April 10, 2014

Cambodia : The Angkor Show - Angkor Thom

Tourists flock Siem Reap for one reason. To visit the Angkor World Heritage Site.

My friend arrived early in the morning, checked in at the hostel, had breakfast and we were ready to tour the archaeological sites together.

The whole Angkor Archaeological Park is huge, stretching over some 400 square kilometres. The usual route is divided into two; the Little Circuit and the Big Circuit. We thought of the best and economical way to visit all those sites; whether to cycle or rent a tuk-tuk. Although cycling sounds fun, we were pressed for time and I couldn't bear the heat. hehe.. So tuk-tuk it was for us.

We asked our hostel staff to help arrange for a tuk-tuk and after a little discussion, we decided to do the Little Circuit that day. The rate we got was USD 12 per day. 

Buy the ticket here.
 
 
 
Don't forget to smile! Your photo will be taken at the counter and imprinted on the ticket.
 
 
Cool aight?!

Angkor Archaeological Park
Opening hours from 5
am ~ 6 pm 
 Entrance fee: 
 1-day pass USD 20
3-day pass USD 40  - valid for any 3 days within a week
7-day pass USD 60 - valid for any 7 days within a month

We bought the 1-day pass. We thought if we still have any sites to visit tomorrow, we'd buy the 1-day pass again.

The Little Circuit takes in several of the major and minor temples in the area.
 
North Gate

We went in through the North Gate and started with Angkor Thom, the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire. 

Located in the heart of Angkor Thom is The Bayon. Built in late 12th century, it is easily one of the most popular sights after Angkor Wat as this unique temple bears hundreds of iconic face carvings on 54 towers.
 



 


Walking around the temple was really fascinating. The face carvings can be enjoyed from many angles and levels. It's really quite a remarkable sight!
 

Look for the decoration of Apsara dancers on the pillars in front of the entry tower.
They are beautiful!
 



From the Bayon, we walked to Baphuon.
 


Baphuon is situated inside Angkor Thom but dates from the 11th century and was built before the city was established.
 
 


It is built as a temple mountain to symbolize Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology.

Climb to the top terrace for a panoramic view of Angkor Thom. But beware! It is a very steep climb.
 




 
view from the top of Baphuon
 
 

Walking through the forest trail from the back of Baphuon brought us to the Royal Palace, Phimeanakas and the Pools.
 

There's very little left of the Royal Palace today except for the foundation work and a couple of ponds.

Located within the enclosure of the palace is the Phimeanakas. The 3-tier pyramid temple was built at the end of the 10th century, making it the oldest known building in Angkor Thom.
 
 


We headed back to the road and passed by the Terrace of the Elephants, a 300m long platform with walls covered by elephant carvings.
 

Our tuk-tuk driver informed us he'd wait in front of the terrace so after we were done, we looked around for him. It was confusing cos there were many tuk-tuks at the area. To make it worse, we actually forgot how he looked like. -_-

After a while, we spotted a guy waving at our directions. Luckily our driver remembered us. hahahha... Well.. of course la since we haven't paid him yet.

So we continued our exploration on the Little Circuit. We passed by Ta Keo but we only stopped for a while as there's some restoration work going on.
 
 
Next, we headed to the temple made famous by Angelina Jolie...
 

2 comments:

zaraab said...

Your Angkor pass photo was nicely taken! I don't even dare to reveal mean. Hahaha. Muka tak bersedia langsung.

rara said...

@zaraab: Smile! hehehe...