Siem Reap, a province (distinct from Siem Reap town) located in northern Cambodia is the home of the Angkor Wat and several other UNESCO sites. There is no direct flight from Manila going to Siem Reap. Options are to take a flight to either Saigon or Bangkok then transfer by land. Saigon to Siem Reap is about 12 hours while Bangkok to Siem Reap is 8 hours more or less. Boarder crossing is relatively hassle-free and the road conditions from either Saigon or Bangkok to Siem Reap are in perfect shape. No visa is required for Filipinos visiting Cambodia. I have tried both Saigon-Siem Reap route and Bangkok-Siem Reap route this 2011 when I went to Siem Reap twice. Be cautioned though that there are a lot of scams at the boarders. Scams even start when purchasing a bus ticket from either Bangkok or Saigon.
Entrance fee to Angkor Archeological Park cost 20usd valid for 1 day. The ticket itself is perfect souvenir. The Park which is listed under UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992 contains enormous remains of the Khmer Empire from the 9th century up to the 15th century including the Angkor Wat.
I started my tour 6AM to catch the sunrise from the west gate.
The gate can be accessed after passing through the causeway then climb to the second floor where wooden improvised stairs are provided and enter some sort of a dark room. The right and left wings can be explored – where some intricate designs on the walls can be seen.
After passing through the gate, one can see how big and enormous the complex is. The Gallery of Bas-reliefs stretches from the both sides.
Facing the temple itself from inside the gate, there is again another walkway going to the main temple. On the right and left sides are identical buildings called “library”. In this place, a perfect silhouette can be captured from here.
The “library” turns gold in color when the sun is up.
The main temple is about 7 minutes by foot from the gate. Shoes are allowed inside the temple. Ladies however are prohibited wearing sexy dresses.