Our time in Cambodia began in Siem Reap, the gateway city to the temples of Angkor Wat. Like most visitors to Cambodia, Angkor Wat was on our must-see list, so we planned accordingly. We also met up with one of my best friends and her husband, who were also on their honeymoon, for three days of exploring the city and taking a trip back in time as we wandered around the world's largest religious monument.
Construction of Angkor Wat itself began in the first half of the twelfth century. It was originally dedicated as a Hindu temple, and throughout the centuries served as a Buddhist one as well, depending on the religious affiliation of the then-ruler. Today, it is open for visitors who can tour from sunrise to sunset, weaving in and out of hallways, among stupa, past eroded statues of Buddha, Shiva, Vishnu and Ganesha, while stopping to admire the architectural and engineering feat that has withstood the passage of nearly 1,000 years. The many, many stone columns and open windows make for excellent lighting as well, so for any photographers reading out there, plan to be at Angkor Wat in the late afternoon.
Apart from temples, we toured the Artisans d'Angkor Silk Farm (for FREE!, including the shuttle) just outside Siem Reap, and feasted on more, delicious street food at the Night Market; sipped $1 fresh fruit smoothies; relaxed with $0.50 beers along Pub Street; and caught up with Sarah and Selby. The latter was an extra special treat as S & S bounce around the globe more than anyone I know!
Check back soon for stories from the beach and Cambodia's capital city, Phnom Penh.