No need to introduce Angkor, probably the number one touristic destination of South East Asia. Angkor was the capital of the Khmer empire from the 9th century to 1351, date when it fell and was sacked by Ayutthaya (rings a bell?).
The city had been the largest preindustrial city of the world, and its ruins count more than one thousand temples.
So after a night and a day bussing from Koh Tao to Siem Reap, we spent 2 days cycling around in Angkor, and one more day renting a tuk tuk to visit the farthest temples.
Anyway, here is the story in pictures:
Angkor Wat is the most famous temple of Siem Rep, but we didn’t find it any specific charm. Its construction lasted 37 years and it is said that it required 300 000 builders and 6 000 elephants.
It means “the magic mountain”. The Bayon is a huge and mysterious temple with originally 54 temples (one for each province of the Kmer empire, only 37 are remaining today), each of them with 4 faces illustrating the four virtue of Buddha: equality, sympathy, pity and being even-tempered.
The Bayon is 43 meters high and a really maze where it’s a pleasure to get lost. We fell in love with it at first sight.
Banteay Srei means “the women citadel” and it is one of the most legendary and refined temples of Angkor. It is built in pink sandstone and embellished by incredible bas-relief.
And many more
It’s impossible for us to show you all of the temples we visited in Angkor. Here are a few more pictures of the ones we really liked:
The view at the top of The Baphuon
Some temples are real mazes
And others clearly in ruins. Here is Ta Phnom, our favorite
Nature reclaimed those places
Thomas very well aware that he was taken into picture and posing, obviously
Bakong temple, dedicated to Shiva
Admiring one of the few elephant statue left intact (the Khmers Rouge were use to cut their trunk)
Three days was just what we needed to enjoy everything Angkor has to offer, and it was an incredible experience!