On our first full day of touring in Siem Reap our guide said Angkor Wat in the morning – I said really? He said all of the tour companies do it the same way, off to the other temples and balloon views first (Bayon, Ta Prohm) and Angkor in the afternoon.
We took his advice and did Angkor Wat first and he was right. Sure it was busy (as it was getting into the dry season and high tourism time) but far from “busy”.
The back of the entrance.
Taking the long walk with the other tourists.
The interior is adorned with murals, often depicting fierce battles between the gods, humans and other creatures.
You can still see the remnants of paint. Areas shine on the murals where people rubbed them.
The steps to the top of the temple are quite steep. There was a woman at the entrance to the top looking at people’s clothing. If your shorts were too short, they would not let you pass.
I would agree with the first westerner who saw Angkor Wat when he said “is of such extraordinary construction that it is not possible to describe it with a pen, particularly since it is like no other building in the world. It has towers and decoration and all the refinements which the human genius can conceive of” (1586 – Portuguese monk)