Temples of Khmer


Visited December 2011

Day 2: Temple Hopping
Ta Prohm was our first visit of the second day. Built to honour his family, the temple is a UNESCO site, with an air of mystique. It is amazing to see how nature has merged with the temple.

01 Ta ProhmNext was Ta Keo, which was apparently an unfinished temple.

02 Ta keoAnd the pair of Thomanon and Chao Say Thevada temple. Both temples are situated east of the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom.

03 Twin TemplesAfter these 4 temples, we moved to one of the main attractions, Angkor Thom, where we viewed the South Gate, Royal Palace, Phimeanakas, Terrace of Elephants and Baphuon.

04 Angkor ThomAfter lunch, we continued with the ever famous Bayon temple.

05 Bayon

Built for King Jayavarman VII, himself, the place just exudes grandeur.

 Tip: Try to avoid visiting in the afternoons. As we visited it in the afternoon, the place was too warm to be enjoyed properly. Not to mention that there were many tourists exploring the place, so it’s hard to get a decent photo as well.

Moving off from Angkor Thom, our last destination for the day was the Rolous Group.

06 RolousMade up of 3 temples, Bakong, Lolei and Preah Ko, they are located away from the main group of temples in Angkor Thom. And it was nice to visit a place slightly off from the main centre, as it was quieter and less crowded.

In retrospect, I was pretty intrigued by how there was a temple for every person or event in life. A temple for the university, for the king’s family members, for himself, and even a temple for death. For some of them, there were 5 levels, each representing naga, man, demon, garuda and deity. Unfortunately, I cannot remember clearly how the order goes, and will be grateful if someone can enlighten me.

Some might say that after you’ve visit one temple, you’ve seen it all. Although that might be true, I am still amazed at how the people of old centuries managed to construct magnificent architecture without modern technology, much like the Pyramids of Giza. While I enjoyed the temples, I have to say too that the artisans of old have great designing skills. In most of the temples, there will always be opportunities for great framing, just because the temples have been designed that way. And I can’t say that I didn’t take up the offer.


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