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Angkor Thom and the Bayon

A creation of human imagination

17 June 2013, we had a new guide today, Mardi, a naturalist who narrated the story of every temple we visited. It was fun and informative. At 5.10 am we drove to Angkor Wat for sunrise but unfortunately the sun was too shy to come out.
Colourful sky at Angkor Wat but no sunrise 170613

Colourful sky at Angkor Wat but no sunrise 170613

Angkor Wat at 6.42 am 170613, no sunrise

Angkor Wat at 6.42 am 170613, no sunrise

Hundreds of tourists were disappointed for no sunrise at Angkor Wat. 170613

Hundreds of tourists were disappointed for no sunrise at Angkor Wat. 170613

At the mote entrance of Angkor Wat , tourists were still hoping to see the sunrise.

At the mote entrance of Angkor Wat , tourists were still hoping to see the sunrise.

The crowd was disappointed and so was I. I didn't see the sunrises either the first time I was there as luck wasn't on my side. Oh, maybe next time ....if there's a next time! But the sky was flaming with bright red and orange. By 6.30 am the colours slowly disappeared.
We went back to the hotel for breakfast and went out again at 8.00 am for Angkor Thom (Big Angkor) with Mardi. I didn't realize that it was going to be a long, tiring walking tour over a vast area in the hot sun where there were many more ancient temples. Lucky I decided to bring my walking stick-chair for resting my tired legs.
One of the gates to Angkor Thom

One of the gates to Angkor Thom

Bayon temple

Bayon temple

Maz and I at Bayon Temple

Maz and I at Bayon Temple

Nose to nose at Bayon Temple

Nose to nose at Bayon Temple

The Monastry  sheltering  old folks near the Bayon

The Monastry sheltering old folks near the Bayon

The Monastry sheltering old folk,s near the Bayon. Though old, they actively keep the place clean.

The Monastry sheltering old folk,s near the Bayon. Though old, they actively keep the place clean.

Going out of Bayon

Going out of Bayon

Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Angkorian Empire. Jayavarman V11 constructed Angkor Thom as his new capital city, reputed to be the largest in 12 century and his state-temple, Bayon, was in the centre. There are 5 entrances to this area and the South Gate was where most tourists were brought to enter. Each gate was carved with 4 huge faces - some still good and some destroyed.
Bayon was amazing. Though there was active restoration work, tourists still could see most part of the temple. Be weary if you come here. You need to empty your bladder first, the toilet was quite far away. Mardi had to take me to the nearest toilet at the monastery there and that was quite a long walk. Bayon was spectacular. The 37 out of 49 towers were carved with collosal faces with different expressions. The carvings at the wall told the story of those days and the way of living of the Chams and Khmer, as interpreted by Mardi. Though I have visited Bayon before, this visit gave me a more interesting history of the old Cambodia.
Baphoun Temple

Baphoun Temple

Maz and the guide, Mardi, at the first level of Bahoun Temple. 170613

Maz and the guide, Mardi, at the first level of Bahoun Temple. 170613

The  green, cool shade at Bhapoun Temple with old temple stones on the ground to be restored

The green, cool shade at Bhapoun Temple with old temple stones on the ground to be restored

From Bayon a long walk followed by stopping at another ancient temple, Baphoun, a Hindu temple which was just opened last year. The restoration work was stopped during the Khmer war in 1970s but resumed in 1990s. I didn't climb up this temple which is multi-levels. Maz went up accompanied by Mardi. I waited down to enjoy the green, cool park.
Phimeanakas temple

Phimeanakas temple

From there we walked to yet another ancient Hindu temple. Phimeanakas, an impressive laterite and sandstone pyramid-like structure, the tallest scalable temple in Angkor Thom. It's located in the ancient Royal Palace ground and served as the King's temple. According to legend, the golden tower was inhibited by a serpent, which would transform into a woman. The King was required to make love with this serpent every night or otherwise a disaster would ruin the kingdom.
Terrace of the Elephant

Terrace of the Elephant

The statue of the Leper King.

The statue of the Leper King.

Terrace of the Leper King.

Terrace of the Leper King.

The hot sun made me feel so tired but we bravely followed Mardi, curious to see what to see next. The terrace of the Leper King provided more legends and stories and so is the Terrace of the Elephants. The statue of the Leper King showed his deformed hand but was defaced.
Hot and hungry, we took a break for a picnic lunch before continuing the tour of Angkor Wat in the afternoon.

Posted by zuraidaharahman 06:49

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