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(Clicking on an image below will bring up a larger version of it.)

 

Cambodia is a country still suffering from land mines planted during their civil war in the 70s.  While all of the Angkor temples have been meticulously cleared, you are still warned not to stray from the paths, just in case. 

 

The archeological sites in this area are numerous, and quite spread out.  A map of the area might prove useful

 

 

Angkor Thom

 

Angkor Thom was once the royal palace and a large city, completely surrounded by a wall.  Some sources claim that there would have been up to a million people living within Angkor Thom during it's heyday, which was when the Khmer ruled Southeast Asia from 1200 CE.  (This estimate seems very high to me, just from roaming around the place.  The area within the walls is only 9km2.)  Angkor Thom was "discovered" by a Frenchman in the 1600 and compared to the lost city of Atlantis! 

 

One thing was very clear to us - we could not see all of these sites with the limited time that we had.  We simply had to pick and choose.

 

South Gate

This is the south gate entrance to the Angkor Thom complex, which is reached by crossing a bridge over the Siem Reap river.  The railing on the bridge is built of carved heads sitting one behind the other watching over the bridge.  The gate has faces carved into it:  one on each of the ordinal sides. 


  

 

Bayon

This is the official state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman.  Constructed during the 1100s by King Suryavarman VII, it is made up of 54 towers, each of which has 4 faces.  (Look carefully at this picture to see the faces.) 

       

 

  

  

 

The modern temple just to the north of Bayon 


Ta Keo

 

Located at the east Victory Gate of Angkor Thom, this incomplete temple was dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.  Climb at your own risk! 

 

 

 

Ta Prom 

 

Built by Jayavarman VII in 1186 in honor of his mother, and dedicated to Prājapāramitā, the goddess of the perfection of wisdom, whom he identified with his mother.  This temple was left unrestored by its European "discoverers."   These banyon trees are literally growing out of the walls and roofs of this temple! 
peek-a-boo!


  
 

What do you think of a stegosaurus carved in 1100 CE?  What about a protoceratops? See this web site for an interesting finding:

http://www.cryptomundo.com/cryptozoo-news/dino-cambodia/

 

 

Prah Khan

 

Built by Jayavarman VII in 1191 to honor his father.  When the palace in Angkor Thom was being renovated, it is to this temple that the royal court moved.  The place was every bit as huge as the other temples, but we were ready for lunch, so just a few photos! 

The only building in the entire complex that has round columns.
 

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is a temple built by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century to be his capital.  It has remained a religious place used for serving the Hindu god, Vishna, then when Cambodia became a Buddhist nation, it became a Buddhist temple.  This is what appears on Cambodia's national flag. 

 


  

Tourists, tourists everywhere,,,                                                                                 After taking this photo of Tasha, 5 Japanese tourists took a shadow photo here too!

 

Siem Reap

 

A trip into town on a tuk-tuk seemed like a good idea. 

 

                                                                            Yum - banana, pineapple, papaya, watermelon, passion fruit, dragon fruit and rambutan. 


 

From Cambodia we headed for Vietnam.

 

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Last modified: 06/13/08