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 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.
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: