A Travellerspoint blog

Angkor Thom - part 3

other temples

sunny 30 °C

After lunch, we moved on to another temple, the Baphuon. This one had started to get renovated by a French team, who had meticuously removed and documented each stone, when the Khmer Rouge took over.
When they came back after the war, the rocks had been moved seemingly without any order and they were therefore left with a bunch of rocks spreat out everywhere. The area surrounding the Baphuon is now a graveyard of stones and no one knows where they go. The French are still, to this day, working on restoring it, and they are no where near done as you can see by these 2 pics. What's not shown is that there are rocks spread around the entire building, almost as far as the eye can see.
Bonne chance mes amis!

Angkor_Tho..on_lawn.jpg

This pic was taken from the actual building, looking at the courtyard.
Angkor_Tho..urtyard.jpg

Quick note to mention that there are several countries working in team with the Cambodia gov to restore different temples. No CA or US, but German, Japanese, French, Australia, etc.

Leaving Angkor Thom, we went to another temple called Ta Phrom:
This temple had not been restored at all, and as a result, the jungle is slowly taking over. It's gorgeous and was built by the King for his mother. It is said to have needed 80,000 people to maintain it.
I think that the movie Tomb Raider was partially shot here.
Angkor_Tho..uilding.jpg

Well, that's almost it for the temple pics (there are more of course, but really, it's pretty pathetic how badly they fail to properly portrait the places), so let's finish with a few random pics.

Angkor_Tho.._relief.jpg

Angkor_Tho..g_apart.jpg

Angkor_Tho..begging.jpg
These kids were literally at every temple, agressively selling their stuff. This is an example with only 2 kids at once. They are very very very very pushy!!!

Last note on the topic:
The Khmer society of Angkor seemed to be quite advanced in engineering principles as these temples (and the harvesting and transporting of the stones required to build them) show.
The origins of this people had been traced back to the Indians and Chinese traders who were stuck in Cambodia for 6 months of the year, while waiting for the winds to shift and carry them back to their home country. This explains many of the religious rituals and figures, as well as the appearance of the Khmer people to this day (darker skin than chinese, but clearly asian)

Angkor Wat and most surrounding temples are built around the "high tide" mark of the flodded Tonle Sap lake. Each year, during the wet season (summer in the Himalayas/Nepal), an enormous flow of water reaches the shallow sand of the Mekong river, actually stopping the "down to the sea" flow of the water and reversing it back up the Tonle Sap lake. During that period, it more than doubles in size, and completely changes the topography of this region of Cambodia.

Posted by Mistrale 05:17 Archived in Cambodia

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