Khmer Empire

Backpacking 2009: Siem Reap

Fascinated by tales of ancient cities and civilizations, I packed my bags and together with three other girls started a journey to the ancient world. I learned that no matter how great a kingdom or civilization was, there was no such thing as forever. The ancient Khmer empire once ruled the entire Mekong valley from its capital Angkor. It was destroyed and forgotten until the site was rediscovered in 1860.

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The trip from Poipet to Siem Reap was fun thanks to our driver/tour guide, Mr. Hak, who was eager to answer all our questions about the city. We reached Siem Reap before dark and decided to go to the floating village in Tonle Sap, a famous lake in Cambodia. It was a bad decision because before we knew it, it was already dark. I was so scared because we can barely see anything and we were in the middle of a lake!

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After returning to land alive, we asked Mr. Hak to drop us near Pub Street. We ate, explored the area and bought some stuff in the night market before returning to our guest house and called it a day.

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We woke up early the next morning to eat breakfast. It was free. We then went back to our room to prepare for the much-anticipated adventure that day. After a short drive, we queued to get our one day pass worth $20 each. The first stop was Angkor Wat, one of the places I wanted to see. I was glad to visit it finally.

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The next stop was Angkor Thom, the last capital of Khmer empire. It was in Bayon style.

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We also stopped shortly to take a photo of Ta Keo, the state temple of Jayavarman V.

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Our next destination was Tah Phrom where some scenes in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider were filmed. Trees growing out of the ruins made it popular to visitors. We walked for quite some time before reaching the famous spot.

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We visited another ancient temple but I forgot its name. We drove back to our guest house after spending some time there. The whole Siem Reap experience was truly memorable. I would like to thank Mr. Kunn and his wife for our great stay at Jasmine Lodge.

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