Posts Tagged ‘Angkor Wat temple’

Angkor Wat Temples

The great temples of Angkor Wat are situated in the province of Siem Reap. This area is considered the biggest temple complex of the world and revealed itself after being hidden in the Jungle for many years.

The whole area is about 400 km² that also includes the surrounding forest, so you will need good shoes to make it around that area by feet.

Never the less you can also visit the temple complex with a “remorque” motorbike which is a small motorbike where you can sit side by side in two behind the driver. This is a great way to visit the area as it is very cheap and the driver can tell you much about the temples and history. Taxi are available too, as well as motor and bikes for rent. For those who love to see from the top, you can rent an hot air balloon, or even an helicopter.

There are two ways to visit this area and still see the main attractions, the little circuit and the big circuit. The little circuit is 17 km and brings you to the main temples of Angkor. The big circuit takes 26 km and is an extension of the little one but continues on east side of the area.

To visit Angkor you have to pay quite a high entry fee, you have choice of three different passes which you can buy at the entrance boot. A one-day pass cost US 20 dollar, a three-day pass cost US 40 dollar and a one-week pass cost US 60 dollar. Remember to have a photo with you if you desire to buy a pass for more than one day.

There are more than a 100 temples in the whole area, more than you can see on your visit but the most famous ones you will discover during both circuits trough the temple area.

The highlights are:

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

This temple is 1,5 km² x 1,3km and built by Suryavarman ІІ and is considered the biggest Asian pyramid. It is 65m high and divided in several layers. The central part has on the four corners four towers in the shape of a lotus flower. This temple is the largest and most breathtaking temple of the whole complex. The most famous decorations of Angkor are the heavenly nymphs (Apsara), there are more of 300, each one is unique and in total we can group them in 30 different styles. The central temple complex is an 800 meters long bas-reliefs, includes the Battle of Kurukshetra, the Army of Suryavarman II, Heaven and Hell, Churning of the Ocean of Milk, Elephant Gate, Vishnu Conquers the Demons, Khrisna and the demon King, Battle of the Gods and the Demons and the Battle of Lanka.

The Bayon

The Bayon

The Bayon

Built by Jayavarman VII the temple stands in the center of Angkor Thom. With its 54 towers and 216 faces of Avalokiteshvara, this temple looks best in the morning just after sunrise or at the end of the afternoon as the sun shines on the faces. Its magic is does not appear from a distance, it looks more like a pile of stones. But coming close to the temple the faces start to appear and reveal its magic on you. The temple was built on 3 levels:the first 2 are rectangular, while the 3rd is circular. The Bayon has over 1.3 Km of bas-reliefs corresponding to more than 11.000 figures. Most of them depict every day’s life scene of the Cambodia in the XII century. Inside the Bayon, we suggest you to visit The Cams of the Run, Linga worship, A Naval Battle, The Chams vanquished, a Military Procession, Civil War, The All-Seing King, Victory Parade, The Circus comes to Town, land of Plenty, The Chams retreat, The Chams Sack Angkor and the Chams Enter Angkor.

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm

Still covered by the jungle this place is exactly left as they found it. The Ta Prohm is not only a possibility to imagine how the whole temple complex looked like when re-discovered in XIX century The trees swallowed the temple and nature takes back its space, and it has been left like this.  Don’t miss this astonishing mix of nature vs humans. The charm of this temple is, you don’t know where (or when) the nature finish and the human work starts or vice versa. Amazing!

Elephant Terrace

A 350 m long terrace of elephants. It was used as a giant viewing stand during public ceremonies, royal ceremonies and so on. Many lions decorate this enormous path. Now it’s surrounded by the green and very relaxing, but try and close your eyes, imagine thousands of peoples on it, then the army, the king,the music, the dance. Daydreamers will have tough time to leave this place.

Banteay Srei

This temple lays quite far from the rest but absolutely worthy to visit. The soft colors of the sand stones and the beautiful reliefs make this temple a typical example for the Khmer culture. This temple is dedicated to Shiva, its’  well preserved and most of its declarations are 3D, including delicates women carrying lotus flowers, and epic scenes. This temple is 21 km far from Bayon and about 35 km from Siem Reap. It’s worth a visit.