The past few days, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to explore the Angkor archeological area. The complex is massive, dotted with ruins of temples and the like; all tucked into the folds of the enveloping jungle. A good portion of the ruins can be explored by following one of two ‘tours’: the Mini Tour – which includes most of the largest and well-known sites – and the Grand Tour – which is quite a bit longer and a lot more peaceful than the Mini Tour. I bought a three day pass for the area, which set me back a staggering $40, instead of going with the cheaper option of a single day pass. It was definitely a good move, as the complex is far too large to adequately explore in a single day.
The first day, I hired a tuk tuk driver through my hotel. After sleeping for about an hour (I hadn’t slept the night before) we set out to the complex. I decided to get the big stuff out of the way first, so we did the Mini Tour on the first day. Having the tuk tuk driver made getting around easier. He would drop me off at a site, then go around to the opposite entrance and wait for me to emerge. Less backtracking and less time in between sites.
The first place we stopped was Banteay Kdei, or the Citadel of Chambers. It is one of the smaller complexes on the Mini tour, but was a nice stop nonetheless. Directly opposite the site is the Sras Srang, which served as a comically large ritualistic bathing area. I mean, I enjoy a large bathtub as much as anyone else, but really?
Sras Srang in the background.