From Sihanoukville we took a night bus to Siem Reap. The bus was surprisingly good and we were both able to sleep most of the way. When we arrived we were lucky enough to be able to check in right away. After resting up for a little while we headed out to what is bound to be an important part of any trip to Cambodia, the temples of Angkor.
Our original plan was to rent a motorbike but I read that there is some kind of ban on renting motorbikes for use in the city and apparently there are a lot of police near the temples. Not wanting to risk getting fined we went by tuk tuk instead.
We started with Angkor Thom which is the biggest of all the temple complexes but not as famous as Angkor Wat. The main temple, The Bayon, is extremely impressive but also popular, we had to jostle a bit with other tourists to get space to see. I could have been much worse, and I suspect it is in the high season but I still wish there were fewer people.
Except for the Bayon there is the less lavishly decorated (and also less crowded) Baphuon, as well as the elephant terrace and the leper king terrace. There were several other minor temples as well but we didn’t take the time to see them.
In the afternoon we went to Ta Prom which is famous for the big trees growing in the ruins, their roots creeping through the cracks between the stones. I liked the temple a lot but there were several Chinese tour groups there so it was a bit too crowded for my taste. Because of its iconic look, Ta Prom was used for filming some scenes for the Tomb Raider movie.
We ended the day with Banteay Kdei and the Srah Srang pool. After the others they were perhaps not so impressive but it would have felt bad to skip them when we were so near.