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Tomb Raiding and Temple Running at Cambodia

Posted by on 18. December 2013

The Scenic View from the Moat fronting Angkor Wat

The rich heritage of the Khmer Empire stands to this day through the temples of Angkor and just seeing the massive structures with its  intricate designs is a testament of how the ancient infrastructure stood out through time and gives you an appreciation of their glorious past.”

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Angkor – Map from TourismCambodia.Org

Since we had two days to spare before the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon, we might as well go around and tour the place.  Our resort, Cockatoo Nature Resort arranged everything for us.  The first day of the tour had us visiting the Major Temples which is Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm and awaited sunset at Pre Rup with the night reserved for the Cambodia Circus and dinner at Pub Street.  The next day was to visit the outer temples like Bantaey Samre and Bantaey Srey which was about 38 kilometers from Siem Reap before going back to see the other temples like Ta Som, Nak Phean, Preah Khan before heading back to Siem Reap for the Cambodia Cultural Show.  That two day did require a lot of walking, climbing and a lot of Sunshine so I came prepared with my favorite walking shoes which is Skora.

Skore Rises Above the Ruins

Me think Skora is the best walking shoes.  I got a Base RO1 System when it was on sale and I like it for its flashy colours. Yes, this tomb raider and temple runner wants his shoes lightweight, fast, flashy and comfortable.   It can be go with or without socks and has a X-Strap System for easy fitting. It has an ortholite insoles which makes it comfortable for the feet.  Two days using Skora despite all the walking had my feet fresh and still ready to run the half marathon the next day.

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat – Constructed Early to Mid 12th Century

Angkor Wat is the most popular temple and centerpiece of Angkor attracting troves of Visitors as early as sunrise because of the magnificent combination of the ancient Angkor Wat temple, the moat surrounding it and the rising sun.  Angkor Wat is surrounded by a moat which makes it even more scenic as you go around the outer exterior of the temple.  The place even gets better as you slowly enter the interior of Angkor Wat as you see three massive temple mountains and a lot of carvings that tells a story of the ancient times.  It culminates in the upper areas of the temples, which was a holy ground at the time it was the Capital City of the Khmer Empire.

You gotta love the Sunrise at Angkor Wat

Bayon Temple

Bayon Temple – Constructed late 12th Century

Bayon is the centerpiece temple of the Angkor Thom area.  Bayon consist of 37 standing towers, most of which having four carved faces.  The Bayon Temple towers in the Angkor Thom area which also makes it one of the more popular temples in Angkor.  A tour around Bayon starts at the lower regions and ascends to the top part where you come face to face with the four faced structures.  The Bayon temple is surrounded by other structures such as Baphoun, which  looks like a temple mountain and the Elephants and Leper King terraces that also has its own story in the history.  The whole Angkor Thom is a walled city with two gates with a stone faced carving at the peak.

You just can’t miss the huge stone faced structures at the Bayon Temple

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm was Constructed Mid 12th Century to Early 13th Century

Ta Prohm is a fusion of a temple and jungle complex.  This is one of my favorite temples as the mere site of the strangling fig tree overpowering the ruins of the temples is just amazing on how nature co-existed with the temples over time.  This area was also included in the first Tomb Raider movie. The tree-in-the-temple structures have also attracted tourist to visit this site.  The jungle feel of the temple makes it really enchanting and the rubles all around the place adds the adventure vibe to the area.  Navigating Ta Prohm is always a visual delight and gets even better as you go deeper in the area.

Tomb Raiding in Ta Prohm

Pre Rup

Pre Rup was Constructed late 10th Century

Pre Rup looked like a temple mountain with a nice view of the countryside which is why it’s one of the popular sites for Sunset Watchers. It’s among the first temples built after the capital of the Khmer empire was transferred to Angkor.   At the top you see beautifully carved false doors and also has richly detailed and well preserved carvings.

Pre Rup Sunset

Banteay Samre

Bantaey Samre was constructed mid 12th Century

Bantaey Samre is 3 Kilometers away from Siem Reap and is a usual stopover on the way to the Bantaey Srey which is 38 kilometers of Siem Reap.  The structures are very similar to that of Angkor Wat as they were constructed around the same era.

Bantaey Srey

Bantaey Srey was constructed in the late 10th Century

Bantaey Srey lies 38 kilometers from Siem Reap and is really worth the travel since the temple have the most intricate and detailed carvings forming part of the classical Khmer Art as compared to the other temples.  The structures are similar to that of Angkor Wat with the three massive temple structures but with a more intricate carvings as part of the design of the temple.  The temple also has a boating area and a moat that adds beauty to the facade of Banaey Srey.  The temple was built at the time to honor a king.

The Moat at the backdrop of Bantaey Srey

Ta Som

Ta Som was constructed late 12th Century

Ta Som is a lot similar to the Bayon Temple with the four faced structures and also has the vibe of Ta Prohm with trees also growing in some of the temple structures.

Neak Phan

Neak Pean was constructed late 12th Century

The unique thing about Neak Pean was that it was situated in the middle of a pool and the you have to pass through a walk way surrounded by murky waters which becomes an even scenic backdrop with the combination of the plants in the waters.  The small island temple mesh well with the pool surrounding it.

Preah Khan

Preah Khan was constructed late 12th Centyre

Preah Khan is a lot similar to Ta Prohm with the Strangling Fig Tree overpowering the temple walls.  The place is also full of carvings and scenic passages within the temple since it used to serve as a Buddhist Monastery and School before.


It was a great to be a Tomb Raider and a Temple Runner in Angkor

It’s always great appreciating Angkor and Siem Reap as its glorious past remains evident to this date and there are still a lot to explore but it was fun be a tomb raider and a temple runner and traveling to the Khmer Empire’s ancient past and appreciating how the 10th to 12th century infrastructure swill stand out to the modern day.

And here’s another look again at the very scenic Angkor Wat International Half Marathon.

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