June 28, 2012

Indochina: Bayon and Other Major Temples

Walking inside the Angkor Wat was great experience. It was tiring but fulfilling. Not all people can walk in this ancient ruin. The Angkor Wat walking tour was indeed special. At first glance before I plan for this trip, I didn’t know that there are actually many temples is Siem Reap such as Bayon, Baphuon, Phimeanakas, Terrace of the Elepants, Ta Keo, Ta Prohm, Banteay Kdei, Sras Srang, Pre Rup, Prasat Kravan and a lot more! Those specifically mentioned was the temples included in a day tour. Although all the temples are worth the time of visit, Angkor Wat stands unbeaten in terms of visitors.



At about 7:00 AM, we headed back to Bou Savy Guesthouse for breakfast. After eating for about 20 minutes the tuktuk started traveling going to Bayon, the second major temple attraction.



Bayon

This temple, of course old, is not as big as the Angkor Wat. This temple is also far from Angkor Wat in terms of restoration and maintenance. Although there are ongoing restorations Angkor Wat still holds my aweness.



Enough comparing. This temple is known for the famous face of the Buddha being seen on every erected tower of the temple. There were many travelers at the time when I visited that was why my pictures weren’t that secluded.










It was very hard walking inside this temple because big ancient stones are everywhere. Even getting in the inner portion was hard because of the stiff ladder they put to accommodate travelers who wants to go up.   


Children playing on the stones. These children are residents of the are.






Imagine walking around Bayon for four times just to look for the exit as instructed by the tuktuk driver. Well, it seems easy but it was not. Hehe. Every side of the temple is the same giving you a hard time figuring out what side of the temple you are. 

The tuktuk driver instructed me to walk passing through Baphuon going to the Terrace of the Elephants where I'm gonna' meet him.  As I said above I got lost in Bayon. Holding a map, I asked question to other tuktuk drivers for direction. I had to circumnavigate the area just to see the small pathway going to Baphuon.
    

Baphuon




A mirror like passage =)



It was already 11:00AM when I reached this temple making my walking not so advisable. One must bring an umbrella and sunblock for heat protection. Also, Bring a lot of water because the prices of water in Siem Reap are sky rocketing.




I walk through the wall passage of the temple reaching a steep stairs going to a much cooler place. Well thanks to the tall trees around the temple. Walking under (I guess) ancient trees makes me think of lying down on one of the ruin stone and breath some air for a moment. That didn't happen because my stomach says I have to move.  


Phimeanakas





I thought this temple is large as I perceive on the map. The red brick temple stands on a vast area for its size. I was very tired at this point making me to lose the appetite of climbing on the top of the temple.   

Terrace of the Elephants



Ta Keo

Ta Keo  is the most challenging Temple. Seeing the facade makes me think that this is just ordinary as the other temple. The temple standing on the red soil will definitely make you sweat! 




Would you dare to climb? 

The super steep and hot stair will add up to the challenge. See that girl in white on the pic? She's a Korean who stop in the middle because she was really scared to continue. Well at the end she had no choice but to continue. So she did climb. 





Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm is as equal to Angkor Wat and Bayon in terms of beauty. This temple is I think one of the most picturest because of large tree trunks and roots growing on the wall of the Temple. You will see the roots seemingly eating every stone and windows of the structure. 
     











Banteay Kdei





Art works for sale.

Sras Srang



Sras Srang is a man made body of water with an artificial island in the middle where a temple used to be located. Magnificent! According to the tuktuk deriver only the kings were allowed to enter in the temple in the middle of this man made lake.

Pre Rup





Prasat Kravan

I love this temple. The simplicity and perfect architecture of the temple appeals to me. This was the last temple we visited and it was reserve to be the last one. 






You will be amazed by how the Ancient Khmer live during there days. Prior to Pol Pot and the industrial revolution, or maybe the French occupation, I am very sure that Cambodia was at its best. One would agree that Khmer culture is one of the most richest in human history. I just hope that the rich culture would help the Khmer people of today to lived up the lives of their predecessors.

Tips:

  • Bring a lot of water! - Climate in Cambodia is very hot and water is very expensive.
  • Bring an Umbrella
  • Apply sunblock for protection
  • Bring extra battery for your camera or make sure that your battery is fully charge 
Related Post

If this helps you or inspired you please share it in any Social Media platform or comment here if you wish to ask for more =) 


This is the travel blog of Jherson Jaya - banker by profession, adventurer by passion. Everything written here were based on his experiences. The lust of seeing new places thrilled him to explore both the explored and unexplored world. Old and new architecture fanatic; lover of food, both exotic and indulgence; and founds peace in long bus and train rides - thats how he describe his way of traveling.    

Follow his adventure by liking his Facebook Page LonelyTravelogue and following him on Twitter and Instagram