April 17, 2014

Cambodia : The Angkor Show - Angkor Wat

 Continuation from here ...

Our final destination on the Little Circuit was the Angkor Wat. It is the largest monument in the Angkor Archaeological Park and the best preserved, the most famous, iconic and grandest temple of all. So we saved the best for last.

Some visitors prefer to visit the temple at dawn, starting the tour as early as 5 am to watch the sun rise over the temple. We preferred to sleep so we didn't do that sunrise thing. But I saw the sunrise photos from other blogs and they are sooo beautiful!! #reasontorepeat

the temple's prime viewing spot

moat surrounding the Angkor Wat

The largest religious structure in the world, Angkor Wat was commissioned by Suryavarman II in the early 12th century. It was dedicated to the Hindu god, Vishnu, but later converted to be a Buddhist temple in late 13th century when Buddhism became the dominant religion.

Looking at the sheer scale of the temple and its grand architecture, I wondered how long it took and how many man power needed to complete this wonder. I mean, what engineering technology did they have back in 12th century?

Angkor Wat's main entrance is to the west across a stone walkway, with guardian lions marking the way.

Take a look of what's inside...

the main tower


Carvings on the wall.

bas-relief of Apsara

The main tower on the third level is the top-most part of the tour of the temple. Make sure you go up before 5 pm as they'll close the access after that. Luckily we managed to go up in time.

The tower houses four Buddha statues, each facing a different point on the compass. The locals believe that it will bring good luck to pay respect to all four Buddha images before leaving the temple.

It was extremely crowded inside the temple galleries but I managed to enjoy it peacefully towards the end of my visit since I was among the last visitor to leave the temple. At about 5.45 pm, the staffs began asking us to leave as the closing time was approaching but I took my own sweet time walking out, admiring the temple without the crowd.

Oh.. beware of the monkey! They roam freely all over the temple, and quite aggressive I tell ya.

We left the temple area after dark. I was so tired from all the walking and climbing but nevertheless, it was worth it!
If you are a fan of archaeology and historical sites, Angkor Wat and Angkor Archaeological Park is a MUST go!

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