Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The Temples of Angkor

Where do I start ? I'm not going to attempt to describe what we've experienced here. There is simply no way I could do it justice. This is a place that exceeds even the highest of expectations.

Briefly, the area north of Siem Riep is a huge archealogical park sitting in a beautiful, verdant forest. The jungle adds greatly to the experience, giving a feeling of vitality and mystery to the temples and also providing much need to shade to sweaty tourists. The temple sites cover a vast area. Some complexes are thirty kilometers away. The earliest date from the ninth century and latest, from the the thirteenth. They are considered to be the finest examples of Kymer culture and technology and come from the period when Kymer culture dominated South East Asia.

Here's a few photos and notes to give you a bit of an over view of some of the highlights.

Angkor Thom and Bayon
( a 9km square fortified city, complete with vast moat - previously the Kymer capital city )

Angkor Wat
( the world's largest religious building at 1km square - We had to get up very early for the sunrise photo ! )

Ta Promh
( a temple partially taken over by the forest )

Align Right

Preah Khan
( more temple versus tree action with impressive stone carvings )

East Mebon
( nice views across the forest from the top - might just be able to see the tips of Angkor Wat in the distance )

Banteay Srei
( amazingly deep and intricate bas relief stone carvings )