In the Magical World of Angkor...New Pictures!!!!
Trip Start Jul 05, 2010
186Trip End May 15, 2011
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Beautiful Khmer Women
There are thousands of carvings of women adorning temple walls and entrances; some women are standing and looking straight at you, while others are performing traditional dances in poses that I have tried to, but failed to imitate. The figures are unbelievably feminine with great curves and beautiful faces. I don't know when flat abs and malnourished models became the ideals in Western civilization—these women are far more attractive and present a much healthier body image for women.
Bayon, one of the most famous Angkor temples, is covered in enormous stone faces, which most likely represent a combination of Buddha and the King Jayavarman VII. You feel that you are in another world as you walk among the enormous, slightly smiling faces; it feels pretty unreal and makes you wonder why someone needed to build so many giant statues in his own image. If it was me, I would probably have built only one giant Kinga face and then built one in the image of David, other family members, pets, etc.
Ta Prohm is a 12th century Mahayana Buddhist temple complex, which is covered by jungle overgrowth and looks a lot like it did when Europeans found it. Trees that are hundreds of years old seem to spill tentacles in every direction, engulfing the ruins with their thick roots. This place is unbelievable—you feel the power of the jungle, the passage of centuries, and wonder about the people who created it and worshipped here. It’s not only we who are impressed by Ta Prohm—the temple was used as a set for shooting the movie Tomb Raider.
Terrace of the Leper King
The terrace is 7 meters high and it is named after a king with leprosy, whose statue (actually a replica) can be found at the top of the terrace. However, the statue, probably depicted Yama, the god of death (not a leper), and the site might have been a crematory.
The really cool thing about the place, though, are the front walls, which contain five tiers of elaborate carvings. Most of the carvings are of seated asparas, which are beautiful nymphs, lovely princesses, kings, and many-headed snakes known as nagas. This was one of my favorite places.