Return to Ta Prohm, that is. Originally day three of our trip was to be a free day. We considered a spa day, visiting the food markets, something relaxing. But in the end, we wanted to go back to Ta Prohm, and to get a closer look at some of the places we’d merely driven by on day one. So we retained the tour guide and car for another day and set off in the morning to visit Ta Prohm before it was completely flooded with tourists (and before it was sweltering, though even at 8:30, it was getting super hot).
So glad that we chose this option as this time all three of us were able to enjoy this little gem of a temple, visiting spots we didn’t see the first time around and generally soaking up the ambience and taking a gazillion more pictures. To be honest, I would’ve enjoyed this trip if it had only been Ta Prohm and Bayon and extensive photo taking. Everything else was just bonus. Cannot recommend this temple highly enough. Go early, so you can take your time as you wander through it.
After Ta Prohm, we stopped to visit the ruins of two smaller temple complexes, one dedicated to Vishnu, one to Shiva. Peaceful and lovely, both of them. Then it was off to the Elephant Terrace in Angkor Thom, across the street from Bayon. The terrace is so-called because of the many carvings of elephants (plus a few garuda, lions, monkeys and more) carved into the terrace wall. Unfortunately, by this point it was ridiculously hot, so we only briefly walked along the wall, snapping pics. Would’ve loved to explore the ruins of the old palace beyond the terrace.
Another good lunch followed, and then some quick souvenir shopping before we headed back to the hotel to relax before our overnight night flight.
It wasn’t a long trip, but it was definitely memorable and I am so very glad to have finally made it to the temples of Siem Reap. A dream come true. I might not venture to southeast asia next year (planning lots of travel inside Japan, maybe to Seoul), but perhaps in 2018 I can consider heading back for Vietnam.