Siem Reap: Preah Khan Temple

So anyone who does their research will know that the Temples of Angkor cannot be seen in a day… Lonely Planet literally says, “if you’ve got only one day to see the temples, that’s unfortunate.”

We spent several days exploring the temples, and I took hundreds of photos, so I will be splitting our visits in to several posts… I just can’t choose which photos to use!

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After our excursion to the Floating Village, John took us to the Preah Khan Temple. Preah Khan is a ‘fusion temple’, with each wing dedicated to a god: Buddha, Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu. As it was late in the day, there were few people visiting. It was so quiet, the whole place took on a mystical atmosphere.

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I was in awe of the intricate carvings decorating the temple walls. We walked slowly through the main hallway, stopping to peek in all the nooks and crannies and take pictures of the details.

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As we approached the centre of the temple, we noticed a special pillar and stopped to take some pictures. Enter, scamming tour guide. He started by showing us how we could place our hands to create the effect of holding a flame, which was really light shining through a chink in the stones. He put us in some pretty romantic poses…

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He then hijacked my camera and took us on a whirlwind photo shoot throughout the temple.

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Of course, he demanded a tip. I’ve made a general rule: if you didn’t tell me it was going to cost me money before you did it, I’m not paying you for it. That’s like offering someone a ride and then asking them for gas money after you’ve dropped them off. State it up front, or not at all. Unfortunately he was quite adamant, so we coughed up a few riel, but not as much as he was asking for. It wasn’t a complete loss, we got some nice photos.

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The temple was about to close, so we ran off towards the other end to check out the ‘library’ and see the rest of the temple.

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As the sun began to set, we piled back in to the tuk-tuk and stopped on a bridge over a moat to appreciate the beauty.

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What do you think?

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