Day 4: Cambodia’s Angkor Wat

Since I’ve watched the movie, “Tomb Raider” of Angelina Jolie, I’ve always dreamed of visiting the amazing Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Today, I’m making this dream a reality.

Woke up as early as 4am to visit and see the sunrise at Angkor Wat.  Need to buy the Angkor Wat Day Pass first before  the tour. I love the personalized Angkor Wat day pass. Our guide said that they need to put your photo on the day pass to avoid other people from using it. I guess, there were instances that the ticket have been used several times by different people.

First stop is the World Heritage Angkor Wat.

According to Tourism Cambodia, Wat is the Khmer name for temple (the French spelling is “vat “), which was probably added to “Angkor “when it became a Theravada Buddhist monument, most likely in the sixteenth century. After 1432 when the capital moved to Phnom Penh, Angkor Wat was cared for by Buddhist monks. It is generally accepted that Angkor Wat was a funerary temple for King Suryavarman II and oriented to the west to conform to the symbolism between the setting sun and death. The bas-reliefs, designed for viewing from left to right in the order of Hindu funereal ritual, support this function.

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Next is the Bayon Temple. I had the chance to see the place riding in an elephant. Elephant ride cost is $15/person.

elephantride

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The Bayon is located in the center of the city of Angkor Thom 1500 meters (4921 feet) from the south gate. Enter tower of the Bayon is from the east. Prasat Bayon was built in late 12th century to early 13th century, by the King Jayavarman VII, dedicated to Buddhist.

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Third temple that we visited is the Ta Keo – the ascent to this temple is very steep. So make sure you still have energy for this.

According to Tourism Cambodia, Ta Keo is the first temple built entirely in sandstone and as such serves as a milestone in Khmer history. Enormous blocks of stone were cut to a regular size and placed in position. The absence of decoration at ta Keo gives it a simplicity of design that separates it from the other monuments.

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Next stop is the Ta Phohm – Jungle Temple. This the temple shown on the Tomb Raider movie.

Ta Prohm is the undisputed capital of the kingdom of the Trees’. It has been left untouched by archaeologists except for the clearing of a path for visitors and structural strengthening to stave of further deterioration. Shrouded in dense jungle the temple of Ta Prohm is ethereal in aspect and conjures up a romantic aura. Fig, banyan and kapok trees spread their gigantic roots over stones, probing walls and terraces apart, as their branches and leaves intertwine to form a roof over the structures. Trunks of trees twist amongst stone pillars.

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After the visit to the Jungle temple, we had to take our late lunch at Rumduol Angkor restaurant where we ordered Chicken Amok. It’s a famous Cambodian dish..tastes like our famous Ginataang Manok but sweeter.

amok

Then off to the Angkor Wat again but now on the South gate (back).  It’s the time of the year where the natives of Cambodia pays visit to this temple.

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After our fascinating temple tour, it’s time to go back to the Bou Savy Hotel for a refreshing shower. Time to relax and see the Apsara show with buffet dinner.

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04/15/2014

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