Angkor Wat which means "city temple" and the many temples around it, are quite simply stunning. Built in the 12th Century for King King Suryavarman II ,it is the prime example of Kyhmer architecture.
ANGKOR WAT - CAMBODIA
View from Phnom Bakeng
PHROM BAKENG - ANGKOR WAT
The night we arrived , we...along with hundreds of others ,headed up to Phnom Bakeng a hill that overlooks the temple, to see the sunset.
It was a taste of what was to come. Crowds, steep, huge stone steps, and magnificent views. Walking up the hill was for some a mission, so they took the opportunity to ride on the many elephants waiting for anyone wanting an easy option.
There are many temples surrounding this whole area. You could spend several days seeing them all. We chose to go to the main temples, having opted for a one day ticket.
We went early as it was very hot and humid in mid October. Many people would have chosen to go even earlier for the lighting for pictures, as it is recommended mid day is not a good time for light for photography. Early morning or sunset being the best times.
BAYON - ANGKOR WAT
ANGKOR WAT TEMPLE
The first view of this amazing ancient structure is truly spectacular. For most people it would be from a bridge crossing over the lake approach. Once in the temple you go on this wandering walk through long narrow passages, with carved buddhas or shrines set into alcoves along the way.
ANGKOR WAT BAS
Passages around the top offer views to huge carved stones of Buddhist Gods, many of the carvings telling a story. They all represent spiritual and cultural beliefs of the time. There were some fascinating ideas and representations!
ANGKOR WAT TEMPLE CORRIDOR
Arriving at the West face we were to leave by the East face. It was hard to believe this was built by the Khymer civilization between 802 and 1220 AD!How these huge blocks of carved stone each weighing several tonnes, were moved into place, is a testimony to the skill, both architectural and artisan, of this time.
INTERIOR VIEW ANGKOR WAT
I had not realised just how step and widely spaced the steps were! Many younger fitter people than me, were a little daunted. I would suggest getting your fitness levels up, for a really enjoyable tour.
The worn stones with 1,000’s of years worth of patina worn from probably millions of feet, represent an age much more advanced than we give credit for. I wonder how many buildings built today will hold the test of time!
WORN STEPS - ANGKOR WAT
Hauling ourselves up the west face we had to descend the narrow stairs, fortunately with the help of a well worn slightly rickety handrail. Getting up and down the rest of the way was rather monkey like – especially if you have short legs!
TA PROHM GREENERY
Ta Prohm was very beautiful with its mossy rocks, cool greenery and the famous, huge, wildly spreading roots of the ficus tree.
FAMOUS TREE ROOTS - TA PROHM
This was very beautiful, and if I had to choose – would be my favourite. There was a surprise around every corner. Green trees, grass, moss..... all adding to the appeal. We stopped as we were leaving to see the monkeys who appeared from the trees. Large mum’s and Dad’s with their babies, were all pretty tame. They were all wanting food, but once someone gave them a taste of coke from a can......... they were hooked( I would not recommend this as good for the monkeys!)