Cambodia (Part 2): Angkor Thom


Let's get back up to speed shall we? Back in 2014 my dad came to visit me in China and we decided to take advantage of his time in Asia and go to Cambodia. We booked a few days of some photography guides from Peace of Angkor Tours since we didn't have much time to plan the trip and there is just so much to see. On our first day we visited the floating village of Tonlé Sap Lake and I wrote about it HERE if you want to truly get up to speed. Ok, now that we're caught up we can get going.

On our second day we got picked up at our hotel fairly early in the morning (although looking back, I'm kicking myself that we weren't up for sunrise every single day). This was going to be a long one, and lots of walking, in the heat and humidity, but totally worth it. The main attraction for the day was Angkor Thom. The word angkor means city, so for instance the famous Angkor Wat translates to temple city (something you would understand if you walked around the gigantic complex). Angkor Thom was an ancient royal city, complete with multiple temples, gates, terraces and anything else you could imagine. Our first stop for the day was the South Gate to Angkor Thom.

South Gate Angkor Thom, Cambodia

South Gate Angkor Thom, Cambodia

South Gate Angkor Thom, Cambodia

One thing that you probably noticed about the gate are the faces that were built into the structure. This is a bit of a theme around Angkor Thom and definitely the calling card of the first temple that we visited, Bayon. There are literally dozens of these towers constructed with faces facing each of the cardinal directions.

Bayon, Cambodia

Bayon, Cambodia

Bayon, Cambodia

People actually do still use these temples to pray.

After Bayon, we wandered the ancient palace grounds and came to an active buddhist temple. After consulting our guide we were told it was totally acceptable to wander through and photograph the daily goings on, so we absolutely took that opportunity.