About 1,000 years ago, Angkor was the capital of Cambodia. When Angkor had 1 million residents, London had only 50,000. They built hundreds of temples with large stones quarried 50 kilometers away and floated down the river by raft. The ruins that remain today are an adventure to explore. It looks like a scene from the Indiana Jones movie and one of my favorite games, Temple Run.
There are hundreds of temple remains today, but we just visited a few of the best. On the first day, we visited Preah Khan, Preah Neak Poan and East Mebon. We started at the smaller ruins and planned to build up to the big ones on the last day of our three-day ticket. Each was full of exploring crumbling halls, towers and passageways.
On the second day we rode bikes out to the temples. We climbed around Ta Prohm, which has been taken over by enormous trees and roots. This is where “Tomb Raider “was filmed.
On our last day at the ruins, we went for the sunrise at Angkor Wat. We had to get up at 5am to ride the tuk tuk out there! Although it was cloudy, it was still a cool experience. We explored Angkor Wat in the early sunlight and also visited Angkor Thom nearby. Its center temple Bayon was the king’s government building. It had 54 towers with faces on each of the four sides. Nearby we saw a secret passageway at the Terrace of the Leper King that was full of carvings that had been covered up by another wall. They were in very good shape since they were hidden for many years.
Exploring the ruins of Angkor was a great way to look back into history and see how they built enormous temples over one thousand years ago. Even though many of the stones have fallen, you can imagine that it was a very big and impressive city.