Ruines d' Angkor Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by blueskyjohn
  • Things to Do
    by blueskyjohn
  • Things to Do
    by blueskyjohn

Most Recent Things to Do in Ruines d' Angkor

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    Banteay Kdei Temple

    by blueskyjohn Updated Sep 28, 2014

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    This temple complex is located southeast of Ta Prohm. It is not as well preserved as Ta Prohm. Built at the end of the 12th century, the construction material is a much softer sandstone. Bantaey Kdei has not been restored. You will see many halls and towers that have crumbled. However, there is still a lot standing and the mixture gives a unique perspective.

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    Ta Prohm - Temple vs. Jungle

    by blueskyjohn Updated Sep 28, 2014

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    Ta Prohm is known as the temple of the jungle for good reason. More than any other temple in Angkor, the jungle is battle to reclaim its domain. Many of the structures at Ta Prohm have amazing growth of trees and vegetation sprouting through rocks or growing over doors and windows. Walls are being wrapped by jungle trees like nothing I have ever seen.

    The view is surreal. The best time to see this is in the early morning hours. With no one around, it can send chills down you spine in a good way. I felt like I never wanted to leave.

    There is so much of this over growth, you have to take time and wander around. Much of the experience is taken away when viewing this with many people. You have to go early morning for the full experience.

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    Ta Prohm Temple

    by blueskyjohn Updated Sep 28, 2014

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    This is probably my favorite of all the Angkor temples. Ta Prohm is also referred to as Temple of the Jungle. Much has been untouched by Archeologist other than to clear paths through the ruins. Ta Prohm was built in the late 12 century. It is a fairly large complex of towers and corridors linking courtyards and temples.

    This temple can become very overrun with tourist all day. Its unique sights make it very popular. It is difficult to take a photo without someone standing in your shot. There are a number of trails and walkways weaving throughout Ta Prohm. with a little patience and walking you can definitely get some beautiful photos.

    I enjoyed Ta Prohm so much, I returned on my last day in the ruins. I made sure this was my first stop at 7am. I had the entire place to myself. The silence and sun rising through the over grown trees was amazing. The moss covered stone of the temple took on an illuminating green color. I highly recommend going to Ta Prohm very early in the morning. It was a very special time.

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    Chau Say Tevoda Temple

    by blueskyjohn Updated Sep 28, 2014

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    This is a small temple just east of the Victory Gate to Angkor Thom. It is very similar to Thommanon Temple just across the road. Both are Hindu temples. Chau Say Tevoda was constructed in the 12 century.

    A nice stop to do along with Thommanon. Chau Say Tevoda is slightly different in that it has a stone walkway and outline of a moat can still be seen.

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    Thommanon Temple

    by blueskyjohn Updated Sep 28, 2014

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    Thommanon is a Hindu temple built in the 12th century. It is rather small and located as you exit from Angkor Thom through the Victory Gate. The grounds are flat and open with all the underbrush cleared away. The carvings at Thommanon are in great condition. There is only one tower at this temple.

    Most people stop here when leaving Angkor Thom on the way to Ta Keo. Just across the road is Chau Say Thevoda, another Hindu temple.

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    Baksei Cham Krong

    by blueskyjohn Updated Sep 28, 2014

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    Baksei Cham Krong means, The bird that shelters under its wings. The legend is that during an attack on Angkor, the king was sheltered by a large bird that spread it's wings and saved the king.

    Baksei Cham Krong is only one temple. It is constructed out of different materials you see at Angkor Wat. Not many people take the time to pull over and walk back to this temple. It is very close to the south gate of Angkor Thom. Many people stop here for photos but miss out by not walking back from the road a bit to take notice.

    I walked back and was able to climb to the top. There was a young male on top that directed me to the which of the 4 stair cases are safest. He has knowledge of the temple but his sole purpose was to have you donate money to his education. More on that in a warning.

    The stairs to the top are steep. It is best to use your hands as well to be safe. The bricks of the stairs have moss and some vegetation. Because of the humidity, it made the steps a little slick.

    A nice little side trip.

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    Ta Prohm - The Temple Swallawed by the Jungle

    by gdilieto Updated Jan 27, 2013

    Ta Phrom is, with Angkor Wat and the Bayon, one the most-celebrated temples of Angkor, definitely a must-see site as part of the trilogy above. If Angkor Wat impresses by the grandeur of its architecture, and the Bayon does it by its enigmatic symbolism, Ta Phrom impresses by its romantic atmosphere due to the astonishing merger of nature and architecture.

    Ta Phrom was the temple chosen by the earlier archeologists to be left in its "natural state" as memory to future generations of how Angkor looked like when it was discovered in the 19th century. The irony is while the temple appears to be in state of neglect, massive efforts are indeed in place to conserve it the way visitors can see it today.

    Ta Phrom peculiar atmosphere is mainly due to the trees (for the record: strangler figs and silk-cotton trees) which have grown intertwined among the ruins and which create a unique sight. Unlike Angkor Wat and the Bayon, which are mountain temples with pyramidal structure, Ta Phrom is developed on a single-level with a long central axis. It is pretty straightforward to visit - though good mobility is necessary - and a visit is on average complete in about one hour. The iconic trees pictured in thousands (millions?) of sketches and photos are easy to find: in the need, follow the crowd. Ta Phrom in the hot day hours is more forgiving than Angkor Wat and the Bayon due to the jungle providing some relief from the sun, still early morning or late afternoon provide a more charming atmosphere.

    Ta Phrom was built at the height of the Khmer Empire in the late 12th/early 13th century as a Buddhist monastery and center of learning. It is contemporary to the Bayon, built about a century after Angkor Wat.

    An interesting fact of Ta Phrom is a small carving on a temple wall seems to show a dinosaur, quite a funny representation on a temple of that time. Several different theories have been advanced to explain its presence, none conclusive, including one saying the image actually shows a cow or rhino with a palm tree in the background - the palm's fronds being easily mistaken for the fin-like blades running down a dinosaur'' back.

    The Jungle at Ta Prohm The Dinosaur of Ta Phrom
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    The Bayon - The Temple of the Face-towers

    by gdilieto Updated Jan 26, 2013

    Broadly known as "The temple of the face-towers", the Bayon is one of the most enigmatic and astonishing Angkor monuments, rivaling in greatness with Angkor Wat. While Angkor Wat impresses with its majesty and geometrical perfection, the Bayon does it with its feeling of mysterious and fantastic. Built by the Khmer at the peak of their civilization (late 12th/early 13th century), the Bayon is considered by archeologists the last stone temple built before Civilization's declining.

    Dating nearly 100 years after Angkor Wat, the Bayon represents Khmer architecture baroque style striking example as contrasted with the classical style of Angkor Wat. Having passed through different religious and architectural phases, the temple is extremely complex, the unique feature being the mass of face-towers creating a stone mountain of ascending peaks. There are 216 gigantic faces on the temple’s 54 towers. The curious smiles of these faces have been dubbed as the “Mona Lisa of Southeast Asia.”

    A visit to the Bayon in the hot day hours may be unforgiving as there is no shade against the sun. Good mobility is needed to navigate through the different levels accessed through deep stairways.

    Faces of the Bayon The Bayon Faces of the Bayon Faces of the Bayon The Bayon
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    Angkor Wat

    by gdilieto Updated Oct 20, 2012

    Angkor Wat is the biggest religious building in the world. It is bigger than any other temple in Asia, the Great Pyramid in Egypt or St. Peter’s in Rome. It is the grandest of all Khmer temples and, in its heydays, the complex was a city in its own right.

    Angkor Wat was built in the 12th century at the peak of the Khmer empire’s wealth and power. Originally built as a Hindu temple, it later became a Buddhist temple as Buddhism made its way through the Khmer empire. Even after Angkor was abandoned in the 15th century, Angkor Wat remained inhabited, and for 400 years Buddhist monks lived there stopping the jungle from taking over the temple.

    Angkor Wat is an architectural and engineering masterpiece. It combines two major features of Khmer architecture: a pyramid (created by means of stepped terraces) and concentric galleries. Put it simply, Angkor Wat is a pyramid of three levels, each level enclosed by gallery, with the summit crowned with five towers. The pyramid is an architectural representation of Mount Meru, the mountain home of the gods in Hindu mythology, the upper level representing the home of the gods. Angkor Wat was built in only 37 years whereas Western cathedrals of the same period took centuries to complete. All Angkor Wat's surfaces have carvings telling about the lives of the ancient people of Angkor.

    You don't need to know about the history or architecture to appreciate the magnificence of the place. The complex is astonishing and the atmosphere is magic. Unfortunately the tourist crowd can spoil the atmosphere and the tropical heat may make the the visit unbearable. The best time of the day to visit is probably at sunrise (about 5:30 am), when both the crowd and the heat are more manageable and the view of the sun rising from behind the temple is spectacular. It is also worth visiting multiple times, and at different hours of the day, to look at the temple from different angles.

    Angkor Wat is today the most remarkable symbol of Cambodia and source of national proud. Its image appears on Cambodia’s national flag, the only case in the world with a building represented on the national flag.

    Sunrise over Angkor Wat
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    Banteay Samre

    by Maria81 Updated Apr 22, 2011

    Style and Dedication:

    One of the earlier temples, Banteay Samre was originally a Hindu sanctuary and followed the same architectural style as Angkor Wat, albeit obviously on a smaller scale

    Builder:

    Suryavarman II and Yasovarman II in the early to mid 12th century (although this is essentially a guesstimate, no actual indication of a date was found)

    Description:

    Somewhat isolated, and in not too good a state the site is still very much worth a visit, if only for the chance to experience the magnificent Angkor Wat style without the hustle and bustle of Angkor Wat itself.

    Going through the gopuras in the outer wall, one gets into an enclosed courtyard, which in turn leads to another, second courtyard, and a second enclosure. Oh, and add some fairly steep steps to the mix, too! The inner courtyard features 3 structures, two smaller libraries and a central Hundu sanctuary (and, yes, more steps!). Sculptures are the traditional Hindu lions, lingams and yonis.

    In the Courtyard at Banteay Samre
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    Ta Prohm

    by Maria81 Updated Apr 22, 2011

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    Style and Dedication:

    Ta Prohm was built as a Mahayana Buddhism temple and university and as such is another one of the 'flat temples', with 5 retaining walls encircling a central sanctuary. Some of the structures have collapsed due to erosion/vegetation, but the layout is still fairly clear.

    Builder:

    Jayavarman VII, in late 12th/early 13th century

    Description:

    Instantly recognisable (even if you have not seen 'Tomb Raider'!) , the temple has been left largely unrestored, with the walk up following a path through the jungle, and trees/plants covering the ruins themselves. This does mean you need to be a little bit more careful as you wander around, but the atmosphere it creates is unique in the by now touristy Angkor complex (to see another one like this, you'd probably need to go to the remote temple of Beng Mealea way outside of Angkor/Siem Reap).

    Despite fabulous images, galleries, sculptures, halls, galleries, etc. - the tree roots are the most photographed feature, with queues often forming at the 'Tomb Raider' filming spot

    Buildings and Tree Roots
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    Preah Khan

    by Maria81 Updated Apr 22, 2011

    Style and Dedication:

    The temple is a Mahayana Buddhism sanctuary, but with smaller shrines to Hindu deities around the main sanctuary as well (for a total of over 400 gods and goddesses). Rectangular galleries, courtyards and corridors around the main sanctuary make this a pleasant place to wander around.

    Builder:

    Jayavarman VII, in late 12th century

    Description:

    The temple is another one of those on the ground level - and thus also providing a welcome respite from climbing over the Mt. Meru-style ones! The temple has not been restored to the same degree as Angkor Wat/Bayon have been, and there is still some pretty picturesque vegetation on the ruins. Although needs to be said this is nowhere near to the same extent as you'd see in Ta Prohm.

    Among the most interesting features are over 70 garudas (which I believe you can also 'adopt' = i.e., pay for preservation, although the bill might come a tad high at over USD20k!).

    Wandering Around Preah Khan
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    Banteay Kdei

    by Maria81 Updated Mar 27, 2011

    Style and Dedication:

    One of the temples that was built as a Mahayana Buddhism temple/monastery straight away, the building is in the Bayon style with Angkor Wat influences (or vice versa, but personally I saw more of Bayon in it)

    Builder:

    Jayavarman VII, in late 12th-early 13th century

    Description:

    As a Buddhist monastery, it was built on ground level as opposed to representation of Mt. Meru which are probably more common for Angkor area temples. The walled enclosure (built from reclaimed stone) contained a sanctuary, several galleries, as well as decorated courtyards and passageways between these.

    An Old Man at Banteay Kdei
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    East Mebon

    by Maria81 Updated Jan 10, 2010

    Style and Dedication:

    As with many temples in Angkor area, the main deity here is the Hindu god Shiva, but it also honours the parents of the king. Style is similar to that of Pre Rup, and it is also a Mount Meru rappresentation.

    Builder:

    King Rajendravarman, in the 10th century

    Description:

    Built primarily in sandstone and brick, the temple has two enclosing walls and three tiers, these tiers decorated with sculptures, in particular the elephants on the lower tiers, as well as Hindu gods Indra and Shiva.

    The top tier features 5 towers, one central and one in each corner of the platform.

    East Mebon - Almost at the Top
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    Bakong

    by Maria81 Written Dec 4, 2009

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    Style & Dedication:

    Bakong represents the first application of the temple-mountain architectural formula on a grand scale, and featured all the same elements that have later come to characterise te temple mountain style (i.e., moats surrounding the pyramid).

    Builder:

    Started by Indravarman I, Bakong was the work of a number of kings, with the top section and tower added much later in the 12th century.

    Description:

    Part of what is now known as the Roluos Group, Bakong sits at the center of the first Angkorian capital, HariharalayaSome of the lintel carvings, particularly on the outer towers, are in very good shape.

    The Roluos Group as a whole is much less touristy than the main circuit of temples and provides a nice diversion if you would like to have a fairly large temple mostly to yourself (or maybe I was just lucky?)

    View of the Bakong Temple
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