I spent four days in Siem Reap and didn’t go to Angkor Wat.
There. I said it.
The one reason you go to Siem Reap is to see Angkor Wat. It’s the reason we went to Siem Reap. You just don’t go to Siem Reap and not see Angkor Wat. You don’t go to Cambodia and not see Angkor Wat. That would be like going to Paris and managing to miss the Eiffel Tower, like going to San Francisco and not seeing the Golden Gate Bridge. It just doesn’t happen.
Except that for us, it did.
By the time we’d arrived in Siem Reap, I was physically exhausted and Kelly was nursing a cold. We debated our decision for two days.
- It’s beautiful.
- Great photo opportunity.
- We’re already here.
- How can you not?
- It’s expensive.
- The complex is huge and physically demanding.
- Potential for heat stroke (The temperature was out of control, over 100F every day).
- It’s incredibly crowded.
- Do you have to do something just because everyone else is? (Refer to: Bridge, Jump Off)
There are so many doubts. How can we say we’re giving up our steady jobs and normal life to travel and then just stay in a hotel room instead of sight see? Are we failing as travelers? Should we go even though we don’t want to?
So we made our choice. We mostly stayed inside. Drank too many avocado smoothies. Had a picnic in our hotel room. Souvenir hunted. Went out for drinks.
We made a choice to prioritize our bodies and our happiness over what a traveler “should” do. Maybe one day we’ll make it back to Siem Reap and see Angkor Wat. Maybe not.
I’ve made my peace with that.