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The Cambodian Sojourn, Part 5

October 12, 2008

They say that few men are born to lead. They forget that the leaders are nothing without the led.

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This post will cover mostly Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. Well, it would, seeing that we spent the whole of Friday, 3rd October 2008 looking at both magnificent sites.

Our first stop was not Angkor Wat, but Angkor Thom. The last and most enduring of every capital city of the Khmer Empire, Angkor Thom is more breathtaking than any image could ever depict.

The checkpoint just before the road to Angkor Wat. Lose the pass, lose you.

The checkpoint just before the road to Angkor Wat. Lose the issued pass, lose you.

Say 'cheeze~'...

Say 'cheeze~'...

Wow; the road to Angkor Wat sure was packed...

Wow; the road to Angkor Thom sure was packed...

And in case you were wondering, no, after the checkpoint was a long distance, traversed by our ever-present tour bus, that brought us right up to the doorsteps of the monument.

Leading up to the man entrance, the road were lined with statues of demons and gods. Supposedly they were used to protect the evil from entering.

Leading up to the main entrance, the road were lined with statues of demons and gods. Supposedly they were used to prevent evil from entering the city.

Some of my fellow friends found a path that could get them to the top of Angkor Wat's city walls.

Some of my fellow friends found a path that could get them to the top of Angkor Wat's city walls.

Was hard to climb up there, all right; it didn’t help that I was wearing slippers on that day and there were red ants all over the roots. And talking about red ants, I’m talking about the BIG ones…

On the plus side, the view was superb.

On the plus side, the view was superb.

On the other side of the wall was a small makeshift bus depot; there was a different driver, and he would be responsible for ferrying us around Angkor Thom for the rest of the day.

Hm... I didn't know that.

Hm... I didn't know that.

I heart mysterious ruins.

I ♥ mysterious ruins.

I wonder what the place was like during its heyday.

I wonder what the place was like during its heyday.

I remember the tour guide saying that restoration work was in progress.

I remember the tour guide saying that restoration work was in progress. Some of them though, like wall carvings, are particularly hard to restore.

What we visited were the many temples situated in Angkor Thom. The entire site was so big, it took a while for the bus to get to this first one.

The only thing I find not alluring about the enite thing was that the stairs were accidents waiting to happen.

The only thing I find not alluring about the entire thing was that the stairs were accidents waiting to happen.

After an explanation by the tour guide though, it seems that the small stairs were an everyday test for the monks who used to populate the temple; if they can climb the stairs, it means that they have been doing their mediation the proper way.

I’m assuming that the monks were climbing without using their hands and the surrounding walls as support…

See?

See?

There were also many of these small rooms where one could find small statues of deities.

There were also many of these small rooms where one could find small statues of deities.

Amazing that those rocks are still standing.

Amazing that those stone buildings are still standing with everything that has happened since...

Crumbling sounds? No sir, none at all.

Crumbling sounds? No sir, none at all.

The statue is gone, but you can almost feel something else in the air when you step close to that spot...

The statue is gone, but you can almost feel something else in the air when you step close to that spot...

It was a while before we exited the ruins.

It was a while before we exited the ruins.

Some structures. Can't identify them.

Some structures. Can't identify them.

After, we all piled onto the waiting bus and continued on to see the different sections of Angkor Thom. While similar structures were placed everywhere on the entire site, we didn’t visit all of them; instead we made straight for the tombs housing the kings of old. Those of you who’ve watched the first Tomb Raider movie might be familiar with that particular section.

D

Funny little guy I saw at the entrance. 😀

Landmine victims busking at the side of the entrance path.

Landmine victims busking at the side of the entrance path.

There was a sign at their side reading “We want to send our children to school, but we don’t want to beg.” Khmer pride in the works. Thumbs-up to them.

No, she's not He-Man's younder cousin, she's my senior!

No, she's not He-Man's younger cousin, she's my diploma senior!

The interior of the tomb complex was filled with ruins. Not ruins as in messy formation of rocks, ruins as in stuff you see in Indiana Jones movies. It’s a real pity there are no ruins in Singapore. No, Chinatown shophouses do not count.

Minimum age of trees here are 400+. All the way back to the 1600s.

Minimum age of trees here are 400+. All the way back to the 1600s.

Ruins in the sand too.

Ruins in the sand too. Almost like a mortar warhead.

Seriously, you can't see this in Singapore.

Seriously, you can't see this in Singapore.

Another Naga staute.

Another Naga statue.

Half-buried steps.

Half-buried steps.

On the way out, we say some people who looked as though they lived in the complex; makes sense, since I have seen a good deal of people selling souvenirs and it wouldn’t make sense economically, to travel such a long distance between Siem Reap and the Angkor Thom

rtwfaeg

Moo~

The kid in the background was herding them along.

Right after on the way to our main bus at the exit of Angkor Thom, we were besieged by kids selling various souvenir and artifacts. The way the kids were selling their wares made me wonder if a Singaporean kid at the same age would be able to do as well in the same situation.

Contemporary scenic shot.

Contemporary scenic shot.

After leaving for lunch, we went back to our final, most anticipated destination of the day; Angkor Wat, the legendary temple built during the height of the Khmer Empire’s power.

The road to the Angkor Wat.

The road to the Angkor Wat.

Close-up shot.

Close-up shot.

Ok kids, you see the sign.

Ok kids, you see the sign.

We turned into a side path to enter the Angkor Wat.

No more tiny stairs. Whew.

No more tiny stairs. Whew.

Another shot of the structure.

Another shot of the structure.

A much larger statue. I think it's

A much larger statue. I think it's more recent that the rest of the Angkor Wat... then again, I could be wrong.

A stone path leading deeper into the temple grounds.

A stone path leading deeper into the temple grounds.

One of two sturctures lining the sides of the stone path.

One of two structures lining the sides of the stone path.

My best guess is that they are smaller places for worship.

Green fields on either side of the path. This is the largest courtyard garden I've ever seen...

Green fields on either side of the path. This is the largest courtyard garden I've ever seen...

He-Man strikes a pose for us in front of the world's largest pond. XD

He-Man strikes a pose for us in front of the world's largest pond. XD

Your photo-souvenir companion, all for five USD.

Your cute photo-souvenir companion. Pose on top of him, all for five USD.

Right beside the pond, too. Because it’s easy to kick/throw/scare you in.

Nah, I jest. >XD

Another far-off shot of the inner temple bulidings.

Another far-off shot of the inner temple buildings.

I'm itching to photoshop one of them IdolMaster jets from AC 6 into this...

I'm itching to photoshop one of them IdolMaster jets from AC 6 into this...

Roadside stalls. Friends report that the Coke they sell there tastes funny.

Roadside stalls. Friends report that the Coke they sell there tastes funny.

I wouldn’t know; I bought soy bean milk. I later remembered that I had a chronic stomachache from the morning onwards; right after finishing the can.

Saru~! SARU~!

Saru-chan~! SARU-CHAN~!

Locals on the temple grounds. XD

Crumbling sounds? Of course not, sir, thank the workers.

Crumbling sounds? Of course not, sir; thank the workers.

Top view from one of the stand-alone buildings in the inner temple compounds. It

Top view from one of the stand-alone buildings in the inner temple compounds. It's really high for a standalone building... and the steps to climb it are really small.

Inside the building.

Inside the building. Would have been fun if it could hold water. 8D

FOR THE HORDE~!

FOR THE HORDE~!

Fly, you fools!

"Fly, you fools!"

Alternatively you can refer to Lion King.

One of the mural reliefs lining the wall in the main building. Its like walking through a storybook.

One of the mural reliefs lining the wall in the main building. It's like walking through a storybook.

The top is a tomb housing royal remains. Really high~

The top is a tomb housing royal remains. Really high~

It’s off-limits, though. We had to be content to just walk around the edges.

Our resident ninja after using his "Sticky no Jutsu".

Our resident ninja after using his "Sticky no Jutsu".

No, shes not a nun.

No, she's not a nun.

Everything is decked out in pretty gold.

Everything is decked out in pretty gold.

Alas, our visit was all too soon over.

Alas, our visit was all too soon over.

Tomorrow will see the end of

Tomorrow will see the end of"The Cambodian Sojourn". Meanwhile, feel awed (or at least pretend to) with this uber-scenic shot.

That’s the top of the coconut tree from the previous picture.

Tune in tomorrow to see the heart-rending end to our visit to Cambodia!

Ok, maybe heart-rending isn’t the right one to use…

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One comment

  1. […] The Cambodian Sojourn, Part 5After leaving for lunch, we went back to our final, most anticipated destination of the day; Angkor Wat, the legendary temple built during the height of the Khmer Empire’s power. The road to the Angkor Wat. The road to the Angkor Wat. … […]



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