1st August 2012 13:53
Aka 'Temples R Us'. If you need a temple fix, Siem Reap is the place for you.
I actually saw very little of Siem Reap itself, I spent that long visiting the temples each day. A three day entry ticket to the Angkor complex costs $40, and then you hire a tuk tuk for those days, to drive you round to each site.
The temples really are incredible, I couldn't quite get my head around just how huge and complex they were. Angkor Wat is the most famous by far, and gets inundated with tourists (especially at sunrise) each day, hoping for that killer shot.
My favourite by far, however, was Beng Mealea. This particular temple has been completely overrun by nature, I felt like Lara Croft (Tomb Raider) exploring that place, just with smaller breasts.
Unlike the other temples you could visit, at Beng Mealea you were granted free reign to climb over all of the ruins and explore other hidden areas that you would not otherwise have seen. Few people deviate from the path like this, so you do have the sensation that you are there alone discovering the crumbling ruins for the first time.
The other temples were of course awe inspiring, and I often found myself at a loss for words at the shear scale of some of them. That may have also had something to do with having to climb a hell of a lot of steps to the top of some of them though. You'll find yourself quickly out of breath if the only exercise you get is lifting your finger for the remote control.
From Siem Reap I made my way back to Phnom Penh, for the third time! My only reason for doing this was to see the new Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises. A bit extreme? Yes. Worth it? Hell yes. As I predicted, for me it couldn't quite top The Dark Knight - Heath Ledger's 'Joker' saw to that - but it was a fantastic film, and a worthy ending to the trilogy.
Onwards and upwards to my final stop in Cambodia, Kratie.