beating Cambodian sun.

(Bayon: Bottom left and top right)

3. Bayon Temple: This was my favorite temple of the three we visited. Bayon Wat has gigantic stone reliefs of Buddha or King Jayavarman VII depending on which book you read. Relatively small in acreage compared to Angkor Wat, Bayon Temple has no gardens or moats. Rather, it was a majestic experience standing beneath 3 stone heads towering above me. Yes, I used the word “majestic”.

(pictures via Lily and Mabel)

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