Skip to main content

Angkor ruins excursion

These Cambodian boys keep the Bayon temple clean.

"If you only see two temples, Angkor Wat and Bayon should be the ones." That is the advice from this website and my friends and I did just that on the final day of our recent stay in Siem Reap, Cambodia. In addition, we visited the Ta Prohm temple.

Half a day is hardly enough to cover the numerous religious structures in the Angkor Archaeological Park, which is close to Siem Reap city.

Khmer domination over the Angkor Kingdom lasted about 600 years beginning from the 9th Century and during this period several hundred temples were built. Our guide told us that some 300 have been listed and restored.

I enjoyed the visit to the "palaces of gods" so much that I plan to visit Siem Reap again; this time to explore the ruins thoroughly.

Michael Freeman and Claude Jacques (Ancient Angkor, 2003) write: "To gain a proper understanding of what a Khmer temple was, it should first be recalled that it was not a meeting place of the faithful but the palace of a god, who was enshrined there to allow him to bestow his beneficence, in particular on the founder and his familiars.

"There was thus the need to build the finest possible residence for him, to be sure, although as he was there in the form of a statue there was little need for a large space.

"One of the largest is the central shrine of Angkor Wat and its cella has internal dimensions of 4.6 metres by 4.7; the pedestal of the statue being approximately the width of the door, would have been 1.6 metres square. So a great temple would not be a vast palace for a single god but a grouping of multiple shrines with a main divinity at the centre." 

Below are some pictures of my brief tour of the religious monuments at the Angkor Archaeological Park, which is a World Heritage Site.


Love this corridor of one of the structures of Angkor Wat. It was exciting to walk the corridors of this famous symbol of Cambodian nation. Some two million visitors are likely to visit this legendary ruins by the end of this year.




You will encounter bas-reliefs such as the type seen in the second picture on the exterior walls of the lower level of the Bayon while the stone faces -- the third picture serves as an example -- sit on the upper level.



Visitors will appreciate this quaint relic of the past, also found at the Bayon. The two photos below were taken at the Ta Prohm, where "massive fig and silk-cotton trees grow from the towers and corridors".



Comments

Popular Posts

June weddings

June is the month for weddings and invitations in my letter box prove this. The popularity of June weddings is a global phenomenon. According to Lesley-Ann Graham, author of WeddingTrix.com, June weddings trace their roots to ancient Rome "when couples would marry in June in observance of Juno, the goddess of marriage". It was thought that the goddess would give her blessing to each married pair. But there are also "practical reasons for getting married in June" such as nice weather and school breaks. June weddings are also fashionable in Malaysia where schools take a short break in June and the half-term holiday allows Malaysian parents to plan for their older children's weddings with a lot less hassle than holding them during non-vacation time. Wedding invitations inundated my mail box this month but I could only attend one. Most painfully, I could not be present at Koh Soo Ling's wedding reception. Soo Ling, if you recall, writes for New Sunda

Koh Soo Ling: Letter perfect love

I will not be able to attend my friend's wedding because I will be in Kuching, Sarawak on the day of the reception. When duty calls, ... That is so sad. I will make it up to you Koh Soo Ling, who is pictured here with husband Michael Howard. Soo Ling has found happiness with a wonderful Irish man who loves her with an intensity that makes her heart flutter. She will begin a new life in Ireland and the prospect of living in the countryside fills her with excitement. She will love her man, take care of him, cook and bake for him, take part in community life and write, write and write.  Yes, Soo Ling will continue to write for New Sunday Times and she promises to share her activities with readers in Malaysia. Theirs is not a whirlwind romance. They started as pen pals, two teenagers who were eager to learn about foreign cultures. Pen pal relationships are so mysterious. Some write to their friends abroad for only a short time; others continue to swap letters and gifts in their

When a card came out of the blue ...

This post is prompted by a remark made by my good friend Wei Lin. She saw me reading a card I had received from a friend recently and said: "Traditional cards are so old-fashioned." I wondered if that was true and decided to probe into the issue. A Google search revealed numerous articles on the debate between traditional paper-based cards and e-cards. Tracey Grady's examination of the pros and cons of each type is informative. In my opinion, e-cards are not substitutes for the real (traditional) ones and they shouldn't be. I treat e-card e-mails with suspicion because spammers could be using them to download viruses and software onto my computer. I have never sent anyone an e-card and I don't plan to; I dislike the cold impersonality of conveying greetings electronically. I have always liked sending and receiving cards the traditional way. The ritual of going to a bookshop, browsing at the card section, picking a suitable one for the recipient and then walki