Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Angkor Thom!

After exploring Angkor Wat the day before, the next day was for Angkor Thom.

Phnom Bakheng

First stop was the temple on the hill at Phnom Bakheng. There are elephant rides up/down for $15, but I took the path and walked up... I was still aching from the day before but I made it... Just.

The stairs up the side of the hill. It doesn't look that far but I assure you it is.

More forbidden stairs.

Halfway up the temple.

Looking in the general direction of Angkor Wat. The balloon is some thing they have going to see Angkor Wat from the air.

In the general direction of Angkor Thom. Can't see any of it through the trees because the trees are tall.

Looking east, lots of restoration work going on here.

The central tower still used for prayer.

Angkor Wat.

The faces everywhere look like they've been scratched out... Why is that?

Linga, looking at Angkor Wat 

More reliefs.
Nandin. Haven't seen you in a while!

This is a very different look from what's in the guidebook. The area I'm standing in was all overgrown, and there was grass growing on the temple itself. Plus all this new restoration work going on.

Brick puzzle.

Tree growing out of a wall.

Looking out off the path to the West Baray 
Baksei Chamkrong

This is a smaller temple just near the base of the hill for Phomn Bakheng.

View from the path up to Phomb Bakheng

See, Baksei Cham Krong... The book doesn't have a space in there...

The temple itself.
 Prasat Bei

Simple little temple, just by the river.

Angkor Thom South Gate

One of the five gates into the city of Angkor Thom.

Boats, the bridge, and the gate.

More of the bridge and gate.

Someones not happy they're a restoration...

Faces everywhere!
Then I walked up the road (2km!) to get to:

The Bayon

This is the temple with faces everywhere. It looks big, and old, and falling down, but again there is lots of restoration work going on. The restored pieces really stand out and look odd.

View from the south.

Wait a minute..... Large latin characters on an ancient Khmer temple? Something doesn't add up.

The relief work on the outer wall.

From just inside the outside wall.

Falling over... 

More collapsed stuff.

More relief.


Towards the center

Half collapsed walkway.

Narrow passages everywere. I tried to get lost in these, I was almost successful.

More narrow passages.

A well! It was really dark in there, darker than priest socks. I overheard a guide telling someone that they get the water out of here, pour it over the nearby linga, and then use it to wash parts of the temple.

More temple madness.

Only some faces here.

There's a face.

Oh, more faces...


Big face.

No face.

Restored, and then removed face (why is that?)

More collapsed temple.


Pushed over columns.

The main entrance view.
Suor Prat Towers

I'm not sure if this was one of the towers, the map doesn't make it clear.

There's one, and a reflection.


Leper King Terrace

The hidden wall of the leper king terrace.

More Hidden wall


Thats..... A big naga.


This is how the hidden wall works.

Now this one looks very very different to the photos in the book. The photos show a collapsed pyramid covered in grass, which it clearly isn't now.

The elevated walkway.

Through the pavilion.

This one is big.

From the first level.

More of the center from the first level.

Spot the restoration! That's right, pretty much everything in this photo.

A little walkway.

From the second level..

On the third level, looking down those stairs...

Aww it's roped off! Apparently they have no idea what this section originally looked like because it's been  moved so many times.

Showing the angle of the stairs. I think it becomes a ladder at this point.

Bulging wall.

Looking back from the walkway over to the royal palace.

This is on the royal palace grounds, not much else left standing here.

The pond.
The wall around the royal grounds

Some stones left over...

The gate out of the grounds.
Preah Palilay

Here it is. The trees have been chopped down compared to the picture in the book but it looks similar otherwise

And that's it for Angkor Thom. I rested for one day and then headed to some of the temples just to the east of Angkor Thom. And now I think I'm resting again because my legs are still jelly. Still have four more day to use on my seven day ticket, but it's valid for thirty days. No need to rush :)

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