People watching Angkor Wat

When visiting the various temple sites around Siem Reap, one may become discouraged by the volume of fellow tourists one encounters.

Having just spend a few perfect days in the area, I suggest a two-pronged single strategy:

1. Visit slightly less famous temples at slightly off-peak times. We visited one jungle-covered, nearly toppled temple site and gasped at the thrill of having the place to ourselves in the twilight gloom. We were swiftly joined by four Western backpackers shouting their travel plans to one another as they passed through the maze-like, moss-covered alcoves. Scratch strategy one.

2. Embrace the swarm of humanity crawling around some of the major temple sites by simply deciding to be amused by them.

For example, rather than trying to photograph the massive tree roots bulging through the ancient sandstone bricks, take a picture of the 15 people all elbowing each other in order to photograph the tree roots.

With this frame of mind, here are some of the pictures I took to amuse myself while wandering through the ancient temple sites.

The man posing with his hands together in an Asian bow also had a conical hat hanging on his back. He was with a group of Russians drinking Angkor Beer as they wandered around Angkor Wat.

The man posing with his hands together in an Asian bow also had a conical hat hanging on his back. He was with a group of Russians drinking Angkor Beer as they wandered around Angkor Wat.

These two gentlemen were part of a large tour group out of China. Yes, they all wore matching pink caps. And they were all smiles despite it.

These two gentlemen were part of a large tour group out of China. Yes, the entire group wore matching pink caps. And they were all smiles despite it.

Somewhere in the vast Angkor Thom complex, this man was trying desperately to achieve the man-bun look.

Somewhere in the vast Angkor Thom complex, this man was trying desperately to achieve the man-bun look without quite enough hair.

There were many tourists touting around selfie-sticks.

There were many tourists with selfie-sticks.

This photographer carefully posed his model, clad in high heels, all around Ta Prohm. Sometimes she posed with a white hat. Pouting was required.

This photographer carefully posed his model, clad in high heels, all around Ta Prohm. Sometimes she posed with a white hat. Pouting was required.

The following photo might not look like much, but the brunette woman with her back to me requires special mention. She had apparently waited quite some time for the perfect empty photo of some tree roots. When her Cambodian guide asked her if they could move on, in a thick Australian accent she said to him, ” Sorry mate, but a bunch of yellow feet just walked through.” She was referring to a group of Chinese tourists. She said this without shame or embarrassment. She said this despite also being part of a large tour group.

Ta Prohm crowds (including at least one bigot!).

Ta Prohm crowds (including at least one bigot).

Oh wait ... it's me this time acting like a knob.

Oh wait … it’s me acting like a knob this time.

But enough of my silliness.

I had a fabulous time wandering around the Angkor Archaeological Park, eating Beef Loc Lac, catching up with a lovely friend, running a sweaty (too slow) half-marathon, feeling the wind in my hair from the back of a tuk tuk and simply enjoying being hot in tropical Asia.

I even managed to take a few nice photos that I’d share if the web wasn’t already jammed full of beautiful pictures of Angkor Wat. Here’s one:

Angkor Wat _ expatlingo.com

 

Advertisements

34 responses to “People watching Angkor Wat

  1. I’m sorry, I feel like I am always stalking you on here, but as we are right on your heels (leaving next week–can’t wait!) you said the weather is, indeed hot? Like, swimming weather hot or capri length pant sort of hot. I need to know how to pack for the fam. Any good restaurants to recommend? Please do not serve me with a restraining order.

    • Thw weather was nice and hot! We swam! We had lovely meals at: Haven (charity), Marum (also a charity) and Chanrey Tree (slightly more upscale). Bookings recomended! You’ll have a great time! I really enjoyed it and think it would be relatively easy with kids in tow.

    • You know, so you can take pictures of yourself from two feet away (rather than arms length).

      However if I were going to carry something awkward and ridiculous around Angkor Wat, I’d probably go with either a set of stilts (for better views) or an ice chest full of gin and tonic fixings.

  2. I was laughing the whole way through your post. We went to Angkor wat in Low season and were the only ones there… Mostly because it was pouring down rain. Oh and funny story, my flip flops kept getting stuck in the mud, so eventually I was walking barefoot through the temples. It felt more authentic to me though hahah 🙂

    • Yes, I suppose I could/should have called her out! Didn’t even crossed my mind at the time. I felt like an anthropologist observing a rare species of bird in the wild: suprised to encounter it out in the open.

    • Having never seen one (selfie stick) in use before, it was a suprise to be surrounded by them! The amount of posing they encourage is troubling (but funny to watch).

  3. Pingback: Friday Links 9th January - Charlotte Steggz·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s