Listed as one of the 7 wonders of the world, i present to you..*drum roll*..Angkor Wat!! Here's the list of the wonders for reference. mine and yours too! hopefully i will live to visit each one of it :)
So back to our topic, my visit to the angkor archeological park. It was a short one day trip. We started as early as 5am, packing our breakfast with us from the hotel to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat. When you reach the gates, you will buy a pass (one day pass $20), where your photo will be taken, not very flattering as the camera adds cheek fats to your face..haha! But then again, its just a pass. :)
The pass will be used at all temple entrances, so keep it well. I saw tour groups having it hung around their necks, which was much easier, as for me, i kept it stashed in my bag, cause i didnt have a string thingy-magigy to hang it and nearly everytime i reached an entrance, i would have to search frantically for the pass.
|We took the small tour which consisted of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm adding in Banteay Srey Temple|
|One Day Pass|
|wondering where the sunrise is? it was too cloudy :(|
|The temple is made up of these stones that were said to be carried by elephants|
|You can climb up at certain time. There are suppose to be Buddha's statues but it was said that it has been removed.|
|I'm on top of the world|
|7 head cobra|
Next stop, Ta Prohm aka jungle temple! Gained its fame from the movie Tomb Raider. It was surrounded by forestry. "Ta Prohm is the undisputed capital of the kingdom of the Trees" It has a magnificent, breathtaking view with an eerie feel to it, in my opinion. The trees practically grow into the temple, entwining its branches around the pillars and in between walls, even at a point splitting the walls apart.
Based on our tuk-tuk driver, this temple is a must see due to the preservation of its carvings which were carved out of solid sandstones unlike other temples. The carvings of the temple is magnificent and really intricate.
Next we headed to Angkor Thom. By this time, we were actually really exhausted. The weather was burning us too.
|Entrance to Angkor Thom|
After passing the entrance, we reached the terrace of the elephants! There is a long stretch of elephant carvings, awesome 3D effect. I think its like the tribute to elephants. I love elephants :) As the elephants have been great help as transport and also in building the temples.
Bayon Temple, our final stop. It was a beautiful and exciting temple. Face carving with emotions. I had a double take at times with the face carvings, felt that they are real as in living. Awesome. Stared in awe.
Facts from internet (thanks to Tourism Cambodia): Over 2000 large faces carved on the 54 tower give this temple its majestic character. The faces with slightly curving lips, eyes placed in shadow by the lowered lids utter not a word and yet force you to guess much. It is generally accepted that four faces on each of the tower are images of the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara and that they signify the omnipresence of the king. The characteristics of this faces - a broad forehead, downcast eyes, wild nostrils, thick lips that curl upwards slightly at the ends-combine to reflect the famous 'Smile of Angkor'.
|Steep steps leading to the temple|
|See the smile :)|
We didn't get to go to Phnom Penh, due to time constrain. Therefore, we visited a small tribute.
|A tribute to the Phonm Penh Killing Fields|
p/s: Bought some munching stuff from the one and only mall in Siem Reap aka Lucky Mall. Got some chips. Nothing special, can get it in Malaysia or Indonesia, just maybe with a different brand name.
If you have time, maybe go for the 3 days pass or 1 week pass. As for me, i'm really satisfied with the one day pass as we got to cover so many unique temples in a day, the best of the best. Sarangheyo Cambodia. :D