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Templed Out in Cambodia

After Ta Prohm, we then headed back to the hotel to check out and eat again—I feel like we’re always eating on these Semester at Sea trips; it’s definitely hard to go hungry while traveling with the program!—before returning to the complex for the final time and viewing Angkor Thom, of which my personal favorite Bayon is a part.

Angkor temples, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Semester at SeaIn my opinion, Bayon is the most photogenic of all the Khmer temples we visited, boasting a number of smiling faces and carvings among its sprawling structure.

Angkor temples, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Semester at SeaIn fact, 216 faces decorate the crumbling facade, which was founded upon Buddhist symbolism.

Angkor temples, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Semester at SeaUnlike Ta Prohm with its scores of tourists, Bayon was relatively deserted; SVV and I wandered up and down the steep staircases without so much as passing another person. I couldn’t help but think this would be the place to play one massive game of hide and go seek.

Angkor temples, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Semester at SeaThere were a number of resident spiders, though, so if you go to Bayon, watch your heads!

Angkor temples, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Semester at SeaI found the ubiquitous signs prohibiting visitors from sitting on the “balustrade” funny, especially as I thought it was a photo of a dragon for a good portion of our visit.

Angkor temples, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Semester at SeaWhile there, I also attempted another jumping shot with one of the students, James, but only proceeded to land in between two stones and scratched up in my foot.

Angkor temples, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Semester at Sea

Angkor temples, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Semester at Sea

Angkor temples, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Semester at SeaThis from the girl who sliced open her finger this summer on a raw cauliflower…it’s not surprising, really. He, on the other hand, got some pretty serious air.

Angkor temples, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Semester at SeaThen something funny happened and SVV ran into a Scottish guy who was wearing (almost) the same Wal-Mart T-shirt of Animal the Muppet Baby as he was. Naturally, this called for a photo.

Angkor temples, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Semester at SeaAt this point in our 80-hour day (or so it seemed), we were all borderline delirious, both from seeing so many temples and from having been up since 4am. Cambodia tip: Give yourself a few days in Siem Reap and space out your temple visits; you can purchase a seven-day pass and enter the park as often as you like during that period. That way, you get the full experience and enjoy the complex to its fullest, whereas many of our group were all “another temple? *eye roll*” by the end of the afternoon.

Angkor temples, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Semester at SeaTemple fatigue truly had set in and hysteria ensued among our group—well, among certain members at the very least.

Angkor temples, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Semester at SeaThis quartet of girls, in particular, was straight-up delirious and flitted among the stone work doing yoga poses and mimicking the lion sculptures.

Angkor temples, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Semester at SeaAnd then we all piled back onto the little bus that transports you around the complex and headed out for the Siem Reap airport, templed out but more than satisfied by our whirlwind tour of Cambodia.

Angkor temples, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Semester at Sea

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Comments ( 17 )

  1. I need a good jumping shot. Last time I did one, I was like 25 weeks pregnant. Must remedy this weekend, just for you, lady!

  2. did you do a jumping pic barefoot? or are you wearing sandles? sorry you got hurt! but you got air too !! : ) : )

  3. 3 girls is a trio, not a quartet.

  4. I spent a lot of SAS really feeling that temple fatigue. But I never really got tired of the temples in Cambodia. Bayon is my favorite, too! Did you guys go to the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng also?

    • Ditto—I just think they’re better enjoyed spaced out! We DID go to the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng–I honestly think that (surprisingly) those were my favorite parts of Cambodia as a whole, as much as I loved the temples. I’m saving writing about them for when I’m back next month and have more time to reflect on the experiences and fully do them justice.

  5. that spider looks wicked with those spiky red legs- I wonder if they are poisonous!

  6. Those first photos are stunning (minus the spider eeeeeek!).

  7. Too many temples; I wish that was a problem I had! Looks like so much fun to explore!

  8. We had temple fatigue in Thailand recently – it was a running joke with our group – wat the ****, wat the hell. what wat….
    Dont get me wrong all the Wats are amazing – but I totally understand how you feel when you pack in a few to just one day!!

  9. Oh yeah, I meant to comment on the Animal shirt, I mean, what are the chances? Life is really funny sometimes.

  10. I’ll be in Cambodia for at least a month starting this May. I’m so excited to explore such awesome ruins. Sweet Pics!
    Wil recently posted..Make Money Traveling – Earn AnywhereMy Profile

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  1. [...] me the most interesting part of visiting Cambodia was not the temples at Angkor, but rather learning about the ramifications of the Pol Pot regime. It’s the epitome of dark [...]

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