So after visiting Angkor Wat the rest of our tour was taking us to the near by surrounding temples. Angkor Thom is the next most famous and the former capital. This is a walled section of the Angkor park and consists of four main developments inside. We entered through the South gate. Each side is lined with 54 figures. One side lined with ‘devas’ (guardian gods) and the other with ‘asuras’ (demon gods). Both are pulling on the snake, the guardian’s from the head, and the demons from the tail. It is apparently a very famous Hindu story but I don’t know all the details. We didn’t get a good picture if this so I had to steal this one from http://www.orientalarchitecture.com
Once inside we headed to the largest structure, Bayon, which is directly in the centre. This is predominantly a series of face sculptures on the 37 remaining towers and is very impressive. We initially got a little bit lost round the bottom level and found some stairs but they were the ones down. Eventually we managed to navigate our way round but on the way spotted a fertility statue similar to like we had seen at My Son in Vietnam.
Once we headed up the stairs we were confronted with these amazing facial sculptures which were really stunning. We were then trying to get good pictures, but this wasn’t easy with lots of other tourists around looking for the perfect picture, meaning that they would take 10 to 20 photos in each spot. Eventually I gave up on trying to avoid other people’s photos as it made a straight path like a labyrinth. It was lovely to be up there though and a nice place to visit. Many of the temples also have carvings of apsara (dancing ladies) and Bayon some especially good ones.
Due to the heat we didn’t linger for too long and headed back down. On our way out we were very excited as this was the first time we saw macaques roaming around. Macaques are all over South East Asia so we were disappointed to have not seen them yet so you can imagine what we were like.
We then went on to the second part of Angkor Thom, Baphuon temple. This has a lovely entrance with a pathway right through the middle of water either side. The temple itself was so very different to Bayon and again very impressive. This was a tiered level building and you go up around the outside this time so less ways to get lost. The views from the top were lovely and we were really glad to be seeing temples outside of Angkor Wat which is obviously the most popular.
During our trip we often saw people at the temples dressed in bright colours so as to show off clothing or for modelling purposes but this meant that they stand out in your photos.
It was then onto the elephant terrace and terrace of the leopard king. We were tired and hot by this point and knew there was more to come so didnt spend too long here but it was still nice to see.
There were still more temples to see so we cracked on. They were all very different which was fantastic. One had very steep steps to climb and it was a little daunting at a few points as there was no railing just occasionally a large block to support you.
We also went to Ta Prohm. This one was one of my favourites as it was overgrown with trees and it was amazing to see it all interspersed amongst the ruins. A fantastic sight and a highlight for sure. It is also recognisable from the film tombraider as it was used for a setting.
We also had lunch near the ruins. There wasn’t many options of different places but the place we went to was very nice and very reasonably priced. It did only accept cash though, not too surprising to be fair. We then visited a couple more temples before heading back to our hotel. We were knackered and yet, when we got back, it was only 2.30pm!!!
When got back had basically had a nap. We were tired from our early wake up and the rest was much appreciated. For dinner we headed towards pub street. Pub street is a popular location for tourists and had been mentioned to us by one of the tuk-tuk drivers. It was very vibrant and a wide selection of food and we were hungry. All around he could see happy hour signs which meant 50p pints of beer. Meg and I both don’t drink beer but we did have a couple of cocktails with our meal.
See you there.
Myky and Meg