CAMBODIA TRIP DAY 2 柬埔寨之旅

15 March 2019 Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia

CAMBODIA TRIP DAY 2 柬埔寨之旅

Finally, it has come to my Cambodia trip day 2! I'm so sorry that it took me so long to blog about it. I'm currently still busy with my wedding stuff and I'm trying to squeeze some time for my blog. I try my best to stay active after I had resigned from my full-time job. So remember to keep track on my blog. (Okay, let's back to the topic) For the second day in Cambodia, I'm looking forward to visiting Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Baphuon, Preah Khan, and Banteay Kdei.

Breakfast @ Random Restaurant.



Rise and shine! We purposely woke up at 4am just to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat.

However, we took our breakfast at 8am which is why you can see the lighting is not that dark for the photo shown beside.

We dine in the random restaurant that our driver brought us and I love their soup noodles. I like its light texture and try to squeeze some lime into it. The taste will even better.



Angkor Wat.

Angkor Wat, in its beauty and state of preservation, is unrivalled. Its mightiness and magnificence bespeak pomp and a luxury surpassing that of a Pharaoh or a Shah Jahan, an impressiveness greater than that of the Pyramids, an artistic distinctiveness as fine as that of the Taj Mahal. Angkor Wat is located about six kilometres (four miles) north of Siem Reap, south of Angkor Thom. Entry and exit to Angkor Wat can only be access from its west gate.





Angkor Wat was built in the first half of the 12th century. Estimated construction time of the temple is 30 years by King Suryavarman II, dedicated to Vishnu (Hindu), a replica of Angkor Thom style of art.

We were here since 4am and although we spend a few hours just to catch the sunrise. But trust me, it is totally worth it. First sunrise in my life and it was so beautiful.






There are so many local kids here to sell some souvenirs to the tourists. You will be surprise how young are they and they even know how to speak multiple languages.

One of the kid approach us and he told us he can speak Mandarin, English, Japanese and Spanish. I'm impressed. Even a young adult like me don't know such many languages. The kid in the photo was another kid that approached us.


Angkor Wat, the largest monument of the Angkor group and the best preserved, is an architectural masterpiece. Its perfection in composition, balance, proportions, relief's and sculpture make it one of the finest monuments in the world.

Wat is the Khmer name for the temple, which was probably added to "Angkor "when it became a Theravada Buddhist monument, most likely in the sixteenth century. After 1432 when the capital moved to Phnom Penh, Angkor Wat was cared for by Buddhist monks.


It is generally accepted that Angkor Wat was a funerary temple for King Suryavarman II and oriented to the west to conform to the symbolism between the setting sun and death. The bas-reliefs, designed for viewing from left to right in the order of Hindu funeral ritual, support this function.

The plan of Angkor Wat is difficult to grasp when walking through the monument because of the vastness. Its complexity and beauty both attract and distract one's attention. From a distance, Angkor Wat appears to be a colossal mass of stone on one level with a long causeway leading to the centre but close up it is a series of elevated towers, covered galleries, chambers, porches and courtyards on different levels linked by stairways




Covered galleries with columns define the boundaries of the first and second levels. The third level supports five towers –four in the corners and one in the middle and there is the most prominent architectural feature of Angkor Wat. This arrangement is sometimes called a quincunx. Graduated tiers, one rising above the other, give the towers a conical shape and, near the top, rows of lotuses taper to a point.



Ta Prohm.



The so-called 'Tomb Raider Temple', Ta Prohm is cloaked in dappled shadow, its crumbling towers and walls locked in the slow muscular embrace of vast root systems.

Undoubtedly the most atmospheric ruin at Angkor, Ta Prohm should be high on the hit list of every visitor. Its appeal lies in the fact that, unlike the other monuments of Angkor, it has been swallowed by the jungle, and looks very much the way most of the monuments of Angkor appeared when European explorers first stumbled upon them.




Ta Prohm's state of ruin is a state of beauty, which is investigated with delight and left with regret. Ta Prohm is locating southwest of the East Mebon and east of Angkor Thom. Its outer enclosure is near the corner of Banteay Kdei. It can be accessed by entering the monument from the west and leave from the east entrance.


Tip : Ta Prohm is especially serene and beautiful in the early morning. A torch and a compass are useful for visiting this temple at all times. It was built about mid-12thcentury to the early 13th century (1186) by the King Jayavarman VII, dedicated to the mother of the king (Buddhist) replica to Bayon style of art.


Ta Prohm is the undisputed capital of the kingdom of the Trees'. It has been left untouched by archaeologists except for the clearing of a path for visitors and structural strengthening to stave off further deterioration.

Because of its natural state, it is possible to experience at this temple the wonder of the early explorers when they came upon these monuments in the middle of the nineteenth century.




Shrouded in the dense jungle the temple of Ta Prohm is ethereal in aspect and conjures up a romantic aura. Fig, banyan and kapok trees spread their gigantic roots over stones, probing walls and terraces apart, as their branches and leaves intertwine to form a roof over the structures. Trunks of trees twist amongst stone pillars. The strange, haunted charm of the place entwines itself about you as you go, as inescapable as the roots have wound themselves about the walls and towers', wrote a visitor 40 years ago.


Angkor Thom.



Angkor Thom is undeniably an expression of the highest genius. It is, in three dimensions and on a scale worthy of an entire nation, the materialization of Buddhist cosmology, representing ideas that only great painters would dare to portray.

Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmer Empire, was a fortified cit enclosing residences of the priest, officials of the palace and military, as well as buildings for administering the kingdom.




These structures were built of wood and have perished but the remaining stone monuments testify that Angkor Thom was indeed a "Great City" as its name implies. Temples inside the walls of the city described in this article are Bayon, Phimeanakas, Baphuon, Terrace of the Elephants, Terrace of the Leper King, Prah Palilay, Tep Pranam and Prasat Suor Prat.




The Royal Palace situated within the city of Angkor Thom is of an earlier date and belonged to kings of the tenth and first half of the tenth and first half of the eleventh centuries. Although the foundations and an enclosing wall around the palace with entry towers have been identified, little evidence remains of the layout of the buildings inside the enclosure. This absence of archaeological evidence of the royal buildings suggests that they were constructed of wood and have perished.

The French ascertained a general plan of the Royal Palace (see map opposite). It included the temple-mountain of Phimeanakas and surrounding pools together with residences and buildings for administering the capital, which was probably at the back of the enclosure. Jayavarman VII reconstructed the original site of the Royal Palace Palace to erect the city of Angkor Thom, which was centred on the temple of Bayon and surrounded by a wall.


Bayon.



We stand before it stunned. It is like nothing else in the land. The Bayon is located in the centre of the city of Angkor Thom 1500 meters (4921 feet) from the south gate. Enter tower of the Bayon is from the east. Prasat Bayon was built in the late 12th century to early 13th century, by the King Jayavarman VII, dedicated to Buddhist.




It was one of my favourite temple in the entire trip because it was recognizable. To be honest, for me, I thought all the temples in Cambodia looks quite similar. Bayon temple was the one that makes me feel memorable if compared to the other temples.



The Bayon vies with Angkor Wat the favourite monument of visitors. the two evoke similar aesthetic responses yet are different in purpose, design, architecture and decoration. The dense jungle surrounds the temple camouflaged its position in relation to other structures at Angkor so it was not known for some time that the Bayon stands in the exact centre of the city of Angkor ThomEven after this was known, the Bayon was erroneously connected with the city of Yasovarman I and thus dated to the ninth century. A pediment found in 1925 depicting an Avalokitesvara identified the Bayon as a Buddhist temple.




This discovery moved the date of the monument ahead some 300 years to the late twelfth century. Even though the date is firmly implanted and supported by archaeological evidence, the Bayon remains one of the most enigmatic temples of the Angkor group. Its symbolism, original form and subsequent changes and constructions have not yet been untangled.





The Bayon was built nearly 100 years after Angkor Wat. The basic structure and earliest part of the temple ate not known. Since it was located at the centre of a royal city it seems possible that the Bayon would have originally been a temple-mountain conforming to the symbolism of a microcosm of Mount Meru. The middle part of the temple was extended during the second phase of the building. The Bayon of today belongs to the third and last phase of the art style.



Baphuon. 

North of the Golden Tower (Bayon), rises the Tower of Branze (Baphuon) higher even than the Golden Tower - a truly astonishing spectacle, with more than ten chambers at its base. Prasat Baphuon is located 200 metres (656 feet) northwest of the Bayon and south of Phimeanakas. An enter and leave at the east.


The grandeur of Baphuon as described above by Zhou Daguan is unrecognizable today because of the poor condition of the temple. The French were in the process of restoring this temple when they were forced to leave Angkor in 1972 because of war. Baphuon is situated inside the royal city of Angkor Thom but dates from the eleventh century and was built before the city was established. An interesting feature of Baphuon are the bas-reliefs which are scenes carved in small squares.


Unfortunately few of these are visible because of the poor state of the temple. The narrative themes are realistic depictions of daily life and forest scenes.


Preah Khan.



Preah Khan temple is located in the Angkor Archaeological Park and is still largely unrestored. It is one of the larger temple complexes within the historic park. Preah Khan translates to “Holy Sword” in Khmer, named by Jayavarman VII in honour of his battle victory against the invading force of Chams, who belonged to a kingdom in what is now Vietnam, in the year 1191.


This majestic temple complex is surrounded by a moat, and its surface area stretches over a swatch of land that’s 800 meters by 700 meters, enclosing an area of 56 hectares. Its aesthetics are very similar to nearby famous Angkor temple Ta Prohm, with vegetation and trees seeming to swallow the ruins.




Preah Khan is part of the Grand Circuit within Angkor Archaeological Park, which is a 26-kilometre loop that’s an extension of the small circuit. To access this temple and to tour the rest of the circuit, it’s advised to hire a tuk-tuk driver. The smaller circuit can easily be completed by bicycle, however, it can be challenging to accomplish the larger circuit in one day on a bicycle.


Banteay Kdei.



In stark contrast to the often overwhelmingly crowded and popular Angkorian ruins, Banteay Kdei is peaceful and quiet. Its name means “Citadel of Chambers”, which is apt; the ruins are a fascinating maze of chambers that are a delight to explore. Also serving as a Buddhist temple, these ruins have been home to an active monastery at multiple time periods since their construction in the 12th century, up until the 1960s.

Today, the ruins are overgrown and seemingly forgotten by the bustling Angkor tourism industry. Its solitude and mystery make it a hidden gem for explorers of the region. Tall trees cast shade over Buddhist bas-reliefs, and many hours can be spent in its meandering design.

Banteay Kdei is located within Angkor Archaeological Park, so a temple pass is needed to visit. It is also part of the small circuit, which is a 17-kilometre loop that contains all of the “must-see” temples within Angkor Park.

Banteay Kdei is located opposite of Srah Srang, which is an ancient and historic man-made reservoir (also known as the “royal bathing pool”). The total one-way distance from Siem Reap is about 10.5 kilometres (or approximately 6 miles). This is a 15-minute tuk-tuk journey or about one hour by bicycle.


Dinner @ Pub Street.

For the dinner, as usual, we dine in at a random restaurant located in Pub Street. We had ordered fried noodles, tom yam soup with rice and whisky coke. So far the taste not bad and I like the beverage. Lol. Stay tuned for my Day 3 and 4. Don't forget to check out the previous travelogue at below too.


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