This morning we drove out to the distant temples from Angkor. We started out with Kobal Spien, or the river of
one thousand lingas. There was a long dirt road (full of pot-holes, water
buffalo and kids) out to the forest, and then an hours hike through the forest
to reach the river. The river runs over stone which has carved into it images
of the Hindu gods Vishnu, Rama, Lakshmi and Hanuman. There are also 1000 lingas
(phalluses) carved into the river bed, which serve to make the river holy.
Downstream from this is a waterfall, where you can bathe, although Jodie and I
only went in up to the knees (our guide had a shower under the waterfall). This
is meant to bring good luck, so Jodie might have banished some of her bad luck
from yesterday (at Angkor Wat the children outside gave us notes saying they
were our friends, and pictures they drew, and when we said we were from
Australia they went ‘the capital is Canberra and the population is 19 million’,
all, of course, to get us to buy postcards – when we didn’t one cursed Jodie to
bad luck forever, the only time that we have had that type of response).
forest area is still full of landmines from the Pol Pot era, so we were careful
to never leave the path.
For lunch we had a picnic at Banteay Srei. Banteay Srei was
built in 967 by Rajendravarman II and Jayavarman V. It is a Hindu temple
dedicated to Shiva. Like all the temples we have seen, it was quite unique.
This temple was quite small (~200m by ~100m compared to 1.5km by 1.3km for
Angkor Wat), but had an amazing amount of extremely intricate carvings on it.
For our final temple ruin, we visited Banteay Samre.
Banteay Samre was built in ~1130 by Suryavarman II, and is a Hindu temple
dedicated to Vishnu.
The temple was built in a very castle-like style, with
imposing walls in a square block, approached by a stone causeway from all four
directions. Immediately inside the gateway another set of walls is built, with
a ‘moat’ between them, although it was dry and was only designed to be a few
inches deep anyway (no crocodiles here), with the passage to the interior being
reached by stepping stones. Inside the second set of walls were two libraries
and the central sanctuary, again with the shallow moat surrounding them. Also
interesting were the columns which had an almost Roman look to them as they
stood in row (the teak root having long since rotted away).
For our final meal in Siem Reap we went out to the Hawaii
No Problems Pizza shop with Leanne.
Siem Reap Sights & Attractions review
There are many temple complexes in the Siem Reap area built by the Angkor God-Kings in the 10th-12th century. The most famous is Angkor Wat, but my fa… read entire review