See more photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskYuvjFc
Anna, Todor, and I decided to do the “Big Circuit” tour in the opposite direction so we could see the sunset at Phnom Bakheng temple. It worked to our advantage because we were going the opposite direction of most tourists and avoided many of them at the first few temples.
Our first stop was Pre Rup, a Hindu temple where Cambodian funerals were conducted. Luckily, there were only a handful of people there when we arrived so we could take lots of great photos. Next, we explored East Mebon. Now entirely void of water, in its prime, East Mebon was a water reservoir. There are many wonderful elephant statues on the corners of the temple. Todor, Anna, and I tried to find the best preserved elephant which was a lot of fun. Ta Som is very compact, almost like a miniature version of Ta Prohm because it has one entrance engulfed by a tree. Neak Prean was very beautiful. It is a small monument surrounded by several ponds. The sky reflected into the water was breathtaking! Preah Khan was much more than just a temple. It was actually a Buddhist university and almost a mini-city.
In the evening, the three of us climbed to the top of Phnom Bakheng to watch the sunset. We had to go a little more than an hour early because only 300 people are allowed to view the sunset from the top at one time. Luckily, Anna, Todor, and I arrived there in advance. The temple itself did not have a lot to offer, but the view was spectacular. Looking out from the top, you can even see Angkor Wat temple.