But enough about that. Let's talk about Angkor Wat. The whole complex, and it is indeed a huge complex, was built between 802 and 1432. It began life as a Hindu temple but eventually became a Buddhist Temple. Wat means temple. Angkor Wat was meant to be a replica of the universe in stone and represents an earthly model of the cosmic world. It is immense and so, so beautiful. I was mesmerized. And I was thrilled to see monkeys on the roof, I've always wanted to see monkeys in the wild, these were Macaques---no our blog is not named after them. We also saw some on the way to the next temple, our guide lured a couple up to the car so we could take some close-ups.
Someone asked if Angkor still in use and I would say yes, and they ask you to be respectful in your dress, clothes over your knees and nothing sleeveless if you go to the higher towers. This is enforced as there have been incidents of visitors posing naked and they were arrested.
I was so enthralled with Angkor, but in fairness I have to say that though it was my favorite temple, it was not Macs or Aprils.
|Our driver Tola and our guide Samath|
There are many trees growing up through this structure and Mac liked the way it was part of the jungle. I was so hot when we got there that I did not go in, but 2 days later we went back earlier in the day and it was virtually empty and we took a ton of photos. It was built as a series of chapels for the hospitals that the King had built. It was much, much smaller than Angkor.
Then we drove to April's favorite, Bayon, known for all the huge carved heads. There were 54 towers and each side of the towers had a huge carved face. This was a very vertical temple and it was way too hot for me to climb it, so I sat and took pictures while Mac and April explored it.
That was just one day's exploring. We had arranged in advance to have a private guide who had a large air-conditioned SUV to drive us around in and each time we returned to the car there were ice cold washrags and bottled ice water. We couldn't have done our trip without our guide Samath and our driver Tola, they took such good care of us
Here's some more photos