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Angkor Thom

A massive city in its time

sunny 30 °C

Written on March 6...recounting events of April 26...

After Angkor Wat, we went to the city of Angkor Thom (means Great Angkor/Great city), which is a gathering of several temples (at least 7-8) surrounded by a wall that is 12km long.
Here is a pic of the main entrance- there are 5 entrances/exits in total. Notice the statues on the side are re-enacting the battle "Churning of the Sea" that I mentioned earlier.
Angkor_Tho..ce_wall.jpg

Inside Angkor Thom, we first stopped to see some monkeys that were on the side of the road, and I ended up sharing (aka letting him get it all) my mango (the one I had just bartered down to 1000riels, if you remember from a previous entry).
Angkor_Tho..y_on_me.jpg
I first gave him (or her) a piece, then it jumped on me and we fought for the bag a little, so he reached in and touched all the pieces, taking a bite ofmost of them. As a result, he ended up with all of it, but it was an enjoyable close encounter. I wanted to pet him, but remembered the tour guide (when we went canoeing) who had told us that they bit when you touch them, and to bite back if they did. We avoided a biting match here.

We first visited the Bayon, undeniably the best temple there is. From the outside, it resembles a pile of rocks, but once you get close and definitely inside, it's aww inspiring.
Here's a view from the outside
Angkor_Tho.._front1.jpg

And from the lower level inside:
Angkor_Tho..king_up.jpg
The inside is amazing, it's a never ending twisty turning maze of corridors, stairs and upper levels. The second floor is built in a circular shape, and to my eyes (aka "the untrained") seem symmetrical and identical, making it somewhat confusing ("have I been around yet?).

It's well known thanks to it's 216 faces overlooking all directions of the kingdom. There are 3 different shapes of faces (subtle differences, but nevertheless), prompting the experts to say that 1 type probably represents Buddha, the other the King who had this temple built and the 3rd, a mix of both (King/God complex at it's best).

Pics on the next entry!

Posted by Mistrale 04:14 Archived in Cambodia

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