OH YES, what they say is true. The Cambodian heat can be punishing, it’ll keep you company from dusk ‘til dawn. But if you ask me, it’s a better buddy than the rain, most especially if you have to be outdoors all day.
While the sparsely available shade can offer temporary cooling relief, it’s water that will prove to be your best friend. Constant hydration is the key to sustaining your energy to maximize your exploration of amazing of Siem Reap. It’s a once-you-pop-you-can’t-stop tour, quite addicting I assure you.
For Day 1, there were five temples on our list but and we never made it past number three. The magnificence of each place of worship had to be captured on film (or pixels) at every turn. Even the photos don’t do the temples justice, it’s best seen real time.
Lessons learned. After Google-ing tips on what to expect on touring Angkor—insect repellant, extra shirt, water, extra memory card and batteries for the camera, we thought we were armed. But no, we fell short on our camera artillery. We had to be prepared for the next outing.
On Day 2, we tried to be more discriminating on the shots we wanted to take but failed on this account. Once we stepped into the temples, the spirit of a trigger-happy photographer immediately possessed us. Well, we managed to capture as much as we could and take the memories home to share of more Siem Reap’s magical spots.
The Victory Gate of Angkor Thom (aka the Great City). It’s one of the five gates of the Great City.
The Bayon is one of Angkor’s popular and richly decorated temples. It’s the official state temple of the King Jayavarman VII built in the late 12th century or early 13th century at the center of Angkor Thom, the Jayavarman’s capital. Dedicated to the Buddha, Bayon is the only Angkorian state temple built principally as a Mahayana Buddhist shrine.
However, after this king’s reign, the Bayon underwent numerous alterations executed according to the ruler’s use of the temple.
The Terrace of the Elephants is also a part of the walled city of Angkor Thom. The 350 meter wide terrace is attached to the palace of Phimeanakas and was used by Angkor’s king Jayavarman VII as the viewing deck and grand audience hall for public ceremonies.
Touring the temples of Angkor Thom was quicker than we expected. Probably we were quite excited to view the “main event” and the temple I have been looking forward to visiting for ages (only about a quarter of a century). That will be the next story.
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Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 30, 2012.