Angkor Wat: Tomb Raiders

By , July 5, 2010 7:35 am

In the 2001 film titled Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Angelina Jolie caught my attention with all those crazy flips and stunts. Even more stunning were the temples that were captured in the movie.

Early one morning in Siem Reap, we rented $1 bicycles and rode our way to Angkor Park. For once, the weather forecast was correct: hot and sunny, low 100’s. Large tour buses and tuk tuks transporting tourists through the park passed right by us. We knew right away we should visit the smaller, less popular temples and then work our way to the popular sites to avoid the large crowds.

Boris and I are definitely not temple fanatics. We have seen a lot of temples so far because there are so many in Southeast Asia. However, we were very impressed with the temples here in Angkor Park. They were well preserved and just magnificent.

As we continued riding buried in our own sweat, there was something surreal about being in the park. There were lots of trees and space around us. The path we chose was quiet and empty. Sometimes we were alone at the small temples and had time to think and take it all in.

However, not everything lasts forever. As we made our way to the more popular temples, large crowds surrounded us.

Our favorite was Ta Prohm temple. It looked small from the front but there was an enormous tree soaring out of the middle. As we entered the temple, the roots of the giant tree were well above our heads. Everywhere we turned, there was another exceptional tall tree. When we finally arrived at the famous scene of Lara Croft, I knew instantly. The site confirmed the movie was real and our next job was to find Angelina Jolie.

We didn’t end up finding Angelina but our next favorite temple happened to be in the same film. Bayon temple is distinct with its 54 towers, each bearing 4 faces. After a while, you forgot where you were inside the temple since all the faces were identical.

There were many other temples we enjoyed. Overall, you had to be in awe at the sight of these large detailed works of art, which were dated back to the 12th century. How did they ever build these structures?

Flickr Photoset | Slideshow

7 Responses to “Angkor Wat: Tomb Raiders”

  1. Anthony says:

    normal que vous ayiez pas trouvé angelina . on etait caché. d’ou
    l’vantage d’arriver en premier

  2. Robert says:

    Angkor Wat is an awesome sight – I’m sad to see that they’re
    putting up little fences though. When I went there weren’t any and
    you could go wherever you wanted and climb all over the ruins.

  3. Boris says:

    We did not see any fences other than on restoration sites.

  4. Puru says:

    Did you manage to cover the whole place in a single day? I am going
    with some friends there and have just one day in hand for Angkor
    Wat :(

  5. Boris says:

    We did. However, be ready to wake up very early and be exhausted at
    the end of the day. Also, I recommend to start from the back of the
    visit loops so you don’t fight with thousands of tourists in the

  6. Emma Becker says:

    Hello, It was nice reading and seeing your blog, it made me very
    curious. I am going to Cambodia on September this year. Besides
    Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam are also listed to be visited. But
    still I have a question about a hotel you might have seen during
    your visit in Siem Reap. I booked the following hotel: Tara Angkor
    Hotel. You know if it is a good hotel? I heard good stories about
    it. What are the best attractions to visit in Siem Reap and in the

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