Battambang--Jan 2-4, 2006
My next stop was a small city called Battambang. It was just a small getaway from the big city of Battambang before heading over to Siem Reap to see Angkor Wat.
Siem Reap--Dec 4-9, 2006
Next stop in Cambodia was Siem Reap. Siem Reap is a nice town... very western with lots of tourists. There is only one real draw to Siem Reap and that is Angkor Wat. A huge temple complex built between the 8th and 13th centuries. It is almost impossible to see all the temples but there were a few highlights. The main attraction is Angkor Wat itself which is the largest and grandest of all the temples. Angkor Wat was completed in 1150.
Angkor Wat is pretty impressive. I have never seen ruins on the scale of these temples. They are massive and mesmerizing. A definite highlight of my trip.
More Angkor Wat
Great view approaching sunset.
This wall is covered with carved elephants.
My favorite of all the temples is one called Bayon which is about 3 km away from Angkor Wat. It was completed in 1220 and contains 54 towers each with an ominous Buddha face on four sides looking down on the area. It is said that the faces, which mysteriously looked like King Jayavarman VII, who built the temple, were watching the 54 provinces of the country.
Some of the faces looking down.
and more ...
Bayon Bas Relief
Bayon is also surrounded by 3936 feet of bas Relief carvings that are very intricate in detail as shown in this picture.
Some of the temples were neglected for many years. This caused the vegetation to continually grow wherever it wanted to. Most of it has been cleared to allow for viewing but some of the trees have been growing for many years and are covering parts of the walls, etc. Very spectacular to see.
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