Racing at breakneck speed down the Khmer Road in Angkor Wat gives you the incredible feeling of being in an adventure movie. The journey through Angkor consists of many temple ruins amidst lush, thick, green jungles. You can get there by a Tuk Tuk (an open covered cart) pulled by a motorbike. Angkor is located along the Ancient Khmer Highway, which goes all the way to Thailand.
I felt like I was on an expedition as our driver whisked us past monkeys, chickens, water buffalo, elephants, and holy pigs (yes, holy pigs) through the dense jungles of Angkor.
I was left breathless by the incredible ruins we passed. Part of me wanted to go slower to see them all. The other part wanted to speed even faster knowing I only had 3 days there. My driver, luckily, did a bit of both. Enormous elephants lumbered slowly by the Tuk Tuk so close I could reach out and touch them. They walked amidst motorcycles, pedestrians, chickens, and other Tuk Tuks. All the while we all shared a small one lane road. It was nothing like the highways or the byways in the many countries that I’ve traveled through.
I have to say even more memorable was the water buffalo zig-zagging his way across the road to unknown parts of the jungle. We were going so fast I only caught a blur of him in a photo. However, that is something not easily forgotten.
Stone lions gazing on the same road since the 12th century. Quietly watching everyone and everything including time passing for about 900 years.
The villages I passed could’ve been movie sets. There were open fronted thatch covered stores complete with umbrella covered carts in the front. Locals selling everything imaginable while their children played amidst their chickens, cows, and monkeys. They were selling guide books, magnets, spices, tea, and statues. Carts full of ice cream and cold beverages, tables covered in food. Coconuts with machetes beside them (to open the tops) for refreshing drinks from the heat. Monkeys watching us go by.
Just as quickly as a village appeared, the scenery changed over to the green, vast, overgrown jungle. With a setting like that, it was easy to imagine being pursued by treasure thieves. Or even rushing to be the first to find a lost city. Indeed many ruins are hidden here in the jungles of Angkor Wat. My next few posts will be about some of the different temples and ruins that I saw. Some indeed hidden by the encroaching foliage.
The driver knew where all the temples and ruins were. He even drove the long way back to show more of Siem Reap and the countryside. Since the transport seemed more like an expedition than just a way to get to my destination. I had to write about it. The Khmer Road System that goes through Angkor Wat: It’s An Adventure in an Adventure.