There are lots of things to do in Siem Riep outside of running along the river or going to Angkor Wat. There is decent/fun shopping, very friendly people, nice museums and easy transportation via Tuk Tuks. You can get almost anywhere in town for just $2-3. You can also easily walk around all the traffic…it is just like Vietnam…you just casually walk across (not run) the street and everyone will weave around you. Try it, it works!
Apparently, there is ~ 290 temples in the area. We checked a few of them out. It is nice how you can get a 3 day pass for all these sites for $40. It is kind of like Disneyland.
We first checked out Bantey Srei which is a 10th century Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, the god of destruction. It was a small site, 40 miles outside of town, but was a nice miniaturized version of the larger temples without 1000s of tourists.
You do have to watch out for the kids…they will attack you will postcards or want to play mud ball war when you are not looking!
After walking through the Angkor Thom gate with all the gods and demons, we checked out The Bayon.
If you are nimble, you can crawl around this temple and have some fun while most of the other tourists ride elephants around the moat and the monks hang out in the giant Buddha shrines around the city.
We also, of course, checked out Ta Phrom to pretend we in the latest Tomb Raider movie with Angelina Jolie.
This location is great because it is in the cool jungle unlike the big temples in the blazing sun. It is a little dangerous as the jungle is fighting an extended war with the temple and it is crumbling in many place. I like the adventure myself…
The 200 year old gum and strangler figs trees overrunning the temple were simply amazing.
Recognize the scene from the movie? 🙂