Day 34: Angkor Small Circuit – Angkor Wat

Probably the first attraction that pops into your head when someone mentions Cambodia – Angkor Wat. The tuk tuk dropped me off at a car park near the causeway across the moat of Angkor Wat. Half of the causeway is under rehabilitation, so watch where you’re walking.

The west gateway through the walls of Angkor Wat.

Looking at the moat around Angkor Wat – don’t be deceived by its size on Google Maps.

Most thresholds have wooden steps or flooring for easier walking and possibly to prevent further damage to the original steeper steps below it.

The outer wall before entering the courtyard of the Angkor Wat.

Looking down a corridor in the wall.

The courtyard of Angkor Wat.

Ascending up to Angkor Wat.

While it may not be high today, Angko Wat was built high at that time so it overshadows the city.

Angkor Wat has been the subject of theft since ancient times, but some full Buddhist statues remain, and are revered till today.

Another corridor.

An inner courtyard.

You used to be able to ascend one of the towers here, however there has been cases of tourists falling to their deaths and the whole area is no longer accessible to the public.

I was quite lucky that there was no queue ahead of me to climb up Bakan, the central tower of Angkor Wat.

Each person is given a lanyard to wear while visiting Bakan to ensure that there isn’t an overload of people up there, and also to regulate the steep climb up.

An almost-full length shot of the staircase if you needed a reference.

Some pillars in disrepair at the top are held together by wooden stilts before being restored.

The central shrine on Bakan.

Local and foreign devotees can also be seen here praying.

Looking back at the lesser-used east entrance.

Looking towards the west entrance.

Please don’t be an irresponsible tourist going around vandalizing these ancient relics.

Descending the steps from Bakan. If you have vertigo, you probably won’t want to go up in the first place.

Another set of stairs to Bakan, but without the newer wooden steps laid over it. That’s how steep it has been.

Along the corridors, there are also stolen or beheaded statues due to theft by the Khmer Rouge guerrillas and illicit art dealers.

One of the many bas-reliefs around Angkor Wat which unfortunately I didn’t have time to appreciate fully.

Back outside to get back to the tuk tuk to continue my tour. This is one of two pools outside of the temple which is popular with tourists to shoot the reflection of Angkor Wat during the sunrise.

The view of Angkor Wat from the western pool.

Next stop: Angkor Thom


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