As part of my Ho Chi MInh to Siem Reap cycle trip, I took a day to see the biggest religious monument in the world. Discovered by Henri Mouhot in the middle of the last century, the capital of the ancient Khmer people temple was built in honour of the god Vishnu.
Henri recorded in his travel notes:
It is grander than anything left to us by Greece or Rome
Cycling through the dark to get there for 4.30 a.m, there were people already queuing waiting in anticipation. Once inside people huddled around a lake, just in front of the temple. The most astonishing thing was seeing the reflection in the lake as the sun rose, that was a mirror image of the extraordinary spectacle.
Having already arrived in Siem Reap with my bike, I didn’t need to rent one for the day which can be easily done from any hostel. Cycling around Angkor Wat is one of the best things, I’ve ever done. The surrounding grounds of the three temples; Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and the Ta Prohm Temples are full of really interesting alcoves and routes to take which the usual tourist would not see. So even though it’s not possible to enter the main complexes with the bike, you’ll for sure not be disappointed.
Just remember to bring plenty of water and sun cream as the sun gets really strong, especially during the middle of the day. The best place to check out are the ruins near the Bayon temple. Please check out my pictures from the day.