Angkor Wat Journals

The Temples at Angkor

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A March 2006 trip to Angkor Wat by alan_nesbit

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Quote: Angkor Wat is the largest temple and the most famous, but it's the large number of other temples, spread over the surrounding countryside and each with its own characteristics, that make this such an interesting place to visit.

Banteay Kdei

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Attraction

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Quote:
This was our introduction to the temples, and our first encounter with the children selling postcards, bracelets, books, and souvenirs at the entrance to every temple. Grubby children in grubby clothes, with pleading faces. It’s difficult to know what to think. Of course they’re very poor and need help, but I began to think their dependency on the tourists is not healthy. They had a routine ("Where you from?", "England", "Capital London", even followed on one occasion by "Population 65 million, Population of London 10 million"). By the time you had heard this often enough, along with "Need money to go to school", it began to look simply like a sales pitch, presumably taught by adults. I was a...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 7, 2006

Banteay Kdei
Shore of Srah Srang
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Ta Prohm

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Attraction | "Ta Prohm - Dripping with trees"

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Quote:
This is well known for the way in which it has been left relatively unrestored. I know the trees grow upwards, but they appear to drip over the walls like treacle, with branches filling cracks and forcing the stones apart. It’s easy to imagine the temple being by the overgrown, submerged, and slowly town apart by the luxuriant growth of the jungle.

Just because there are no tourists in the photos, don’t make the mistake of thinking that we had the place to ourselves. This is a popular temple, and rightly so.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 7, 2006

Ta Prohm
Siem Reap
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Ta Keo

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Attraction | "Ta Keo - Scary Steps"

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Quote:
Our last stop of the day was Ta Keo. Unlike many of the other temples, for which everything is set at ground level, there are steep steps to be climbed to get to the centre of this one. Steep, worn, uneven, and with nothing much to hold on to. The higher you got, the more you concentrated on not looking down. What do you mean, I’m exaggerating?

We had the place almost to ourselves when we got to the top. It was worth it to see out over the top of the jungle canopy. The heat of the day eases later in the afternoon, and the stillness makes it worth finding a quiet place for a while before heading back to Siem Reap.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 7, 2006

Ta Keo
Angkor
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Temple Complex of Angkor Wat

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Attraction | "Angkor Wat"

Temple Complex of Angkor Wat Photo, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Quote:
We left the hotel at 5:30am, to watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat. There were a few people carrying their goods to market in darkness as we drove through Siem Reap, but as we drove northwards out of town, it became clear that we were joining a long line of vehicles heading to the same place as we were. The sky cleared slowly and when the sun did finally appear, briefly turned orange behind the towers. One of the charms of Angkor in general is the large number of temples, each with their own character. However, Angkor Wat is justifiably the most well known, if only for its size. You cross the causeway over the surrounding moat and enter the first gateway to see that the causeway continues ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 7, 2006

Temple Complex of Angkor Wat
5.5 Km North of Siem Reap
Angkor, Cambodia

Banteay Srei

Attraction

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Quote:
I thought this might be a quiet temple, set over 20km, away from the main sites. No such luck, and there’s not even anywhere to hide when you get inside because of the small scale. There are no wide-open spaces here like there are at Angkor Wat. Instead, its intimate scale gives it a charm and the detailed carvings that cover the orange stone make this a popular and worthwhile visit.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 7, 2006

Banteay Srei
21 km North East of the Bayon
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Banteay Samre

Attraction

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Quote:
We decided to buy a little bouquet of flowers from one of the little girls who were waiting as we arrived, and to take a couple of photographs. As soon as we started to do so we were surrounded, mobbed, by pleading children who offered their little model fishes and stars made from dried and coloured leaves.

There were very few people inside the temple, and we could enjoy the peace it offered. It’s in relatively good condition and doesn’t have the scattered stones, or precariously leaning walls, that are common in the other temples... and there were no trees grip the walls.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 7, 2006

Banteay Samre
Off the road to Banteay Srei
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Bayon Temple

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Attraction | "Bayon - The One With the Heads"

Bayon Temple Photo, Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Quote:
As you approach Bayon from the distance, it really doesn’t have much of a distinctive shape and it’s not unfair to say that it looks like a pile of rubble. What you don’t see until you get closer, are the carved heads on the towers at the highest level. About 1.5m tall, they look in all directions—serene and gently smiling. When you’re at the top level, you can’t get away from them. Just below the top is an intriguing system of corridors. Cool and dim, there are no long views to distant doors and windows. Instead, they twist and turn, leaving you with no clear sense of where you are or the direction you are heading. Considering its central position and the fact that this ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 7, 2006

Bayon Temple
Angkor
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Preah Khan

Attraction

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Quote:
What a good place at which to end our 3 days in Cambodia. There were other people around, but it wasn’t difficult to avoid them, and enjoy the later afternoon stillness and quiet. It shares some characteristics with Ta Prohm: trees growing over walls, narrow corridors, ancient courtyards filled with fallen stones. The jungle just beyond the boundary walls waiting to engulf the temple again.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 7, 2006

Preah Khan
Angkor
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Siem Reap

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Story/Tip

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Quote:
This is a dusty, run-down sort of place. There are some large modern hotels, mostly on the road to the airport, but the centre of town has dirty roads, incomplete, broken pavements and its fair share of shabby buildings. The children swimming in the river must have had strong constitutions. Road junctions typically have no markings and are negotiated by everyone filtering through to where they want to go as best they can. Bikes and motorbikes make up the majority of the traffic, often with several people or unlikely loads balanced wherever they will fit. I don’t suppose I am the only one who heads towards the market place in any new destination. This is the place to see how the local economy wor...Read More