Coucher de soleil sur le temple de Bakheng Hill. Siem Reap, Cambodge. Février 2011.
Sunset on the Bakheng Hill Temple. Siem Reap, Cambodia. February 2011.

Tourist in Siem Reap

  Cambodia and Thailand - February 2011

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the weird sentences and the funny mistakes that could have been generated during the process. If you can read French, the original and correct version can be found here:

Siem Reap is the city next to the temples of Angkor, Cambodia. My previous passages here go back to 2001 and 2003. There were people already. But there, uh ... it has taken another dimension outright. The traditional "sunset" in Bakheng Hill is worth the detour.

We can manage to take some pictures that make believe a temple in ruins little frequented ...

Coucher de soleil sur le temple de Bakheng Hill. Siem Reap, Cambodge. Février 2011.
Sunset on the Bakheng Hill Temple. Siem Reap, Cambodia. February 2011.

But the reality, at sunset time, between 17h and 18h30, is rather that:

Temple de Bakheng Hill. Siem Reap, Cambodge. Février 2011.

Awesome, no? Do not be afraid ... 😀

The temples are very beautiful, despite us tourists.

La foule des touristes attend le coucher de soleil sur le temple de Bakheng Hill. Siem Reap, Cambodge. Février 2011.

That said, I knew what to expect, question attendance, coming back here ... And I could already see, in two rounds of tuk-tuk and a small walk to return to the guesthouse, that Siem Reap has changed well in ten years. Big bad hotels have sprung up everywhere.

Nevertheless, I am delighted to be here, back in the skies of Asia. But I'm too slammed tonight to do longer. Tomorrow, first day of visiting the temples ... I'll be back soon to show you all that!

  Cambodia and Thailand - February 2011

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  1. It reminds me of holiday pictures that I had the opportunity to take and that gave the impression of an idyllic landscape, unspoilt tourism, while the reality was quite different. #8230; Good holidays ! 🙄

  2. It does not matter that you can take photos at the Martin Parr, at least as much interest in the societal phenomenon tourism as architecture.

    And I'm sure that by going early to the more distant temples like Banteai Srey (where Malraux was chopper, a saw in hand & #8230;) or Beng Meala & #8230; it must still be less the crowd. 8)

    The other solution is to go there in the summer, during the monsoon, it's quiet ... (and it was during this period that Steve McCurry had made his beautiful pictures )

  3. It does not make me want at all ... there are too many people! 😡
    I am much better where I am ... besides, you can not make a good glass of wine with a piece of cheese !!
    And then, I, tomorrow, I will spend 6 hours in a bus, all that to go to France! I have too much luck !!! 😡
    Come on, enjoy!
    Biz !!!

  4. The beautiful month of May in February, what a new happiness! The "sunsets" are glowing and more beautiful every night, and I'm the only one to photograph them, in a certainly less prestigious than Siem Reap, but that has the charm you know him.

  5. @Charly: In August, wet season, there will inevitably be fewer people. In this case, it is best to start as early as possible in the day to escape the bulk of the crowd.

    @Fabrice: Even arriving early, it becomes difficult to escape the groups of Japanese, at least in the temples "stars" Bayon, Ta Phrom, Angkor Wat ... They always end up in full buses, early in the morning.

    @auxBulles: Yes, the sites of Angkor are more than very busy, and it promises to grow with the rise of Chinese tourism and the future new airport of Siem Reap. You just have to know it before you go, and do not naively imagine visiting deserted temples, lost in the depths of the jungle ...

    @ Wet & Sea / Ludovic: He made me laugh your comment. I do have a full stock of "Martin Parr-like" images ... But even at Bantai Srey, we're not quiet anymore. Better to come during the rainy season, that's for sure, to hope to be a little more pampered. It's because I had done the previous times.
    That said, I discover during this third visit that several temples have been "fitted out" with wooden walkways, safety cords and stairs, such as Ta Phrom and Angkor Wat, to facilitate the passage of this permanent tourist stream ... glop. I liked better before.

    @ Helen: Well, there's laughing Cow and Australian Chardonnay in Siem Reap ... Come on, brave for the bus hours !!!

    @Ysbilia: I saw ... 😉 Thank you!

    @David: The influx, of Asian tourists in particular, is also explained by the fact that we are, in early February, in the period following the Chinese New Year ... I took advantage despite everything! But some tourist cohorts are very impressive ...

  6. I recommend going to the sunrise as the sunset, much more authentic and less crowded. it just involves getting up early 🙂

  7. @Paolito: Very just. This advice is also valid for most temples, if you want to discover out of the crowd. Get up early to get there before the groups and the crowd of visitors, in addition to enjoying a beautiful morning light.