Angkor Thom, an enclosed city down the road from Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, and surrounding temples are arguably much cooler than Angkor Wat for the following reasons:
This gate, the south gate of the complex:
This temple within Angkor Thom, called Bayon:
And this temple called Bauphon:
And this temple outside Angkor Thom, called Ta Keo, which I climbed, then took 23 minutes to climb down:
This sunset from Phnom Bakheng, where you can see over Angkor Wat on the east side and out to the west (seen here):
What’s great about touring these temples is that there is very little you cannot explore. If a temple has a flight of stairs and no signs prohibiting you, you can climb up, down, walk around here, walk around there…
That freedom is likely to give you a glint in your eye, not just due to the strong sun, but the sense that you’re exploring something you really shouldn’t be able to access. I’m walking on centuries-old artifacts, come at me, museum docent. Who knows if we’ll be able to have that sort of access again during this trip, or any trip.
All photos by Kiwi.