City of Temples

IMG_9414The next leg of our trip was in Siem Reap, Cambodia. We were only here for two days (wish it could have been longer) but got to see a TON of temples. Out of all the temples I’ve seen throughout Asia, the ones in Cambodia stand out to me the most. I just think the architecture of these temples is so impressive and unique. There are actually over 300 temples in Siem Reap and we saw every one of them! Just kidding…we probably saw about five or six of them, which was the perfect amount. I started to get “templed out” by the fifth temple.

The first temple we saw (and the most well-known temple) was Angkor Wat. We woke up dark and early at 4:30am to set off with our tour guide to view the sunrise at the temple. As you can see from my pictures below, the sunrise was pretty incredible. It was crazy how many people were there that early in the morning—just shows how popular seeing the sunrise at Angkor Wat really is.

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After the sun came up, our tour guide explained the different parts of the temple. To be honest, I can’t remember everything he said about the temple since I put off writing this for so long. But if you are interested in learning more about the history and cultural significance of Angkor Wat, click here.

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Some of the other temples that we saw were Ta Prohm and The Bayon. Both of these temples are pretty famous in Cambodia and very unique. Ta Prohm is a temple built into the jungle and has these massive trees growing all around it. Some of the trees have even
grown into the temple! The Bayon is unique because everywhere you look, there are faces carved into the stone just staring at you. Every breath you take, every move you make, they’ll be watching you…

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Ta Prohm

 

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Bayon Temple

 

Right before heading to the airport during our last day in Siem Reap, our tour guide brought us to a local temple for a blessing ceremony. My mom and I had no idea what the ceremony would include, but thought it would be an interesting opportunity. We kneeled in front of the monk as he threw lotus petals and water on us and chanted in Khmer. At the end of the ceremony, he tied these red strings on our wrists and said to wear them for nine days and then cut them off. They were supposed to symbolize that we had been blessed.

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After our blessing ceremony, we were off to the airport to fly to a new city…

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