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Angkor Tourist Hell

During our first visit to Angkor Wat we were alone! We even climbed up the old stone stairways at that time before the wooden stairs were built and we were alone. In most of the other temples of Angkor we were mostly alone except for the occasional security guard or little children offering their tour guide services for 1$. That was back in 1999! In 2012 there were more tourists, much more. But this last trip in 2019 was just heartbreaking! I planned to just visit outlying temples and avoid the main temples like Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm, which the tourists now call „Tomb Raider Temple“ – how sad is that?? But I could not completely avoid them. I did skip sunrise or sunset at Angkor Wat, because it is just too crazy and I had done it before. So, I just went there to selectively view certain parts of it and it was still a shocking experience. Too many people. Too many loud people. Too many mis-behaving people, despite all the signs and security guards. I felt sorry for the official Khmer tour guides, who have to live with this situation day by day, making a living from the income of ignorant and obnoxious tourists. Over time, I believe, that those tourists will destroy the beauty of Angkor Wat. It is already becoming a Disney World for selfie-obsessed tourists from all over the world who think that jumping and screaming is appropriate within a temple. I did what I could to avoid them, but I did not always succeed. However I was blessed with dozens of quiet temples which I had (almost) to myself and which still make me love Angkor.

Crazy traffic at the south gate of Angkor Thom
Bayon temple being overrun with tourist groups
Bayon temple
Everyone wants the same shot of himself
Footpath of Neak Pean where you cannot get away from other tourists
Very difficult to get certain shots without a tourist posing
Ta Prohm temple leaves no choice but to run into other tourists
There is now a one-way path through the temple
Traffic jam for the same photo opportunity
Some mis-behaving visitors ignoring all signs and barricades
Security telling tourists to get dressed properly
The line to get up Angkor Wat stairs
Angkor Wat stairways
DO NOT CLIMB signs being ignored
I am just speechless!
Screaming, jumping, posing, joking around inside temples!

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