Thursday, December 12, 2013

Angkor Thom Again

After visiting Angkor Wat this morning for sunrise, knowing this would be our final day in the park, we wanted to do all the things we haven't done yet and take the iconic pictures we hadn't taken yet (basically, the pictures you see on the postcards).

The first thing we hadn't done yet is climb the small hill next to Angkor Wat to Phnom Bakheng (phnom means mountain or hill in Cambodian). The path up to the top is wide and gradual because it's used as an elephant path.

You can easily jog up it in 5 minutes, unless you run into Chinese tour groups taking up the entire width of the path, they slow you down. The ruins were under construction - they're putting it all back together. But you still have access to the viewpoint off to the north of it that gives you sweet views of Angkor.

Eventually I found a staircase that leads up to the top of the wat. The temple itself is nothing spectacular, but it was cool to see all the workers putting everything back together.

On the way down, we spotted the happiest dragonfly we've ever met. Just look at its face!

We continued our bike ride toward Angkor Thom. After passing through the gate, we stopped off to watch the monkeys for a bit (you can see lots of monkey pics here) but then continued up to Baphuon. We felt rushed here last night because it was sunset so we pretty much just sat up top to watch it set and then we bolted fast to get out while we still had some light. So we wanted to come back and explore more.

This temple is fun because it's the only one (we know of) where the main entryway is on pillars and you can walk under it! It makes for a fun game of hide-and-go-seek.

After Baphuon, we rode back to Bayon to take some pictures in front of the temple...

...and of the temple with its reflection. We also stopped in one of the pagodas adjacent to the temple.

We said goodbye to Angkor Thom for the final time and rode down toward Angkor Wat. Just west of Angkor Wat is a giant lily pond. The sun was hitting the flowers just right, so we stopped for a while to take some pictures and play around with aperture on the dSLR.

On our way out of the park, we finally got the last picture we have been wanting to get.

And with that picture, we have done everything we wanted to do within Angkor. We've seen all the temples we wanted to see, we've done lots of exploring, we saw sunrise and sunsets, and took lots of cool pictures. We're ready to go to Phnom Penh now.

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