Sunday, September 14, 2008

Just as I promised!

To take up where we left off, you simply have to experience two other stops in Angkor. They are unique in their own way, so I hope you will find it interesting. About 2 kilometers from Angkor Wat, there is a majestic entrance to Angkor Thom or "The Large City" as it was called, built in the 12th century. This used to be where the palace was located, and where they estimate 100,000 people lived. It encompasses a rectangular area of about 9 square miles and it has its ' own unique monuments. To enter this complex, you drive down a passage way lined with 54 gigantic divinities, that look like fearsome war-lords. They are carved in solid stone, with the 54 gods struggling to hold a large 9 headed serpent, as if to prevent it from escaping.

Can you see them clutching the mighty 9 headed serpent?

This causeway leads to a monumental gate that is called "The Victory Gate, or South Gate." This gate leads you into the city complex. The opening is large enough for the vehicles of today to pass through without any problem. (Actually there are four more gates like this one that surround Angkor Thom!)

Notice how beautiful these fearsome gods are...

Now for the close up!

It is thought that the city complex, the palace (which no longer exists) and its famous temple, the Bayon, are Buddhist in origin ( remember, Angkor Wat is Hindu). Certainly it has a different feel from Angkor Wat. Note serenity of the head on the top of the Victory gate. What a benevolent welcome!After going through the gate you come to one of the most famous and unique temples. It is called The Bayon. If Angkor Wat is grand and imposing, the Bayon is wild and erratic. To fashion this structure from stone, without use of cement or mortar, it is amazing to behold. Just visualize how grand it must have been in its day. In fact, the center tower of this structure was supposedly coated in gold leaf! That would have been impressive! When most of the excavating was completed, they realized that the Bayon was situated in the exact center of Angkor Thom.

These two shots gives you an idea of it's grandeur.

This is me enticing you to come with me and see!

Now I know you are thinking, what is so unique about this temple? Well, check this out!

And this!

And this!

There are 200 of these large faces carved into the 54 towers that make up The Bayon. Are you impressed yet?

I suppose you might be getting a little tired of seeing so many faces, but lest you think this temple is unique simply because of that...You should also know that they carved in their walls surrounding the complex these incredible bas reliefs depicting their daily life and significant events! Here are two examples for you to enjoy!

Just in case you think that Dad was not with me at this temple, here are two photos to prove that he was!

As we were leaving the Bayon to go to our third ruin...we passed by this beautiful and peaceful field, "The________ Terrace". I will let you fill in the blank!I was going to take you to third and final ruin of our visit in this posting...but this will have to do for today. But stay won't believe what is coming next!


  1. Very beautiful! It's so hard to imagine the type of work that went into building something like that, with no help from modern building tools!

  2. Wow. This place is amazing. I love the faces in the towers. I am just itching to see it in real life!

  3. Great post Mom. So beautiful--there is just so much in the world to see. Pretty amazing.

  4. I agree with kara. Amazing is exactly the word that popped into my head looking at these photos.

  5. This earth is filled with so many incredible things, many of which I had not clue about. I bet there are amazing stories bhind those statues and the work that went into making them.

  6. Can you believe these stunning travels you're experiencing? So completely awesome, Mom!

    Love you.