Angkor wat

February 10, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Posted in Cambodia | Leave a comment

The temples of angkor wat were built by the khmer empire between the 9th and 13th century. the ruins are located in forests and farmlands north of siem reap.

angkor thom was the first temple we went to and it was amazing. we felt like Indiania Jones climbing all over the ruins. you were allowed inside and everywhere really. it would be a kid’s dream playground.

Prasat Kravan

Ta Prohm – part of tomb raider was filmed here.

Ta som – the most relaxing of the temples

Mr Seng – biggest ladies man in siem reap. no women were safe when Mr Seng was about. he was our tuktuk drivers one day at the temples.

Another day we rented bikes and made our way, cycling about 30 km throughout the day. at the end of the day we realized our idea of cycling through laos wouldn’t happen -sore asses. we met some wild little monkeys along the way -they loved the supermario-sized bananas i brought along to lure them into being friendly.

since these temples sat forgotten and undiscovered for so many years, the jungle eventually took them over. while some restorations have occured, a lot of the temples are in ruins and have these big, beautiful trees growing in, on and through them.

the eastern gate of angkor thom – we also went to the southern gate the first day when we explored all of angkor thom. these gates are immense and very impressive, even though they are in ruins. each side of the gateway is lined with giant statues of what i think were gods. that’s huddy on the bike.

the carvings were immense and impressive. there were also giant moats around many of temples which are still well-formed today. i think moats are cool. i want one around my house.

Bantay srei

the carvings here were supposedly too intricate for men to have done them, hence the name banteay srei, which means ‘citadel of the women.’

Ta keo. this temple had many levels that could be climbed via steep, crumbling steps. most western countries would never let tourists do this because of safety as well as damage to the temples, so climbing to the top was a real novelty. it was possible to get to the top of the three towers – a dizzying climb, but worth it.

Angkor wat is the most famous of the temples because of size and the good condition it’s in. we saved angkor wat for last, which maybe was a mistake because we were a little templed out. however, the light at the end of the day was beautiful when it came through the openings in the walls.

i really couldn’t believe how these ancient temples are just open to the elements and open to hundreds of people exploring. it can’t be good for preservation, but actually seeing the artifacts in their original locations and being able to take such a close look is unusual and intriguing. thanks cambodia.


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