Cambodia Day 4 – A Balloon Ride

16 May

This post is part of our adventures in Cambodia, to see other posts in the series, please click here.

One of the items in the tourist brochures we looked at that appealed to both of us was a hot air balloon ride over the temple area.  We did some research and there were two types of balloons – one a free hot air balloon and the other that was attached to a cable and winched up so it wouldn’t blow away.  We decided on the second option, as it was more flexible and also more affordable.

We started our day trying to go up in the balloon, but after snapping a photo, we were informed that the wind was too strong and to try to come back.

Our first attempt to ride the balloon early in the morning

Our first attempt to ride the balloon early in the morning

We then went to explore several other places and then returned again after lunch.

Once again they told us that they weren’t sure when/if we’d be able to fly.  This time though we really didn’t feel like going back into the hot afternoon sun and decided to sit and wait for a while.  The ticket takers said we could wait, but we didn’t need to pay until they decided if it was safe to fly.  We watched group after group come, listen to the weather report and then leave.  Finally, after waiting for over an hour they told us that we may be able to go up.  We took a couple of “happy pictures” with the balloon from below and then waited along with a group of German tourists for our turn.

Yay!  We finally get to take a ride.

Yay! We finally get to take a ride.

Look at the blue sky and puffy clouds - it was still pretty windy up there.

Look at the blue sky and puffy clouds – it was still pretty windy up there.

Even though the balloon was very large, only 8 people could go up at a time.  We watched the earth get smaller and smaller as the winch let us float above the fields below.

My guess is that it was a German balloon.  That's a good thing - I trust German technology

My guess is that it was a German balloon. That’s a good thing – I trust German technology

The winch letting us up

The winch letting us up

The beautiful pattern of the fields below

The beautiful pattern of the fields below

Finally then, we were able to see Angkor Wat from above.  To think that so many hundreds of years ago this temple was there – before hot air balloons or airplanes – was mind boggling.

See Angkor Wat over Li's shoulder?

See Angkor Wat over Li’s shoulder?

Angkor Wat from above

Angkor Wat from above

The ride only lasted about 20 minutes, but we had a wonderful time.  I would highly recommend it if you are visiting the Angkor Wat complex.

Heading down after a great ride.

Heading down after a great ride.

After finishing our balloon ride we then headed to Phnom Bakheng hill which was the recommended spot to watch the sunset.  Stay tuned to see if it could match the sunset of the night before!

What’s the longest you’ve waited in line for a tourist attraction?  Disney World doesn’t count!

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6 Responses to “Cambodia Day 4 – A Balloon Ride”

  1. thirdeyemom May 16, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    Wow I would be scared to be in a hot air balloon but then again I did do tandem gang gliding. Must have been a great experience!

    • gkm2011 May 17, 2013 at 7:50 am #

      It was a different point of view than climbing up and over the temples, really neat. Looking back, I don’t remember being nervous, but perhaps I should have been!

  2. ladyofthecakes May 16, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    I’ve always wanted to go up in a hot air balloon! I’m sooooooo jealous it’s not funny.

    • gkm2011 May 17, 2013 at 7:51 am #

      Growing up in my hometown we have a hot air balloon festival every year but I had never had the chance either. 🙂

  3. Kristin May 24, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

    That must have been a beautiful experience! Haha, love the pictures of you “holding” the balloon!
    And yes, apparently that balloon was German. Glad to hear you trust German technology. We must be good for (and at!) SOMETHING, right?! 😉

    • gkm2011 May 25, 2013 at 8:18 am #

      We had a lot of fun with the balloon, especially because we weren’t sure if we could go up! The German technology was comforting, I am not sure about Cambodian safety standards.

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