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— Unknown

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cambodia - Temples and the Floating Village

Our guide picked us up at the hotel Saturday morning at 9am. We decided to use our driver since they could communicate in Khmer. Our driver spoke excellent English with an Australian accent. Curious about where he learned to speak English, we were surprised to learn that he has never been outside of Cambodia and learned in school where he studied Tourism. (Tourism is what many believe will lead to a Cambodian middle class.)

Our guide informed us that we would complete our tour of the temples around 3pm. We informed our guide that we would be done with Temples by lunch. Be sure to check out the photo albums from each of our stops at the end of this post.

Angkor ThomAngkor Thom was the capital city of Jayavarman VII (1181-1218). In Angkor Thom are located the remains of the Royal Palace, the Suor Prasat Towers and some temples including Preah Palilay, Preah Pithu, and especially the Baphuon mountain-temple and the enigmatic Bayon temple. All throughout Angkor Thom you will find evidence of gods and demons.


Ta ProhmTa Prohm is a jungle temple where nature and men work together to make an amazing exhibition. Everything is monument in this temple, sculptures, statues, ancient banians (tropical fig trees), and the general effect sets a good example of the conditions in which it was found when the first adventurers discovered it in the 19th century.Ta Prohm was the centre of government of a 60 ha city. Houses of near 100 000 people, do not exist anymore because it was built with wood, bamboo, leaves and reeds. Today, the jungle has moved in and is threatening to take over these fascinating ruins. Ta Prohm is also where Tomb Raider was filmed.

Angkor WatOur final temple of the day was Angkor Wat, which is the largest and most well known temple in the area. Suryavarman II erected this remarkable temple, symbol of the Khmer people soul, place of pilgrimage for Buddhists from all Asia, in the 12th century in less than thirty years. This temple first was dedicated to worship kings and Vishnu, a Hindu god, before to become a Buddhist worship place in the 16th century. Dimensions are gigantic forming a rectangle of about 1500 by 1300 meters with 200 meter wide moats. Also surprising, the great number and the wide range of bas-reliefs representing thousands Apsaras always in different shape, historical and epic scenes, religion and everyday life scenes. At last, this is worth noting wonderful views of the Angkor Site from the top of the central sanctuary

The Floating VillageAfter a quick lunch at a local restaurant suggested by our guide, we decided to go visit the Floating Village on Boeung Tonle Sap (Tonle Sap Lake). The “lake” merges with Mekong River. Chong Khneas is the floating village at the edge of the lake closest and most accessible to Siem Reap. The village consists of differing Khmer and Vietnamese floating households and the floating markets, clinics, and schools. The area is a little touristy…but you can still get a sense of what life is like here.


Mel010100 said...

Fantastic photos! What an exciting adventure!!