Overdosing with temples

Siem Reap Travel Blog

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Angkor Wat











A day with themples




Angkor Wat


Angkor Wat is a temple built for King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city.

The largest and best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation - first Hindu, dedicated to Vishnu, then Buddhist.

The temple is the epitome of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country's prime attraction for visitors.


We visited Angkor Wat twice first early morning at 05.00 am at sun rice.  Angkor Wat is a visually, architecturally and aristically breathtaking.  It is a massiv threetiered pyramid crowned by lotus like towers rising 65 meters from ground level. 

This is the centerpiece of any visit to the temples of Angkor.  I promise you it was spectacular in sun rise.


Returning to the hotel for breakfast at 08.00 am and after breakfast back to Angkor Wat. 


The visual impact of Angkor Wat, particularly on first visit is awsome.

  We had to go back once more in day light.  Passing through the outer gate its size and architecture make it appear two dimensional lika a giant post card photo against the sky. 


We crossed throught the gate and approached the temple along the walkway.  Explorating the bas reliefs that cover the exterior first level, following the reliefs counterclockwise around the temple.  You have to visit Angkor Wat in optimal lighting conditions to have the maximize experience of this masterpice of architecture.


This day we almost had an overdose of temples; The South gate of Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple, Baphuon, Phimean Akah, and Terrace of Leperking.  We ended the day with Sunset at Phnom Bakeng.


The Elephant Terrace.


 Just under 1000 feet long, the Elephant Terrace is made of carved sandstone; the stairways are buted with three-headed elephants.

The carvings portray hunting scenes, with an emphasis on lions and tigers.


The Elephant Terrace extends from the Baphuon to the Terrace of the Leper King. It is unclear today as to whether the three structures were connected or whether there was space between them, and, like the Baphuon itself, alterations were evidently made to both terraces.


The bas-reliefs of the Elephant Terrace, in addition to the hunting scenes present images of sporting events, including wrestling, chariot races, and a game that, though popular today in Europe, originated in Asia - polo.



Angkor Thom.


This is a 3 km2 walled moatedroyal city and was the last capital of the Angkorian empire.  After Jayavarman VII recaptured the Angkor capital from the Cham invaders in 1181, he began a massive building campagn across the empire, constructing Angkor Thom as his new capital city.


There are five entrances (gatas) to the city, one for each cardinal point, and the victory gata leading to the Royal Palace aera.

Southern gate of Angkor Thom with the statues of giants on both sides
  Each gate is crowned with four giant faces.  We entered the city by the south gate. 



Phnom Bakeng


This is literally a temple on top of a mountain. Albeit a small mountain, more like a big hill the climb is still hard work. This is where most people come to enjoy the sunset views, so in the evening it gets very crowded.

Once you have climbed to the top of the mountain, take a look back and you are rewarded by superb views of Angkor Wat in the distance, just sitting in the jungle.

Then you are faced with another climb, to the top level of the temple, more steep steps! But the view of the sunset is unrivalled, provided you get there early to book your space.  

Be sure to bring a bottle of wather with you. 


We have been climbing up and down stairs and temples the hole day, our feet is warm, our legs is hard and wants to rest.  Our heads is filled with the history of Cambodian temples. 

We have had a fantastic day.

Sun set at Phnom Bakeng
  After a visit by the pool at our hotel and a short shower we went out to dinner.


By the dinner table my friends decided no more temples but I managed to convince them that we had to visit Ta Prom the next day.  And I had to promise them that this is the last temple we will visit.



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Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
Southern gate of Angkor Thom with …
Southern gate of Angkor Thom with…
Sun set at Phnom Bakeng
Sun set at Phnom Bakeng
Siri and Ingvild enjoying the sun …
Siri and Ingvild enjoying the sun…
Angkor Thom south gate
Angkor Thom south gate
A causeway leads to the south gate…
A causeway leads to the south gat…
Rubbing nose with Budda
Rubbing nose with Budda
Siri and Budda
Siri and Budda
Up and down
Up and down
Siem Reap
photo by: genetravelling