Angkor Temples - The big circuit
Siem Reap Travel Blog› entry 99 of 658 › view all entries
People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Juliana (Russia), Jim (England)
After the first wonderful day at Angkor, i was again a little sceptical as to whether the 'lesser' ruins would keep me entertained for the day. These doubts were laid to rest as we entered Preah Khan, a former Buddhist university. Along with wonderful carvings, the southern entrance was overrun by a huge tree and there was also a wonderful two tiered building that resembled something you would find in ancient Greece or Rome. After walking the length and breadth of the cruciform shaped building, we headed on to the temple at Preah Neak Poan. Unlike the other temples, this was actually a central tower circled by a (dry) pond, with 4 smaller pools circling it.
Fed and watered we spent the afternoon exploring the temples of Eastern Mabon, Pre Rup and Banteay Kdei. Eastern Mebon was notable for the lovely carved elephant statues at each corner, whilst Pre Rup had doubled up as an Angkor crematorium. Both of these sites had similar architectural design, although Eastern Mebon was considerably larger. Banteay Kdei boasted huge outer walls and some interesting carvings, of which Julia and i tried to mimic, with little success. There was also a huge swarm of bees that made for an interesting picture, but i didn't want to stay around too long to get the stings to accompany the picture.
Although the temples on the larger circuit were possibly not as jaw droppingly unique, if they were situated anywhere else in the World they would be swarming with tourists everyday. In contrast, due to the rich selection of ruins in the area, we often only had to share the sites with a handful of people. The day had turned out to be a pleasant relaxing trip, around some beautiful intriguing sites.