The Temples of Angkor
Cambodia is known for huge(ruin) temples. As far as I could remember I visited four to five temples together with my friend, however I can only name three (sorry, I have memory of a gold fish). On my previous post of Cambodia, about the transportation where me and my friend opted to get a tuktuk for six usd, then we split it for two. Remember, always avail the airport transportation not only because it is safe and organized but it is also the cheapest, the rates are already provided before you’ll choose your ride, don’t worry they will not scam you, Cambodian drivers are kind and they have strict rules regarding rates. Please don’t forget to give a tip to your driver(s) as this is their only means of livelihood.
The tuktuk driver that we got, was also the one we hired to tour us around the Temples of Angkor, of course now the driver will charge you different rate for this, ours charge us twenty usd. The driver will tour you around the different temples of Angkor for one day. In our case he dropped us first at our hostel to shower and rest for awhile, we told him to picked us up at 10:00.
First thing to do before you could start your tour is to buy a ticket, your driver will brought you to the place where you can buy the ticket, one ticket for one person on a one day tour is 20usd, this ticket is your key to enter the different temples. The temple(s) personnel will ask for you ticket upon entrance, so better keep safe your ticket because if you’ll lose it you have to buy another one or you’ll not be allowed to enter the temples. Also, there are tickets that are valid for two or three days but of a higher price this is good if you’re on Cambodia not solely on temple huntings.
Remember, since some of the temples were dedicated to the gods you must be dress accordingly as a sign of respect. You will not be allowed to enter the temples if you are wearing the following: sleeveless, short shorts, skimpy dress. Wearing slippers or comfortable shoes is fine, I recommend it as you’ll be walking for hours, just like the Angkor Wat you can roam it for three hours or more as is it very huge. Please don’t forget to bring sunblock, or umbrella, trust me you’ll need it.
The first temple is the Angkor Wat or the Capital temple, a Unesco heritage site, this is a temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world, with the site measuring 162.6 hectares. This is a Hindu temple, dedicated to god Vishnu for the Khmer Empire, gradually transforming into a Buddhist temple toward the end of the 12th century. It was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yaśodharapura (present-day Angkor), the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. This temple is the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious center since its foundation. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia,appearing on its national flag, and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors.
Next temple, the Bayon temple also known as the Four Heads temple.
A well-known and richly decorated Khmer temple at Angkor in Cambodia. Built in the late 12th or early 13th century as the official state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King Following Jayavarman’s death, it was modified and augmented by later Hindu and Theravada Buddhist kings in accordance with their own religious preferences.
The Bayon’s most distinctive feature is the multitude of serene and smiling stone faces on the many towers which jut out from the upper terrace and cluster around its central peak. The temple is known also for two impressive sets of bas-reliefs, which present an unusual combination of mythological, historical, and mundane scenes. The current main conservatory body, the Japanese Government Team for the Safeguarding of Angkor (the JSA) has described the temple as “the most striking expression of the baroque style” of Khmer architecture, as contrasted with the classical style of Angkor Wat.
The Angkor Thom or the Jungle Temple. This is the temple featured in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. The temple didn’t survived through times unlike the others which are mostly preserved.This temple is destroyed by trees and terminates, the people believe that if you don’t dedicate the temple to the gods it wouldn’t survived.