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Friday, January 31, 2014

Cambodia 2013: Angkor Thom

Our second day in Siem Reap was going to be all about visiting the famous ruins Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat. That meant that there was going to be a LOT of walking. Energy is key so I made sure to make the most out of breakfast. Also because the breakfast at the Ree Hotel is great! It's nothing too fancy but there's no denying how yummy the food there is.



After a short bus ride, we reached the gates of Angkor Thom. It's actually this large complex and it's surrounded by this huge entry way.

On both sides, there are an array of statues, each representing a historical character in their local mythology. On the left array are the gods, and on the right are the demons. They're all pulling the "naga" which is a mythical snake. Above are the gods because they "smile."

The angry-looking ones on the right are the demons. As you can see, some of them are already disheveled but not by natural forces only, but also because bandits actually come here to saw off pieces of the statue to sell in the black market for private collectors. :O

The view from the sides of the grand entry way.



Close-up of the archway.

Everything seems to be so exotic and photogenic here. I've never taken photos this pretty until I went to Cambodia. LOL


There are also a lot of monkeys here! :)

Angkor Thom's front porch.

If I'm not mistaken, this was the place where Tomb Raider was shot. An action scene, according to our tour guide.


Mom clearly enjoying the ruins.






You see everything and you can almost feel the centuries of history that these intricately carved stones have endured.


Within the walls of Angkor Thom.

Going up the steep stairs leads you the roof deck of the temple and it's filled with 200 unique faces of the little towers that you see here in the photo. No two are the same and it's absolutely crazy.

People in costume are ready to take their photos with you for, yep, one dollar.


Walking around the roof deck, you'll see a lot of random locals performing some sort of ritual in some parts of the temple. Most of them not really legitimate. So I passed by this one lady and she quickly called me in to say a quick prayer with incense sticks and the works. Afterwards, she tied this orange string around my arm and asked for a dollar. It just goes to show how persistent the people here are. At the time, I wasn't carrying any cash with me so she just bowed out graciously. (Thank goodness.)

Small but gorgeous altar by the parking lot.

We proceeded to another temple within the complex. This one was more immersed into the woods and it's famous for how the trees have almost taken over the temple.


Our tour guide, Sung, showing us how the tree pierced through the wooden floors.


More intricate carvings.



Aged statue of the Naga.

As you can see, the ruins are already on the verge of collapse because of the growth of the trees.

The Temple Run vibes.



It almost looks unreal how huge these trees are and how much of the ruins they've enveloped in their roots.


Stay tuned for Angkor Wat! :)

5 comments:

  1. looks like you had an amazing time!
    have fun!

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  2. Feels like I've been to Cambodia right after seeing your photos! :)

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  3. I really enjoy reading these kinds of posts. It feels like I've been to the place too! Would love to visit Cambodia someday :) Nice to see your mom enjoyed the place :)

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  4. Your pictures look really nice, Jason. After seeing them I got the sense that you really had fun with this post and the place. Your blog has a great feel - and I would definitely go there based on this. I love the shot where Tomb Raider was filmed - I love pop culture as you'll see by my blog www.popspeaking.blogspot.com.

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  5. Ooh looks like such a wonderful place! I love how these ruins are kept for all the future generations to see :) so cool they filmed Tomb Raider here :)

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