Ruines d' Angkor Things to Do

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    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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    Ta Keo: The Uncompleted Temple

    by Aidy_p Written Sep 15, 2007

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    So many hands went into building this temple, but none were able to put the finishing touches to it. It started with Jayavarman V, then continued under Jayaviravarman and finally Suryavarman I.

    The temple known as the "mountain with the golden peaks", was built as a depiction of Mount Neru, home of the gods. It was also located near the East Baray, making it a pretty scenic sight in it's day.

    It was said that with the death of Jayavarman V, the following kings did nothing much to the completion of the temple.

    My guide has his own beliefs. He learnt that since the temple was the highest building in its time, lightning struck it three times and with that, the kings deemed this place as more than a curse than a place to seek good health and fortune.

    Welcome to Ta Keo

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    Take the Grand Tour

    by bsfreeloader Written Feb 23, 2007

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    Like the Mini Tour, the Grand Tour is a driving tour that takes you to several of the lesser known Angkorian ruins. Again, it is well-marked and all the drivers know the route intimately, dropping you off at one side of a site and picking you up at the other whenever possible. Not actually part of the Grand Tour but often visited in connection with it is the amazing site of Banteay Srei. One of the best preserved of all the ruins, it also is one of the most special, with intricate ornamentation second to none. Before commencing on the Grand Tour, which generally takes in Ta Som, Neak Pean, and Preah Khan, among other sites, have your driver take you to Banteay Srei. It is well worth the 30-kilometer drive from Angkor Wat.

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    Take the Mini Tour

    by bsfreeloader Updated Feb 23, 2007

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    If you hire a driver to show you around Angkor Wat, be sure to ask him to take you on the Mini Tour, a driving tour that takes in some of the lesser known nearby temples. If you are on your own, simply head north from Angkor Wat and follow the signs. In addition to Angkor Thum, the tour should include stops at Ta Keo, Ta Prohm, and Banteay Kdei, among others. Ta Prohm, a 12th century temple-monastery, is probably the highlight. Instead of being cleared and restored, it remains somewhat overgrown with trees, with roots and tree trunks intermingling with crumbling stones to make for a magical effect.

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    Catch Sunset at Phnom Bakheng

    by bsfreeloader Written Feb 23, 2007

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    At sunset, Phnom Bekheng is heaving with tourists in a circus-like atmosphere similar to the one found at Angkor Wat at sunrise. Nevertheless, the commanding views of Angkor Wat and the surrounding countryside are enough to compensate. And the crowds are easily avoided by going up a few hours before sunset and coming down as the crowd builds.

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    Watch for Monkeys

    by bsfreeloader Written Feb 23, 2007

    I'm not sure what species of monkey inhabits the Angkor ruins, but they certainly are fun to watch. They look like they have mohawks, they love bananas (no surprise there), and they also seem to be fond of bicycle horns.

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    Banteay Kdei (2)

    by akikonomu Updated Oct 15, 2004

    There is a Buddhist shrine inside the temple which still attracts local devotees.

    Walk around the courtyard dotted with pink and fuschia portulacas which make a good contrast against the apsaras. This is the only temple we visited with such a pretty courtyard.

    Shrine
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    Banteay Kdei (1)

    by akikonomu Written Oct 15, 2004

    This is a Buddhist temple and in front of it stands a large pool, the Sras Srong. During olden times, the royal family will bathe in the pond for purification before heading to the temple to offer prayers.

    It's quite easy to confuse the names of the temples built around the same time because of the similar architecture (i.e. 4-faced Buddha towers at the entrance, naga balustrade walkway etc)

    Courtyard
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    Preah Khan (2)

    by akikonomu Written Oct 15, 2004

    At the entrance of the temple stands a stupa. Our guide explained that the stupa had been severly vandalised and damaged by looters who wanted to see if there were any hidden treasures in it.

    The walls of the temple are covered with holes at regular intervals, which we thought were made to lift the slabs during construction of the temple. There was a different myth that claims that the holes were filled with precious gems during the king's reign. The gems were tributes from Cambodia's vassal states.

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    Preah Khan (1)

    by akikonomu Written Oct 15, 2004

    Also built in the periods of the Angkor Thom, the architectural style closely follows that of Angkor Thom city.

    The name means "temple of the sword".

    Perhaps because of the shaded and cool environment of this particular temple, luminous moss covers much of the ground of the temple giving off a strange light.

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    Takeo

    by xiquinho Updated Oct 9, 2004

    Takeo, built by Jayavarman V was dedicated to the worship of shiva and was the first Angkorian monument (11th century, Jayavarman V) constructed entirely in sandstone.

    The summit of the central tower, which is surrounded by four lower towers, is over 50 meters high.

    Takeo
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    The Roulos Group

    by xiquinho Written Oct 9, 2004

    The Roulos Group was the capital of lndravarman I (877 to 889). These were the first temples built to last and are made of brick with some carved plaster reliefs. The group is made up of the three temples of Preah Ko, Bakong, and Lolei. Many of the later temples in the Angkor group are based on these earlier temples though rather than brick.

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    Phnom Kulen

    by xiquinho Written Oct 9, 2004

    Phnom Kulen is widely regarded as the birthplace of the ancient Khmer empire and is some forty eight kilometres from Siem Reap. This hilltop site has the country's largest reclining Buddha and it was here that the King, Jayavarman II proclaimed independence from Java. It has only just returned to government hands after the fall of the Khmer Rouge and is currently fairly inaccessible due to the poor state of the roads especially in the rainy season. Cutting through the area is the River of 1000 Lingas. Just five centimetres under the water's surface over 1000 small carvings are etched into the sandstone riverbed while further downstream larger blocks of stone are carved with Apsaras, Vishnu, and other figures. All the sandstone used in the construction of Angkor was quarried here.

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    Banteay Srei

    by xiquinho Written Oct 9, 2004

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    About 30 km North of Siem Reap, it was built in the second half of the Xth century, dedicated to Shiva. While some of the temples are impressive because of their sheer size, Banteay Srei stands alone in the quality of its construction and decoration. Its pink sandstone wall are decorated with what some consider to be the best carving of all and in an amazing state of preservation. Built in 967 and dedicated to Brahma it is located twenty five kilometres North of Angkor Wat.

    The Small Circuit takes in several of the major and minor temples in the area. Beginning at Angkor Wat and running for seventeen kilomtres the circuit takes in the major elements of Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm, Banteay Kdei, and some of the minor interesting temples such as The Baphoun, The Terrace of the Elephants, the twelve Prasats, Spean Thma, and Sras Srang before returning to Angkor Wat.

    The twenty-six kilometer Big Circuit is an extension on the little circuit but taking in Preah Neak Pean to the Eastern Mebon and ather various monuments like Ta Som, Preah Rup, before returning to Angkor Wat and is highly recommended to anyone spending three days or more in the complex. The Big Circuit encompasses a good representation of the rich variety of architecture here.

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    Phnom Bakheng

    by xiquinho Written Oct 9, 2004

    Phnom Bakheng served as the temple mountain of the first city of Angkor as opposed to the previous centre of Rolous. The capital built on a lone hill offers panoramic views of Angkor Wat, Angkor

    Thorn and the surrounding areas. It is best visited in the late afternoon for a spectacular rise over Angkor Wat.

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    Ta Prohm

    by xiquinho Written Oct 9, 2004

    Ta Prohm was built in the late 12th century by Jayavarman VII as a shrine to his mother and is another must for anyone coming to Siem Reap. As a monastery there were nearly three thousand priests here including eighteen high priests. Ta Prohm is unforgettable due to the massive trees that were left here intentionally by the archeologists working on the site. While clearing back the forest, it was decided to leave them in place to serve as a reminder of how the original discovers found it and other temples. Many of the trees have grown around and through the remains, and soar high above the temple. This temple, along with those of the Bayon and Angkor form the core of any visit to Siem Reap.

    Ta Prohm
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