I had a wonderful day today in the unique Angkor Wat, the surrounding temples and the drive through the forest. It was the reason for my long trip to Siem Reap. The temples of Angkor are included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List and are located on 401 square kilometers, in the Siem Reap district. It took one half hour to get to Angkor Wat from the hotel.
Angkor period, of large and small stone structures, were built between 802 and 1431 AD.
The wonderful tuk tuk driver agreed to take me to three sites, including the Angkor Wat, the largest and to wait for me. It would have continued for 5 hours.
The first stop at Angkor Wat, where entrance was up stone stairs, and a long walk among stone structures and then a long, narrow stairway where I came close to quitting.
However, I went ahead and tried my best to get up the stairs, and there were many hands and strong arms that appeared to give me support. Everywhere I’ve been in East Asia, I have never seen a railing. Someone on the trail told me it was traditional. I think it’s just because most folks my age don’t attempt the stairs. I admit that it would be nice to have had a son, grandson, granddaughter to go with me.
I marveled at the stone bridge and stone structures marking the way. It’s just amazing how well the temple and structures have been preserved all these centuries.
So, I got close to the main entrance, but decided not to continue on the many steps facing me. I am okay with my decision, even though I know most of what to see is on the inside.
When I met the tuk tuk driver, he was prepared to spend the rest of the day, taking me to several other temples and wait for me each time. But when I explained that I just couldn’t manage the stairs, but I’d be happy if he would just drive by them so I could get some photos, he agreed, and often stopped when I hollered, “Stop”. There was a lot to see that along the way, inside the forest. Trees were old and some imbedded within the stones, and then there were the monkeys. Monkey families just sat at the side of the road, or among the trees. They were tame and seemed to enjoy tourists. Also, the elephants that were put into service carrying tourists on their backs were beautiful. I enjoyed looking at those fabulous animals but would have set them free.
The ride through the forest in the tuk tuk was cool and refreshing. I asked to find a bookstore to purchase a book about the Angkor Wat and the driver knew just where to take me.
It was a great three hours, and I’m so blessed to have had such a refreshing and relaxing day.