April 2, 2013

Taking on the angkors : First stop - Angkor Wat

In case you are wondering, yes, I did visit some angkors during my visit last month. Since there are so many pictures, and I'm sure you will be bored with similar looking brown buildings, I'll split them into a few separate posts :p

Let me just give you some background. Angkor means 'capital city or holy city' in Khmer. There are many different angkors all around but the one with the biggest and most popular angkors are located north of Siam Reap town. 

Before entering or visiting any angkors, we had to purchase our tickets at the entrance. We got off our van, headed to the counter, got our pictures taken, paid, walk through the gate and then on the other side, our van driver was waiting for us. Ticket priced at USD20 for a 1 day pass, USD40 for 3 days and USD60 for 7 days. There is only 1 road north, so you won't miss it. 

Our 1st stop is Angkor Wat, since it was the closet and nearest  angkors.  Angkor Wat was contructed in the form of a massive 'temple-mountain' dedicated to the Hindu God, Vishnu. We got there around 9am and the sun was already out and burning. Surrounding Angkor Wat was a moat, where we had to cross a stone bridge to get to the entrance. 

Entering the gate, we had to walk another long hot stone walkway towards the temple. From far, we could see the three-tired pyramid with the 5 lotus-like pointed towers ahead.

Angkor Wat is square shaped with long corridors and many many pillars. It was super hard trying to take a picture of the long corridors because tourist keeps popping in and out between the columns. Isshh...

There were cravings of humans and animals depicting histories and myths which I couldn't understand. I spotted quite a number of tourist holding a book and studying the cravings. I also noticed that quite a number of  cravings were crumbling away due to mother nature, which is kinda sad. 

Walking inner, there were more steps and corridors. There were also monks at random corners performing prayers for some coins. And yay, finally some colours. 

Right in the center of Angkor Wat, there is a temple, which rises 65 meters above ground level. We had to climb many stairs to reached it. I just wondered how monks do it last time when there were no wooden stairs. It's super steep and narrow. 

Since I was wearing shorts, I wasn't allowed to enter. Spend my time snapping pictures and watching people while I waited for the others to return. 

 Towards the back, there was this strange formation of rocks. Different shapes and sizes just piled on top of each other.

It was getting hotter and hotter as we left the cooler interior. 

 Monkeys! Be careful as they'll snatch your belongings.

As we headed back to the gate, we spotted some stalls on the right size of the long stone walkway. Where we stop for some refreshing coconut juice before heading back to the van. 

It was indeed a very interesting visit and now I can say that I've stepped in Angkor Wat. Here's 1 last picture of Rockstar & I. He wasn't feeling well and opted to stay at the hotel the rest of the day, missing out on all the other angkors we visited. 

More to come...

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