As soon as you go out off the tourist roads and main paths you will find yourself in the middle of a thick jungle, with huge trees and green scenery all around.
This jungle covered all the temples after they were abandoned and it remained like that till the end of the 19th century, when they were discovered by the french. Now some of them, the most visited, are being restored by the UNESCO.
You don't have conventional tickets here. All the templeas around Angkor are considered within a huge tourist complex. So you buy a Pass for all of them, which allows you the entrance to any of the sites "from dawn till dusk" (no strict hours).
You can buy passes for 1 day (20USD), 3 days (40USD) or 1 week (60USD) at a little house on the right on the road from Siem Reap to Angkor Wat temple. You have to bring a passport pic for that.
Favorite thing: If you have the chance to take a walk into the jungle (even a 15 minutes one), you will see these huge trees with these amazing roots. They say that between the roots is a good place to look for shelter if you are going out for a trekking journey... I must try that some day!
Favorite thing: My son and I really enjoyed our time that we spent at the Bayon. Something about the 200 or so faces of Avalokiteshiva and the way it's situated in the forest. I could spend the whole day just taking photos of the faces and I would have to say to myself STOP!! LOL
You will see people worshiping at a couple of the Buddhas inside the Bayon. I may be wrong but the Buddha that is to the right of the East Gate seemed to be the most important one. It was definately the most picturesque for me!! I took so many photos of it.
Fondest memory: The Lady in the Green Sarong can be a bit much as she shoves incense sticks in your face as you walk by.
Favorite thing: There seemed to be different groups working on either studying or documenting the Bayon when I was there. The Government is keen to let these groups in as I'm sure it brings some $$$$ for the people okaying such deals. But I'm also sure that it is good for the survival of the Bayon too. There are pieces of the puzzle similar to this one all over the Angkor area. At one time it must have been intact and part of a gate or a wall.
Favorite thing: In these Bas-Reliefs you will see how life exsisted during the time of Jayavarman VII. I guess thay didn't have Video cameras back then! I thought the Bas-Reliefs were interesting but didn't spend a whole lot of time studying them and wasn't super interested in learning the fine details about them. I was more interested in taking in the Ambience of being in the Bayon and imagining ancient an Ancient King and his keepers wandering around.
Favorite thing: This small temple is located near the south-western wall of the Bayon. It's a good place to meet up with some Monks if your interested in talking to them. If you're lucky you'll meet one that speaks some English or possibly French. The Temple in itself isn't that interesting compared to the other sights of the area but it's worth a small visit.
Favorite thing: There are 51 smaller towers similar to this on in the Bayon Complex. They each have a face carved on all 4 sides. Them seem identical to me and they are at a level that makes them very easy to see! They almost give the feeling of eeriness as I stood under them looking up!
Favorite thing: There are a couple of terraced walls just north of the Bayon. They are in easy walking distance so if you have a motorcycle you might want to leave it at one of the food stalls and just walk as there are interesting sights to see along the way. I believe I took this photo near the Terrace of the Leper King as it enters into a narrow passage way. Well anyways this whole area is so interesting. I missed some of the finer details in my notes that tell me what each photo is! LOL
Favorite thing: Well from what I understand about this statue is that it's a copy of an original (original house in a museum in Phnom Penh) statue of Yama the God of Death. It sure sounded spooky to me! Personally I'd get rid of the statue if it was mine! Or change the name! LOL God of Life??
Favorite thing: You can find this on the South side of the Terrace of the Leper King. It is quite interesting but if you have claustrophobia don't go in! LOL It is very narrow and the walls are quite high. There are 4 tiers of carvings featuring the Apasara and Naga. It is very difficult to get good photos inside. You will do ok if you have a wide angle lense. There isn't a roof so you get plenty of natural light but the shadowing make it difficult too. I didn't have a flash.
The area of Tep Pranam is somewhat interesting. This Buddha is a reconstruction of the original that was housed here and was either destroyed or stolen...I forgot what the story was. Tep Pranam is close to the the Phimeanakas area and they are all within walking distance.
You can see the Buddha feet that are the remains of another standing statue that isn't there anymore! At least I think it was standing.
Favorite thing: Just across the road from the Terrace of the Leper King you will see a series of stone strutures. That is the North Kleang. The buildings are 10th and 11th Century. I thought they were cool places to check out.....But when we went it was about 2 Pm and VERY HOT!!! These buildings aren't shaded like the places that we spent the morning checking out. LOL
Favorite thing: These 12 towers are built in front of the North Kleang and are mostly falling down. They have wooden posts propped up against their sides to keep them from falling over. They do look quite cool all lined up. My photos of these were taken at the wrong angle into the sun!! Sorry about that!!