|Here are a zillion photos of temples. Entry to come on the beautiful Angkor Wat.
I am not ashamed to admit that I do not find ruins intriguing, nor do I get excited about the prospect of spending days touring them. I could think of a hundred other things I would rather do. But when in Cambodia, you do not miss the temples of Angkor Wat, of course.
And I am now not ashamed to admit that I've changed my mind about ruins.
We decided to buy only the one day pass, which included a sunset visit the night before. Having somewhat of an idea of just how massive the temple area was, we knew that to see a lot in one day, we would need to take a tuk-tuk. Its not possible, really,to see much of anything on foot, as its just too big an area (If I recall correctly, almost 40 Kilometers of temples). We hired our kind tuk-tuk driver, Chin, who had brought us from the bus station to our hotel that same day, and he ended up being a kind companion to us, and set up the route we would take to see the biggest temples, and ending the day with Angkor Wat, right before sunset.
There is nothing fun about reading other people's stories about ruins- and pictures can only do so much justice. We had an amazing day, and as we began to realize the vastness of these masterpieces, and the intricate detail with which they were built, and how well preserved, I knew that this was a place that deserved my respect. It was easy to get lost in the maze of rooms and hallways, and lose yourself in the thought of what life may have been like in these ancient cities- some sustaining a population nearly the size of Manhattan. In one temple. Truly magical.
Our day ended at the largest of them all, Angkor. It was a wonderful way to see them, saving the best for last. Although we couldnt's stay there to watch the sun go down, it was just starting to make its descent, and the beautiful orange glow was radiant against such an immense and majestic place.