Ida and Nigel’s post: Temples at Siem Reap

We spent three days in Siem Reap. During that time we visited three temples and a silk factory. We’ll write about the silk factory in another post.

The largest religious monument in the world is Angkor Wat, enclosing about 400 acres. It was built to worship the Hindu god Vishnu by  King Suryavarman II in the early twelfth century. The temple gradually came under Buddhist control by the thirteenth century.

In the spirit of saving the best for last, we wanted Angkor Wat to be the final stop on our tour.

After visiting Ta Phrom Wat (Jungle Temple) on Day 1, we went to see Bayon, a structure with a multitude of massive serene faces and impressive bas-reliefs, showing historical and everyday scenes.

Here are some of the faces of Bayon:


  
The holes in the rocks were carved with iron chisels and held wooden pegs, used to move the rocks (with the help of elephants).

Here is an example of the bas relief:

On to Angkor Wat. People like to see Angkor Wat at sunrise. We woke up at 4h30 to get there ahead of the (huge) crowds.

The sunrise was really pretty. Here are some pictures. The first was shot around 5h15:


And then this one followed about 20 minutes later:

Inside Angkor Wat itself there are very steep stairs to get to the top of the towers. The stairs are steep to reflect the difficult climb to get to heaven.


Everything at Angkor Wat seems to be steep and reaching for the sky.

The statue of Vishnu used to be at the centre of the temple. Vishnu was replaced by a statue of Buddha, but preserved at the entrance to Angkor Wat:


It was a great visit, unlike anything we’ve seen before. One could spend a year visiting all the wats here but we found that seeing three of them, spaced out over three days, was just right. Ida and Saga loved it and enjoyed the pace. So did their parents.

 

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2 thoughts on “Ida and Nigel’s post: Temples at Siem Reap

  1. Beautiful photos as usual!!!! And thanks for the refresher course! 😄 Weather has been amazing here for our Thanksgiving. Today we are all going to a celebration of my uncle’s 100 th birthday. He is my Dad’s brother. Imagine!! 100 years old!!!!! Hugs, Mp

    Mary Pat Armstrong Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  2. What beautiful photos and especially the sun rising over Ankor Wat! That must have been incredible to see and to share together. Thank you for your excellent descriptions Ida!
    Happy Thanksgiving from coastal BC!
    Xo Squeak

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