Saturday, May 3, 2014

YOLO at Angkor Wat Cambodia Feb 2014

There are just too many photos of the temples of Angkor!  These are the ones we saw at Angkor Wat (the big tourist draw) and Angkor Thom and Preah Kahn on our second day in Siem Reap.  We thought it a good idea to go to the Museum before going to the temples so we could learn a bit about what we would see.  But the price of admission was too steep.  This is one of the carvings from Angkor Wat that has been moved here for safekeeping.  Such intricate work in the stone.  And it has lasted hundreds of years!
 A lion dog statue that has also been removed from the ruins and brought to the museum lobby for safekeeping.  So many of the stone figures were broken off and the heads sold to collectors.
 A geruda (like an eagle) with the many heads of a serpent.  These are often seen along bridges, making up the rail that spans the two sides.  The many-headed serpent is a recurring figure in many carvings.
 A tree root growing in the temple.  These are hundreds of years old, and though they look really cool, they are damaging the remains of the stone buildings.
 A closer look at the tree roots growing.  Magnificent.
 Karen at one of the temples with overgrown trees.  Probably Ta Prohn.
 The blade-like roots are so graceful its a shame they weren't designed into the building.
 Looking up at one of the trees growing from a stone temple.
 A massive root structure that is taking over the stone blocks.
 The five towers of Angkor Wat reflected in the lotus blossom pool at sunrise.  Thousands of tourists come here at dawn to get a shot like this.
 Looking back at the throngs of tourists from the other side of the lotus pool.  They disgorge by the busload but Angkor Wat is so big and spread out that it swallows them all every day.
 One of the first buildings you get to inside Angkor Wat.
 Stone carving of women dancers.  Such remarkable detail after all these years.
 More female dancer carvings.
 One side of the inner court at Angkor Wat.  The stones that just lie in dissarray were once part of the buildings, but are just left out in the open these days.
 People have built stone towers of the bits and pieces.
 The back entry of Angkor Wat.
 Dozens of women carved into a slab near the top of one building.  The details of the work are astounding; there is almost no surface not carved here.
 Near the base of a column not yet too damaged by rain seepage, this old sage sits and meditates.
 Part of a wall full of carved men, pulling huge serpents Churning the Sea to Milk.  Like a tug of war with snakes.
 One side of Angkor Wat.  Inside those columns, the entire wall on all four sides is carved with different stories and figures.  Guides can tell you the stories behind the carvings; the text was Sanscrit and can be deciphered today.
 Monkeys played about the back side of Angkor Wat buildings.  Mom and baby monkey got really close.
 Myra had food to make us a snack and the monkeys heard the rustle of plastic bags and nearly attacked her to try to get some.
 A man on an elephant.  The stone is darkened where many people have touched it and made rubbings.
 Monkey mom and baby next to Maureen.
 These monkeys aren't afraid of people and enjoy playing on the ancient buildings.
 Baby got away and got too close to us for comfort so Daddy monkey went to scoop him up and carry him back to safety.  He snarled at Maureen as she got between him and the baby.
 Dad with rescued sonny boy monkey.
 The monkeys climbed the posts--just barely able to span the width.
 Another snippet of the freize of a wall, showing men driving slaves along a path.
 More carvings of offerings.  The design here looks like it has had many rubbings done.  The darkening makes it easier to see the details.
 A portion of the inner courtyard.
 One of the towers at Angkor Wat.  The stairs were closed off for cleaning the day we were there, but normally you can climb them to the tower on top.
 Costumes for tourist photo ops.  Trying to get a Caucasian to bend his fingers and hands like the dancers is almost impossible.
 More Angkor Wat temples.  The entire are was once a thriving city in the 8-1200's.
 The reflecting pool with lotus blossoms growing in it.  Workers rake the lily pads away so there is enough water to reflect the five towers at dawn so the tourists can get their shots.
 One of the gates we drove the tuk tuk through to go from one temple to another.
 Yep, you can ride elephants here.  They give rides around the south gate but we didn't partake.
 We rode from Angkor Wat to Bayon, the Temple of 1000 Faces next.
 The lion dog would be guarding this post, but he's been knocked off his paws and this is all that's left.
 I didn't count the faces but they are on every wall in every direction in all sizes.  It is said to be the benevolent face of the leader who had this built.
 The huge carvings span several blocks of stone but make an amazing face even after all these years.
 Wouldn't you love to have one of these in your back yard?  They are truly amazing and no wonder these sites are considered one of the Wonders of the World.
 So many unused stone blocks.  They were once something in this city, but now just lay in heaps and disarray.
 The walkway to another temple.  They are set in a pretty setting, but it was stinking hot the day we visited.
 Lots of stone stairs and low doorways make these attractions NOT handicap-friendly.
 another view of the long walkway into the temple and the 'extra' stone blocks not part of a building now.
 The original steps are steep and worn, so they have built wooden stairs to take tourists up to the top and back down again.  They were a bit rickety, too.
 Looking down into one of the courtyards.  I have no idea what the posts are for.
 The path from one temple to another passed through the gate in the wall here.
 A huge tree has gobbled up more of a stone wall.
 The wall of faces was the lining of a maze-like building.
 The Terrace of Elephants was near the end of the day.The lotus blossoms at the end of the trunks is meant to represent good luck.  I bought a t-shirt with a depiction of this view on it.  Next door was the Terrace of the Leopard King (or Leper King, I don't remember).
 Terrace of the Elephants.
 More carvings on the walls of a building.
 The multi-headed geruda is an unusual depiction.  Usually it is a multi-headed serpent.
 Men pulling the multi-headed serpent as the railing of a bridge.
 These musicians were all victims of land mines, with parts of their bodies blown away.  They managed to play very nice music and had a donation box set up in front of them.  Sad, but common in Cambodia, although we really didn't see much of this.
 My hand as scale to the foot of a statue at a temple.
 Rocks and roots.  They are cutting the trees to prevent anymore damage.
 The giant tree roots have taken over some parts of some temples.  Awesome sights!
 The 'Fire House' at Preah Kahn.  It's still fairly intact.
 Bridge over the moat around a temple.
 An unusual tree nut.  The pink feather-like propellers guide the green nut to the ground.  I have no idea what kind of tree nut this is.
 The feet of a lion dog that would've stood guard outside the entrance to a temple building.
 Bayon Temple at Angkor Thom.
 A cool ride in Phnom Penh.  The ice delivery guy rides up on his motorcycle with these ice blocks and cuts them to fit into people's coolers.  A good job to stay cool in the heat.
 A shop full of engines with the fan blades facing out.  Strange what you can buy here....
 Wedding caterers Cambodia Style.  Our hotel was on wedding alley.  The street had 10 wedding chapels side by side, all owned by the same family and all pretty much identical.  Weddings here are for the wealthy and cost a small fortune.
 Four or more of the wedding rooms here were in full swing the night we arrived.  The people line up in the streets with their gifts and parade into the room to present them to the wedding couple.  Lots of shiny gold gowns.
Ready to proceed.
 A statue of the monkey god at the museum.

Rambutan and durian for sale.  I love rambutan, they are like lychees but with red hairy outsides.  Durian is a stinky fruit you love or hate.  I fall in the hate category.

 Durian stinks so bad that buses and hotels and taxis have banned it from the premises.
 Have a bicycle or two or a hundred..
 Our gang at breakfast.  Paul, Paraic, Karen, Myra, Jason and Maureen.  We weren't happy with this meal but such is life.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Fantastic itinerary