Cambodia Series 4 of 4 | Angkor National Museum & off to Hanoi

Siem Reap ក្រុងសៀមរាប, home to the ancient World Heritage temples of Angkor Wat, was a bustling city and capital to the Khmer empire in the 12 - 13th century.

I'll be spending 4 days in Siem Reap, visiting the Tonle Sap lake floating villages, Angkor Wat, the local markets, join in on the crazy Khmer New Year water festival, and wrapping up at a visit to the National Museum to fill in any gaps on learnings. After Siem Reap I'll be heading over to Hanoi for a weekend in Halong Bay.

Siem Reap day 1 - Tonle Sap lake
Siem Reap day 2 - Angkor Wat sunrise (Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm)
Siem Reap day 3 - More of Angkor Wat (Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Ta Som, Bantaey Srei, Pre Rup)
Siem Reap day 4 - National Museum


It was just as sunny as any other day as I wrap up my trip in Siem Reap. I only had a short day until early afternoon so my only plan was to visit the Angkor National Museum. It was perfect to wrap up the trip with a visit to the museum. Some would argue that going to the museum prior to going to the ruins would help with an overview, but I'd say it would be pretty overwhelming and too much information to absorb if I went the first day. 

Like all museums, you walk through the halls and relive through the history. The prosperity of the ancient Khmer civilization echoes through the delicate statues and carvings left behind. Galleries D, E, and G walk you through the different styles of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and Apsara, perhaps the most important section within this museum, more than any tour guide will be able to explain to you. There's no photos allowed in the museum so I can't show much on my blog, but it is definitely worth the visit, even after having seeing Angkor Wat in person. 

After my visit to the museum, I head back to Little Pub street for one last meal (and one last avocado milkshake). As I sweat in the unforgiving heat of 35C, I think back on these past 4 days, the people I've met, from my driver to the 17 year old boy who rowed me through Tonle Sap in a kayak; I think about all of the incredible temples I've seen, and still shocked that it is not a part of the 7 wonders of the world. One last ride with my driver, Mr. Sambo. I never thought I would grow so attached to a driver on my holidays for a few days, but he was really caring and lovely. I wonder how life would be for him from now and can only wish the best for him and his family. 

My flight took off just around sunset, and turned Northeast to head for Hanoi. I was lucky enough to have been seated on the right side to catch one last glimpse of Angkor Wat from the sky. 

From the picture below, you can see the West Baray (Reservoir) on the left of the picture. And right next to it, the square shaped reflection of the water surrounding Angkor Wat. 

I arrived in Hanoi, landing early, and getting through customs within 15 minutes. The express visa services is worth every dollar, last time I stood there waiting for an hour. Before I knew it, I was within Hanoi city and having Pho by 9pm. I never thought I'd miss Hanoi! Off to some more adventures tomorrow! 

Beautiful sunset caught on video 

No comments:

Post a Comment