#tbt Views like this are what we should be protecting. I'll definitely miss having Montana within driving distance this summer! @glaciernps
Day 11 of 16: we spent a total of 3 days in Siem Reap exploring the temples. I think that one of our favorite sites (along with everyone else) is the Bayon in Angkor Thom. Only 37 towers stand today each carved with 2-4 faces. I'm total there are over 200 faces in the Bayon! It feels like a maze with its many different floors and passageways.
Day 10 of 16: Our second day visiting the temples of Siem Reap we decided to finish off the "bucket list" item of heading to the west entrance of Angkor Wat for sunrise. The gates open at 5am and we arrived at the gate around 5:15am. When we arrived at the reflecting pool I was lucky enough to have a spot to put down my tripod. As sunrise came up around 6:30am the thousands of people that were there grew restless. Needless to say both Diana and I only wanted to do this once but I think we had a pretty good sunrise :).
Day 9 of 16: After lounging around the beach for a few days we were off to Siem Reap. It was some other kind of hot (even though it was winter) and the first day was in the mid 30 degrees Celsius (about 95 F)! We took the first day to get our temple passes and to get used to the heat by the pool. Our second day we hired a photography guide to take us around the temples and we were luckily able to join as he was already booked. (Thanks @louiskchan and @kevin_kuma). We were picked up at about 5am as we had a 45 minute drive to our first temple which was Banteay Srei. This is a very small temple but as you can see the carvings are the most intricate in the Angkor complex. It was consecrated in 967 AD and was restored using anastylosis in the 1930s. (Anastylosis is the process of restoring a monument or ruin using the original architectural elements to the greatest degree possible) I loved how it seemed as if around every corner there was something new that was to be discovered. Such as this ladder in one of the shrines!
Day 8 of 16: After Chiang Mai we traveled to Phuket Thailand where we were greeted with rain. But fortunately the next two days were pretty good. Our final day we went on a speed boat tour of the Phang Nga Bay. It always seemed like we were about an hour ahead of all of the other boats. I guess sometimes it pays to get up early! This photo is of a Longtail boat coming to the beach to visit the cave on this island.
Day 7 of 16: One of our last days in Chiang Mai was spent getting a taxi to pick us up around 5am so that we could drive 2 hours to Doi Inthanon National Park (which is the highest mountain in Thailand at 8415 feet or 2565 meters). We figured that we'd get there just in time for sunrise and it would be fine because who would go 2 hours away at sunrise? Well apparently EVERY THAI! We were the only tourists there it seemed with a group that rivaled Angkor Wat at sunrise! The coolest part was a trail that we did called the Kew Mae Pan trail. It went through the woods, over streams and waterfalls and then you get to the highlight which is this ridge walk above the clouds! At the end of the trail is the Queen and King pagodas or chedis. It was one of our most memorable experiences in Thailand and we highly recommend if you're in Chiang Mai to check it out!