Sunday, February 3, 2013

The temples of Angkor

Angkor Wat is probably the main reason tourists come to Cambodia. (like me!) It is truly magnificent however there are many more temples that are almost as beautiful.  We only saw four temples which is a shame.  I think if I ever came back (highly doubtful - not because I don't want to but at the age of 60 there is a limited time for me to see everything I want to see)  I would base myself in Siem Reap for about five days and do two days templing, one off and another one or two templing again.  It does get overwhelming. 

Angkor was once a city that began in 802AD to 1432.  When London was a city of a mere 50,000 Angkor boasted a million people.  Many temples were made of wood and did not survive.  What is still here is just a small portion of what once was....

Firstly Angkor Wat...

The back entrance to Angkor Wat

Sunrise at Angkor Wat but unfortunately too cloudy!!! Notice restoration going on under the green shelter

Amazing detail on all the walls. 

I declined to go up these stairs.  The original staircase is not to be used anymore after a Korean woman fell to her death in 2006. 

Next up is the most dramatic...Ta Prohm,  This temple has been swallowed by the jungle - this is where Lara Croft, Tomb Raider was filmed.  I guess I will have to check that out.  And as most probably know Angelina Jolie adopted a Cambodian child.  She has done A LOT for the people of Cambodia - donating lots of money to various projects - restoration of buildings, to schools, etc.  It's nice to hear she has a good heart.

Our group

  Later that day we visited Bateay Srei which was further afield.  It is smaller than the other temples but has some of the finest stone carving seen anywhere on earth. 

We had a little longer at Banteay Sri than anticipated as our bus broke down!!! 

The next day we spent the morning at the huge Angkor Thom - it spreads over 10 sq km!!

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