Say What? ANGKOR WAT!!
Trip Start Oct 31, 2010
23Trip End Dec 03, 2010
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We looked at eachother and knew this hotel was up to no good
As it was already passed 4.30am we had to hurry up a bit so with our pancakes packed in a box we jumped on the tuk tuk and headed off to the Angkor headquarters. 20 tuktuk-min later we arrived at the Ticketing office of Angkor Wat. We jumped off, got our mugshot snapped and 1min later we received our 3-Day Angkor pass. Price: $40 each, but what's $40 compared to something that will (hopefully) blow your mind???
5.10 am still dark and Srel just dropped us in front of the gate. We hardly see anything, we just follow the crowd, some of them have flashlights...it's all mysterious :- )
We go down some stairs to arrive at the West wing of Angkor, we stopin front of one of the ponds. The crowd has gathered and we all came here with the same aim... to see the sunrise above Angkor Wat
As the sun finally decided to peek the clouds the notorious Angkor Wat became visible. From each and every cornor you could hear "ooooh"..."Wooow"... "Amaaaaazing"..."isn't it beautiful?".... and it surely was! It's truly impossible to describe what feeling actually went through our minds, so in order to find out yourself you should definitely come down to Cambodia and see it with your own eyes :- )
Seeing something like this makes you wanna sit down for 5-10min, just to re-live the moment and picnh yourself to see if it wasn't a dream :-) So...that's what we did, with a cup of tea : -) We hardly set down and of course a bunch of locals tried to sell us whatever Angkor-related souvenir...good price...discount...$1 (seems like Cambodia's the $1 country...at least when it comes to silly souvenirs) It's hard to get rid of them as they actually threaten you to follow you the whole day...pretty annoying at 6.30am!
After the refreshing cup of tea we started with the visit of the main temple complex of Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat ( which means City Temple) was built for the king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city
The temple complex is just amazing and built with such a preciseness that you ask yourself how on earth the managed to build this?? Every wall, every gate has its own story. With a ground map and the explenations of the Lonely planet we walked our way through Angkor, enjoying every single moment. Arrived in one of the inner temples there were some steep stairs we had to climb so we could see a buddha statue, but unfortunaltely Natasa couldn't enter since she was wearing shorts...too short shorts (accordig to Buddhism-belief). I quickly ran up, made a little video of what I saw and came down to share :- ) Suffering from this almost unbearable heat we searched some shade to rest and read about the next temple we'd visit: Angkor Thom. Angkor Thom (or "Great City") probably doesn't mean anything to you at this point, but the ones who saw Lara Croft's "Tomb Raider" will know what this temple is all about... We got dropped off by Srel in front of the imposant entering gates, 23m high and carrying a face like the ones in Bayon. A dusty path lead us to the temple, all hidden in the jungle. It was crazy to see the trees with gigantic roots growing over the temples, some of the trees were even several hundreds years old. We wandered around. Our eyes liked what we saw.... at certain moment inside the courtyard of the main temple we saw "the" famous temple and tree out of Angelina Jolie's movie...too bad I didn't get to see her ha ha :(
As it was already getting late we ask Srel to stop at some place where we could quicly have a bite
The terrace of the Elephants is part of the walled city of Angkor Thom. The terrace was used by Angkor's king Jayavarman VII as a platform from which to view his victorious returning army. It was attached to the palace of Phimeanakas of which only a few ruins remain. Most of the original structure was made of organic material and has long since disappeared. Most of what remains are the foundation platforms of the complex. The terrace is named for the carvings of elephants on its eastern face. The 350m-long Terrace of Elephants was used as a giant reviewing stand for public ceremonies and served as a base for the king's grand audience hall. It must have been pretty amazing witnessing one of those ceremonies, too bad we'll never know! A bit further lays the terrace of the Leper King. This terrace is located in the northwest corner of the Royal Square of Angkor Thom. It was built in the Bayon style under Jayavarman VII, though its modern name derives from a 15th century sculpture discovered at the site. The statue depicts the Hindu god Yama, the god of Death. He was called the Leper King because discoloration and moss growing on the original statue was reminiscent of a person with leprosy, and also because it fit in with a Cambodian legend of an Angkorian king who had leprosy
As it was already getting late we walked from the Lepper King terrace in the diraction of Bayon, the last temple for today. However, before we could reach the temple we got hit by a severe thunderstorm. As there were only ruins nearby we ran to a big tree and hoped the branches would save us from the biggest cats & dogs. We learned our lesson from the rain we had in Bokor and bought ourselves a superduper poncho...it helped a bit, but mine kinde of got ripped apart when I tried to save my backpack with my camera. The sky was not grey but black! It rained for over 30min and there we were, soaking wet! We didn't really felt capable of visiting Bayon anymore today and we just asked Srel to bring us back to the hotel. We got cold in the tuk tuk and couldn't wait to put on some dry & warmer clothes. Although the room only had cold water, it felt good to take a shower... Tired of exploring Angkor the whole day we crawled into bed... nighty night!!