The next stop was #5 on the map, Ta Keo. At the time of our visit it was partially being reconstructed, but was still unbelievable. The one thing that will forever stand out in my mind about this place was the stairs. And I know, I know, Andrew and I should be in pretty good shape... these stairs should be easy! But it wasn't the amount of stairs, but the steepness. On the way up we were literally on our hands and knees, holding on and climbing up. And all you can think to yourself is "That Asian lady above me who's looking veryyy shakey better not mis-step otherwise we're all going down with her". And on the way down? I personally thought was even worse, because you have to look at how far you may fall. But from the top? The view was amazing!
Before heading to the next temple, we decided to take a very wise lunch break during the hottest hours of the day. We trusted our tuk tuk driver to take us somewhere 'local' and not filled with too many tourists. Well, he succeeded- the lunch was not only delicious and refueled us for the second half of the day but we found on the side of the restaurant there were hammocks tied onto the building in the shade. A quick nap in the shade after filling our stomachs with duck curry?! We don't mind if we do! All of that walking is exhausting!
TA PROHM TEMPLE:
After about an hour nap in the 90 degree heat we were onto the next, and probably the most popular, temple on the Angkor Wat complex.
Ta Prohm Temple was built in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. Unlike most of the temples within Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm is basically in the same condition it was found. And due to the massive tree roots growing through the ruins and jungle surrounding it, it makes it one of the most photogenic temples. It was also made famous thanks to the film Tomb Raider. Which unfortunately, makes it top on the list to visit for every tour group. So, although it is one of the most surreal temples, it just looses its specialness as you're slowly walking behind a group of 30 tourists.
Everyone waiting in line to get a picture in front of THE Tomb Raider temple.
One of the last stops on our jam-packed adventure filled day through the Angkor Wat Temples was Banteay Kdei. (#7 on the map above). It was built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries AD. It has a similar architectural style to Ta Prohm, but a bit smaller.
I felt this was one of the temples that was overlooked by the big tour groups, but it was just as stunning as Ta Prohm. Lucky for us!
Within this temple, there were some amazing doorways... which made for some perfect spots for a little photo shoot.