Angkor Adventures Part 10 – Angkor Wat

Oct 25, 07 at 12:00 am

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Click here for Part 9

OMG!! This is the 10th post of Angkor Adventures!! And still stuck on Day 2. I must have been over-elaborated. :p

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No trip is complete without visiting this temple, Angkor Wat. It’s akin to Beijing’s Palace Museum (Forbidden City), so it’s not surprising when Angkor Wat is the most publicized temple in the world. In fact, Angkor Wat is a landmark of Cambodia. It’s embedded on the Cambodia national flag. It’s being mentioned worldwide. And it’s the reason why people, tourists like us come here all the way from around the world.

The crowd already building when we reached Angkor Wat. According to John, evening is the most appropriate time to visit this temple especially when the sun is setting down. The whole temple will be basked in golden hue, which is perfect for photography. Apart from this, the temple will be reflected in different colors at different time. This made Angkor Wat itself unique from the rest of the temples.

Angkor Wat
Just loved the calm water and the reflection

Angkor Wat
The causeway which leads to Angkor Wat

I missed out a lot on John’s explanation as I was too busy with my camera. :p

Angkor Wat
Crowds at Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat (or Angkor Vat) is a temple at Angkor, Cambodia, built for King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. The largest and best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation—first Hindu, dedicated to Vishnu, then Buddhist. [Source]

## Don’t worry, I leave the history of Angkor Wat for you to find out. I won’t elaborate much on the temple itself since this is going to be another long post.

We caught up with John who paced in front of us whenever we walked. He stopped to let us take more photos.

Angkor Wat
I thought this is entrance but it’s just an outer enclosure (wall). The guy on the right is John.

Angkor Wat
A closer look. Notice the out-of-shape naga at the lower center of the photo

Angkor Wat
Some carvings which are amazingly detailed

We continued our walk and went past the outer enclosure, only to be greeted by another long pathway.

Angkor Wat
Buddha statue at one of the entrances near the outer enclosure

Angkor Wat
A rather long pathway. Angkor Wat is already in sight.

Angkor Wat
One of the libraries at Angkor Wat.

It didn’t take us long before we reached the exact place where ALL photographers stood. It was the best spot to take photos of the grand Angkor Wat.

Angkor Wat
How do you like this stunning piece of masterpiece? [Wallpaper (3008 x 2000)]

Angkor Wat
A closer look. Nice? [Wallpaper (3008 x 2000)]

Angkor Wat
Different orientation

I.JUST.COULD.NOT.STOP.MYSELF.FROM.PHOTOGRAPHING.IT!!

Angkor Wat
I WAS there ok. Here’s the proof.

Soon, we made it to the North wing of Angkor Wat.

Angkor Wat
The north wing of Angkor Wat

The north wing features an exquisite bas-relief carvings which depicts the Battle of Lanka.

Angkor Wat
Bas-reliefs depicting the Battle of Lanka

I didn’t really listened to John as he over-elaborated in some of stories which kinda put me off. Anyway, he did a good job in explaining. He was able to answer most of our questions and doubts which have been lingering over our minds.

Angkor Wat
A highly detailed piece of carvings

On the way to the second level enclosure, we stopped by this cruciform cloister or Hall of Thousand Buddhas. The cruciform cloister features four basins which were originally filled with water. Besides, there are a lot of carvings inscribed on the walls which are worth a look.

Angkor Wat
One of the basins

Angkor Wat
The highly detailed carvings

Angkor Wat
Ever wonder why the important parts are so shiny?

Angkor Wat
Humans look so tiny in this huge basin

We finally reached the second level enclosure only to be greeted by this spectacular view – the massif of the central towers rising from the courtyard.

Of course, we almost fainted upon seeing the stairs. So steep!

Angkor Wat
The stairs are so freaking steep!

Angkor Wat
The crowds are admiring people descending from the tower

As we seated at the courtyard to get some rest, I was undecided whether to climb because I was tired and the stairs looked scary to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not coward. It’s just tiredness in me which almost made me gave up.

But I knew I didn’t come so far just to sit down, so I decided to climb and even spurred my buddies to go on. After all, we have came so far.

Angkor Wat
The scary looking stairs

And off we went…

Angkor Wat
My brave buddies!

It was not that hard after all. I guess we deserve the award “Stair-Climbing Expert” after a series of stair climbing lessons. LOL!

Anyway, the view from above was amazing!

Angkor Wat
The view from the stairs was scary though

Angkor Wat
If you see from their expressions, some are still terrified by the stairs. LOL!

This inner gallery, called the Bakan, is a 60 m square with axial galleries connecting each gopura with the central shrine, and subsidiary shrines located below the corner towers. The roofings of the galleries are decorated with the motif of the body of a snake ending in the heads of lions or garudas. [Source]

We uncovered more carvings on the walls, and they look impressive.

Angkor Wat

We had our time at the top, there were less people now as most of them have descended. We sat down trying to relax our minds.

Angkor Wat

But this is how I relax….

Angkor Wat

We finally left when the sky was getting darker. It was rather a long walk back to where we began but we truly enjoyed it. Thus, this ended our invasion of temples in Angkor Archaeological Park. There are more to explore, but time doesn’t allow. I hope I can return some day to explore more temples.

Next up.. Nightlife at Siem Reap town

More photos:

Siem Reap Day 2: Angkor Wat

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