Sunset on the Bakheng Hill Temple. Siem Reap, Cambodia. February 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 translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

Siem Reap is the city next to the temples of Angkor, Cambodia. My previous passages here go back to 2001 and 2003. It was crowded already. But then, uh... it just took on a whole new dimension. 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 ...

Sunset on the Bakheng Hill Temple. Siem Reap, Cambodia. February 2011.
Sunset on the Bakheng Hill Temple. Siem Reap, Cambodia. February 2011.

But the reality at sunset time, between 5:00 and 6:30, is more like this:

Bakheng Hill Temple. Siem Reap, Cambodia. February 2011.

Impressive, isn't it? Don't be afraid... 😀

The temples are very beautiful, despite us tourists.

The crowd of tourists is waiting for sunset on the Bakheng Hill temple. Siem Reap, Cambodia. February 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.

Still, I'm thrilled to be back under the Asian skies. But I'm too slammed tonight to go any longer. Tomorrow, the first day of visiting the temples... I'll be back very soon to show you everything!

  Cambodia and Thailand - February 2011

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  1. Même si a priori ce sera plus le Laos que le Cambodge en août, si j’ai l’occasion d’y passer, j’espère qu’il y aura moins de monde 😉
    In any case, enjoy your trip! See you soon !

  2. Cela me rappelle des photos de vacances que j’ai eu l’occasion de prendre et qui donnaient l’impression d’un paysage idyllique, préservé du tourisme, alors que la réalité était tout autre… Bonnes vacances ! 🙄

  3. 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 ...) or Beng Meala ... it must still be less crowd. 8)

    L’autre solution, c’est aussi d’y aller en été, pendant la mousson, ça calme 😀 … (et c’est pendant cette période que Steve McCurry avait fait ses magnifiques photos )

  4. Ca ne me fait pas du tout envie…il y a beaucoup trop de monde !!! 😡
    I am much better where I am ... besides, you can not make a good glass of wine with a piece of cheese !!
    Et puis, moi, demain, je vais passer 6 heures dans un bus, tout ça pour aller en France!! J’ai trop de la chance!!! 😡
    Come on, enjoy!
    Biz !!!

  5. 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.

  6. @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: J’ai vu… 😉 Merci !

    @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 ...

  7. Moi je conseille d’aller pour le sunrise que le sunset, beaucoup plus authentique et moins de monde. ca implique juste de se lever tot 🙂

  8. @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.