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AV Trip Blog – Angkor Wat Visit – AbsoluteVisit #7

 

Angkor Wat Visit, AV #7

Looking up at the massive trees of Ta Prohm

Last week we visited Angkor Wat in Cambodia, marking our 6th AbsoluteVisit on our journey to see the top 100 places in the world! We spent three days exploring the temples, waking up at 4am every morning to beat the tourists and capture all of the magic at sunrise. The infamous Angkor heat and the early starts really wore us down towards the end, but I think we were able to capture some amazing stuff before our eventual collapse on the bus ride back to Bangkok.

[Don't miss a VIDEO of us attempting a jump squat in front of Angkor Wat!]

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Sleeping Stone Giant – Bayon Temple – Siem Reap, Cambodia

 

AV Trip Photo – Sleeping Stone Giant – Bayon Temple – Siem Reap, Cambodia

Why is Bayon our favorite temple to hang out at when visiting The Temples of Angkor? Easy. There are 216 of these massive stone faces, each taller than my six foot frame. Can you imagine hanging out in the 5am darkness with these guys looking over your shoulder? On our recent visit there were even bats precariously zooming past our heads as we set our tripods up awaiting the sun.

Do you agree that Bayon is the coolest temple to walk around at Angkor? If not, what temple moves you the most?

Sleeping Stone Giant - Bayon Temple - Siem Reap, Cambodia
 

Angkor Wat Stone Battle – Siem Reap, Cambodia

 

AV Trip Photo – Angkor Wat Stone Battle – Siem Reap, Cambodia

Yesterday I published a photo highlighting the incredible detail on the walls of Angkor Wat. In order to get across how cool these stone engravings are, I wanted to share another picture of inside Angkor Wat today.

This fighting scene is part of a massively long wall that contains a beautiful story of ancient times. The engravings are so detailed and numerous that I’d have to imagine a translation of the events to paper would fill hundreds of pages in a book!

Does anyone have any cool “detailed” pictures from their own Angkor Wat visit? You should be able to attach them to a comment. I’d love to see them :)

Angkor Wat Stone Battle - Siem Reap, Cambodia
 

Angkor Wat Feelings – Siem Reap, Cambodia

 

AV Trip Photo – Angkor Wat Feelings – Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, part of The Temples of Angkor, is the largest religious building in the world. Visitors to the temple are immediately blown away at the sheer size of this architectural masterpiece. The outer walls are an incredible 2.2 miles in length!

What most visitors are not aware of prior to their visit, is the exquisite detail that is carved into every wall and pilar within the temple. Once you get close to the stone and observe this with your own eyes, your focus will quickly shift from the grandeur of Angkor Wat to its intricate detail. It’s this detail that cements Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples as one of the Top 10 Places in the world to visit!

Angkor Wat Feelings - Siem Reap, Cambodia
 

Children of Angkor – Temples of Angkor – Siem Reap, Cambodia

 

Photo of the Day – Children of Angkor – Temples of Angkor – Siem Reap, Cambodia

While exploring the temples at Angkor you will interact with a countless number of beautiful and playful young girls who will befriend you – in a somehow not at all bothersome way – in hopes that you will give them some money in exchange for simple crafts that they are carrying around. The girls are full of smiles and are very fun to play little games with (like how many languages can you say hello in – warning: you have no chance at winning). Strangely, people who at first you think would be a distraction from the sites, turn out to be a highlight by the end of your trip.

Several days after I left Siem Reap I came across this picture on my memory card. The girl’s serious faces were very different than I remembered. They carried a depth to them that led me to think about what it must be like to grow up one generation removed from a horrific genocide that ripped their country apart. That is a life that I can not even imagine.

The young children of Angkor serve as a constant reminder to me that no matter how tough your situation might be, you can always put a smile on your face and enjoy every minute of wherever you find yourself.

Children of Angkor - Temples of Angkor - Siem Reap, Cambodia
 

Big Icy Snack – Near Thai Border, Cambodia

 

Photo of the Day – Big Icy Snack – Near Thai Border, Cambodia

Shortly after departing from the Cambodian-Thai border on our way from Bangkok to Angkor Wat, our bus stopped alongside the dusty road to allow the tourists to stock up on essentials (water, pringles, oreo’s, etc…) before making the bumpy journey to Siem Reap. Like all tourist bus stops (traps) in Southeast Asia, we sat idle far longer than necessary – waiting on the driver to eat his comped meal.

Will and I wandered on down the street, curiously taking our first look at Cambodians going about their daily routines. On our walk we saw this young boy trying to chew on this big ice block that he found in his mom’s cooler.

Big Icy Snack - Near Thai Border, Cambodia
 

Hallway back to the Future – Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

 

Photo of the Day – Hallway back to the Future – Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Every time I look at this photo it reminds me of those 3D prints where if you stare at them long enough something pops out – remember? But, its not. Instead it is one of the main hallways through the labyrinth of rooms, courtyards, and pools that make up the internals of Angkor Wat.

Keep in mind that this hallway was built and hand carved in the 9th Century CE. Can you imagine building this with nothing but a hammer (a stone) and chisel (another stone)? How did they make this hallway so perfectly straight?

And lastly, how many columns do you see?

Hallway back to the Future - Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
 

The Backside of Angkor Wat – Siem Reap, Cambodia

 

Photo of the Day – The Backside of Angkor Wat – Siem Reap, Cambodia

The backside of Angkor Wat is often missed due to its iconic front entry including the perfect reflection pool. Yes, the front is incredible, but in some regards the rear of Angkor Wat is even more special. How many people have actually seen the back of Angkor Wat?

If you look closely you’ll see a Buddhist monk, a scooter, and other than that, nothing. And that is the point! It is unreal how few people there were on the backside versus the front. This is a simple reminder to make sure you explore all of these incredibly iconic places from head to toe and front to back.

The Backside of Angkor Wat - Siem Reap, Cambodia
 

Rock Solid Face – Bayon Temple – Angkor, Cambodia

 

Photo of the Day – Rock Solid Face – Bayon Temple – Angkor, Cambodia

You can find over two-hundred of these gigantic stone faces littering the grounds of the Bayon Temple in Cambodia. It is almost surreal walking around this temple with all of these serene faces starring down on you.

Rock Solid Face - Bayon Temple - Angkor, Cambodia
 

The Tree Temple – Angkor, Cambodia

 

Photo of the Day – The Tree Temple – Angkor, Cambodia

This temple is just so damn cool. Not only are you experiencing the incredible Ta Prohm temple which was built in the late 12th Century, but you get the real feeling of just how old and how lost these temples were with this massive tree growing over, in and around the temple. This temple was actually featured in Tomb Raider and is even more incredible in person. I remember seeing this temple with Brad and just standing around starring at it. It’s remarkable that the tree has adapted to the temple, but it is also the interesting way the tree has drown with several massive roots sprawling over the temple.

The Tree Temple - Angkor, Cambodia
 
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The Top 100 Places in the World
1 Great Wall of China
2 Pyramids of Egypt
3 Machu Picchu
4 Serengeti Migration
5 Galapagos Islands
6 Grand Canyon
7 Angkor Temples
8 Antarctica Cruise
9 Taj Mahal
10 Iguazu Falls
11 Amazon Rain Forest
12 Great Barrier Reef
13 Bora Bora
14 Victoria Falls
15 Bagan
16 Petra
17 Potala Palace
18 Karnak
19 Mt Everest
20 Cappadocia
21 St Peters Basilica
22 Fjords of Norway
23 Jerusalem Old City
24 Burj Khalifa
25 Borobudur
26 Forbidden City
27 Kashmir Valley
28 Li River Cruise
29 Ladakh
30 Alhambra
31 Louvre Museum
32 Perito Moreno Glac.
33 Banaue Terraces
34 Colosseum of Rome
35 Easter Island
36 Venice Canals/Alleys
37 Kathmandu Valley
38 Wat Phra Kaew
39 Yellowstone NP
40 Pompeii
41 Rio Panoramic View
42 Palace of Versailles
43 Dubrovnik
44 Golden Temple
45 St. Basils Cathedral
46 Vatican Museum
47 Florence Cityscape
48 Acropolis
49 Amalfi Coast Drive
50 Kremlin
51 Hong Kong View
52 TerraCotta Warriors
53 Mezquita Cordoba
54 Chichen Itza
55 Damascus Old City
56 Shwedagon Stupa
57 Sahara Desert
58 Mont St Michel
59 St. Marks Square
60 Egyptian Museum
61 Hagia Sophia
62 Angel Falls
63 Delphi
64 Teotihuacan
65 Baalbek
66 Banff NP
67 Santorini
68 Matterhorn
69 New York Skyline
70 Neuschwanstein
71 Chartres Cathedral
72 British Museum
73 Prague Old Town
74 Burj al Arab
75 Yangtze River Cruise
76 Yosemite NP
77 Hermitage Museum
78 Torres del Paine
79 Chambord Chateau
80 Lijiang
81 Portofino
82 Great Ocean Road
83 Tongariro Alpine
84 Las Vegas Strip
85 Tikal
86 Topkapi Palace
87 Sydney Opera House
88 Eiffel Tower
89 Luxor Temple
90 Kerala Backwaters
91 Golden Gate Bridge
92 Cinque Terre
93 Metropolitan Mus
94 Uffizi Gallery
95 Ayers Rock
96 Cliffs of Moher
97 Pacific Coast Hwy
98 Shanghai Skyline
99 Glacier Bay NP
100 Wulingyuan
Cappadocia  Cappadocia, Turkey
 
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