Day 51 - First Day of our Angkor Temple Tour

Siem Reap Travel Blog

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The Angkor Wat security walls ..... from the entrance to the moat

Having arranged to meet our tuk-tuk driver at 9am we had a nice relaxed morning, grabbing breakfast and getting ready for our first day of the visit to the Angkor Temples. The first thing we had to get was ourer tickets of course. The tickets are priced at $20 for 1 day, $40 for 2 days and $60 for 3 days. Depending on how much time you want to spend looking at the history and detail of each temple, normally 3 days suffices to see most of them. The 1 day ticket would be a very rushed day while only seeing about 10 of the possible 500 temples, the week long ticket is best for people who want to research the temples, but for us as holiday makers, the 3 day ticket would be perfect to take in all the important temples.

The moat around Angkor Wat .. it must be over 50m wide!

The first temple we made it to was Angkor Wat itself and approaching it, it looked amazing. The temple has a moate around it that is about 50m wide and then has a wall that is 8m thick and 6m tall stretching for 12km, a very well fortified structure, that accordong to the lonely planet book, puts any castle in the rest of the world to shame. The Cambodian government as well as several internetional agencies are currently restoring many of the main temples and Angkor Wat is one of them that is mid way through a restoration phase. On entering through the main gate the temple area opens up into a large green area with man made lakes/ponds on either side and the main temple itself in front of you in all its glory. All the temples were built between the 9th and 13th centuries under several kings of the Khymer Empire that covered the majority of what now is Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos, the most important and powerful empire of the period.

The Angkor Wat main entrance ... currently being restored as part of hte restoration project
The main symbols were evident everywhere, the 7 headed serpants, the buddhist gods, protectors, watchers and preservers. The most impressive carvery also exists on almost every part of each temple. In Angkor Wat there were walls about 100m long with entire story boards of life at the time and some of the history intricately carved in the stone. To undertake a similar project nowadays would take fifty plus men almost 100 years to complete.

After taking in Angkor itself, next we were off to the main complex of Angkor, Angkor Thom via the magnificent south gate entrance, the entrance having some lovely carvings and a large bridge in front of it lined with 2 large 7 headed serpents being held by rows of ancient soldiers.

The next temple was Bayon another splendid representation of the magnificent craftsmanship of the time, this time decorated with over 200 faces of Avalokiteshvara staring at you from every angle.

Some of the structure shapes of Angkor Wat's security wall

I don't think there is any point in me usingtrying to explain the uniqueness ofeach temple as 8 am not an expert in the ancient Khymer Empire, instead I'll let the pictures do the talking. The list of temples that we took from then on was Baphuon, Phimeanaka,  the Royal Palace, the Terrace of the Elephants, the Leper Kings Terrace, Chao Say Tevada, Thamanon, Ta Keo, Ta Prohm, Banteay Kdei and Kravan. I hope the pictures do them justice.
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The Angkor Wat security walls ....…
The Angkor Wat security walls ...…
The moat around Angkor Wat .. it m…
The moat around Angkor Wat .. it …
The Angkor Wat main entrance ... c…
The Angkor Wat main entrance ... …
Some of the structure shapes of An…
Some of the structure shapes of A…
Half of the length of the security…
Half of the length of the securit…
Some more of the carving on the st…
Some more of the carving on the s…
A view down one of the corridors w…
A view down one of the corridors …
The pillars, all with carving deta…
The pillars, all with carving det…
Some of the carvings on the window…
Some of the carvings on the windo…
Angkor Wat itself inside the secur…
Angkor Wat itself inside the secu…
Some of the designs and stone roof…
Some of the designs and stone roo…
Some of the carving .... worn from…
Some of the carving .... worn fro…
Naga again, protecting the paths a…
Naga again, protecting the paths …
Caroline and Song on the way into …
Caroline and Song on the way into…
A perspective view along the raili…
A perspective view along the rail…
The hot air balloon rides that all…
The hot air balloon rides that al…
The 7 headed serpent Naga
The 7 headed serpent Naga
A lion guarding the gates to Angko…
A lion guarding the gates to Angk…
The steps up into Angkor Wat itself
The steps up into Angkor Wat itself
Some of the fabulous carving scatt…
Some of the fabulous carving scat…
One of the 50m walls of carvings
One of the 50m walls of carvings
The Hot Air baloon of Angkor Wat b…
The Hot Air baloon of Angkor Wat …
Some of the carved roof tiles of a…
Some of the carved roof tiles of …
Some more of the carvings of Angko…
Some more of the carvings of Angk…
An alternative view of an Angkor T…
An alternative view of an Angkor …
The steps into one of the towers o…
The steps into one of the towers …
Some of the people staying shaded …
Some of the people staying shaded…
One of the towers in Angkor Wat
One of the towers in Angkor Wat
Some of the carving on a pillar th…
Some of the carving on a pillar t…
A large palm tree protruding from …
A large palm tree protruding from…
A view through one of the windows …
A view through one of the windows…
Me in front of Angkor Wat
Me in front of Angkor Wat
The tremendous Angkor Thom South G…
The tremendous Angkor Thom South …
The Naga (7 headed serpent) again …
The Naga (7 headed serpent) again…
The Bayon Temple ... the temple of…
The Bayon Temple ... the temple o…
Some of the faces casting their ey…
Some of the faces casting their e…
Some of the Faces of Bayon
Some of the Faces of Bayon
A tree taking over some of the bui…
A tree taking over some of the bu…
Some of the carving in the Bayon T…
Some of the carving in the Bayon …
Song and Caroline coming through t…
Song and Caroline coming through …
The total height of Bouphon Temple…
The total height of Bouphon Templ…
Some of the carvings in Bayon Temp…
Some of the carvings in Bayon Tem…
The various points on the roof of …
The various points on the roof of…
A view out the window of Bouphon T…
A view out the window of Bouphon …
Another weather beaten carving at …
Another weather beaten carving at…
The jigsaw pieces of Bouphon Temple
The jigsaw pieces of Bouphon Temple
Some of the pillars of Bouphon Tem…
Some of the pillars of Bouphon Te…
Bayon in all its glory
Bayon in all its glory
The bridge to Bouphon Temple ... d…
The bridge to Bouphon Temple ... …
The view underneath the bridge to …
The view underneath the bridge to…
Some locals swimming in the pool a…
Some locals swimming in the pool …
Bouphon Temple
Bouphon Temple
Bouphon .. the largest jig saw puz…
Bouphon .. the largest jig saw pu…
The markets found outside almost e…
The markets found outside almost …
Caroline climbing the steps up Bou…
Caroline climbing the steps up Bo…
Song climbing p the steps of Bouph…
Song climbing p the steps of Boup…
Caroline and Song at the top of th…
Caroline and Song at the top of t…
A supported archway in Bouphon Tem…
A supported archway in Bouphon Te…
A Tree that collapsed into the poo…
A Tree that collapsed into the po…
The exit gate from Bouphon
The exit gate from Bouphon
The Terrace of Elephants
The Terrace of Elephants
The Terrace of Elephants in detail
The Terrace of Elephants in detail
Me looking after the Terrace Of El…
Me looking after the Terrace Of E…
The stalls and tuk-tuks sheltered …
The stalls and tuk-tuks sheltered…
The entrance to Chau Say Tevoda Te…
The entrance to Chau Say Tevoda T…
One of the towers representing one…
One of the towers representing on…
Some of the trees that destroy the…
Some of the trees that destroy th…
Some of the carvings around the co…
Some of the carvings around the c…
Naga in the Terrace of The Leper K…
Naga in the Terrace of The Leper …
Thamanon Temple which has been par…
Thamanon Temple which has been pa…
Some more detal of the restoration…
Some more detal of the restoratio…
A tower partially rebuilt in Thama…
A tower partially rebuilt in Tham…
More of the reconstructed Thamanon…
More of the reconstructed Thamano…
Another building of Thamanon Temple
Another building of Thamanon Temple
Some of the preserved carvings in …
Some of the preserved carvings in…
The detailed roof structure of Tha…
The detailed roof structure of Th…
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Ta Keo temple ... this temple was …
Ta Keo temple ... this temple was…
Climbing the steps of Ta Keo
Climbing the steps of Ta Keo
A tree with its roots firmly embed…
A tree with its roots firmly embe…
A look upwards through one of the …
A look upwards through one of the…
Getting to the top of Ta Keo .... …
Getting to the top of Ta Keo ....…
A view from the top of Ta Keo
A view from the top of Ta Keo
Entering Ta Prohm .. the set for T…
Entering Ta Prohm .. the set for …
Ta Prohm in ruins due to the trees…
Ta Prohm in ruins due to the tree…
Ta Prohm with the many trees sprou…
Ta Prohm with the many trees spro…
Me beside a root of 1 of the trees…
Me beside a root of 1 of the tree…
The largest visible tree root at T…
The largest visible tree root at …
One of the still standing doorways…
One of the still standing doorway…
One of the enormous trees .... wit…
One of the enormous trees .... wi…
A very dangerous section of Ta Pro…
A very dangerous section of Ta Pr…
Caroline and Song negotiating the …
Caroline and Song negotiating the…
The famous Tree roots system in Ta…
The famous Tree roots system in T…
More of the ruins of Ta Prohm
More of the ruins of Ta Prohm
Some of the intact part of Ta Prohm
Some of the intact part of Ta Prohm
The entrance to Banteay Kdei
The entrance to Banteay Kdei
A dark shady part of Banteay Kdei
A dark shady part of Banteay Kdei
A pillar in Banteay Kdei, propped …
A pillar in Banteay Kdei, propped…
A pillar in Banteay Kdei that has …
A pillar in Banteay Kdei that has…
Some of the ruins of Banteay Kdei
Some of the ruins of Banteay Kdei
The Sun setting over Banteay Kdei
The Sun setting over Banteay Kdei
Some of the pieces of Banteay Kdei…
Some of the pieces of Banteay Kde…
A giant crack down through the car…
A giant crack down through the ca…
The steps up to the raised foundat…
The steps up to the raised founda…
Kravan ... in all its small but wo…
Kravan ... in all its small but w…
The 3 monuments of Kravan ... one …
The 3 monuments of Kravan ... one…
Some of the strange foundations th…
Some of the strange foundations t…
One of the towers of the Temple at…
One of the towers of the Temple a…
The most complete lion that ive s…
The most complete lion that i've …
Siem Reap
photo by: genetravelling