Our guesthouse (the Two Dragons - definitely stay there) helped us arrange a guide (Soukhem. Ask for him by name. Great guy) and a driver (also a great guy named San. Tired of the parentheticals yet?), and we spent two days exploring the many ruined temples surrounding Siem Reap.
On Day one we took in Ta Prohm (the Tomb Raider temple, if that means anything to you. It really didn't to us, since neither of us had seen the movie.), Angkor Wat, and a number of sites in Angkor Thom, including Bayon and the Terrace of Elephants, and the Terrace of the Leper King. After that we returned home to collapse, and get ready for seeing the sunrise at Angkor Wat the next morning. We scoffed at another sunset though. Too much sensory overload.
Random Trivia Fact for Today.
Siem Reap wasn't the original name for the area and city of the Khmer empire. "Angkor Thom" was the name of the first city, and it was a huge city from about the 8th century onward. However, a lost war against the country of Siam resulted in the abandonment of the site (I think in around the 15th century, but I'll check on that).
The Khmers came back, though, in the 17th century, and built another city from the dust of Angkor Thom. Siem Reap is Khmer for "Siam Defeated", and it was named in honour of a whupping the Khmers handed to the Thais. Cool name, unless you happen to be a visiting Thai. Then it may hit a little close to home, you know?
Note: some of those dates may be a little off, since I'm not spending valuable updating time on google right now. "Fun Facts" never really had to be 100% true, right? Because they're fun? Like the whole "Great Wall from space" thing? (Which is my number one Fun Fact pet peeve. It can't be seen from space, unless you're talking "space" as to be a few miles up, and then you can see road, houses, factories, etc. etc. etc. It's just a wall - a really long wall, but not a very wide wall. Rant over.)