By the third day in Angkor, I was templed out! I went to all of the major temples as well as the smaller ones. If I had to choose my favorites, they were Ta Prohm and Banteay Srei. Ta Prohm draws in major crowds because of the Tomb Raider films and the majestical trees that have sprouted out of the temple. Banteay Srei, is about 40 minutes away from the main Angkor center and therefore, is the least visited. Banteay Srei is unique because of its red sandstone construction and the detailed carvings. You would never know that these carvings are thousands of years old.
On my last night, I treated myself to dinner at Cuisine Wat Damnak. I was lucky enough to get a reservation after they had a cancellation. Cuisine Wat Damnak was on San Pellegrino’s list of 50 best restaurants in the world in 2016. I was dining at the best restaurant in Cambodia and it was only $27 USD for 5 courses!! It was an eye opening introduction to Cambodian cuisine.
I feel incredibly fortunate that I was able to revisit Angkor and Siem Reap. When I was 23, I didn’t appreciate the temples nearly as much as I did this time. In fact, I didn’t appreciate the whole experience because I was 23 and I just wanted to travel to South East Asia with my best friends. I didn’t do any research and didn’t know much about the Angkor temples. I took silly photos with my friends and didn’t learn anything. At this point in my life, any chance to travel and to visit a world wonder is a blessing. Learning about the history of the Khmer empire, the architecture and the Hindu and Buddhist religions definitely enriched my experience. Despite the fact that I had a heat stroke, it was a memorable trip!
The jungle has taken over the ruins of Ta Prohm
Tomb Raider temple
These trees make Ta Prohm look mystical
Taking a break
The purpose of this building is still unknown
Can you believe this detail?
There were surprises at every turn
Cuisine Wat Damnak is one of the best restaurants in the world
Almost too pretty to eat