Gateway to Angkor Thom – Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia Trip #5

December 1, 2008 at 12:21 am | Posted in itchy backside | 5 Comments
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One of the best ways to see temples at Angkor is to hire a tuk tuk, at the price of between US$10-12 per day. However, if you want to travel further out, you may need to pay an extra US$3. The driver would drive you to your destinations and wait for you while you take your own sweet time taking pictures. Of course you can choose to take the taxi or even cycle around, but with our heavy cameras I don’t think it was a good idea to cycle under the hot sun.

tuk-tuk
The tuk-tuks here were different from those seen in Thailand. There
was a separate motorbike in front of the carriage. All licensed drivers 
worn a vest. Unlike tuk-tuks in Thailand where the drivers were sheltered,
the poor drivers here had to endure the heat and the rain, while passengers
were covered with canvas sheets drawn down on both sides of the carriage

Angkor Thom is one of the largest of all Khmer cities. For most visitors, to get to Angkor Thom would be via the magnificent South Gate. The city walls of Angkor Thom, surrounded by a moat, enclose a square which measures approximately 3km on each side. The total area is about 900 hectares! 

gate1
There were five gates at the city walls. The roads passing through them
converged on the central State Temple of Jayavarman VII, the Bayon, which
was where we were heading to from here

gate2
The tower with four faces pointing at cardinal directions

All five gates are similar, but the South Gate has been most extensively restored and thus is the most complete. Each tower is about 23 metres tall.

ele2
The pillar at the base of the tower was formed by an elephant…

ele1
..which was supposed to be a three-headed elephant…but can’t really 
tell now…:(

The approach to the gate was lined by two rows of statues carrying the body of a giant serpent – a seven-headed naga, in a tug-of-war manner. It immediately reminded me of the bas-reliefs seen on one of the galleries at Angkor Wat, The Churning of the Sea of Milk.

gate3
The figures on the left were the gods

god
These were considered quite well-preserved, except the many missing
parts of the serpent’s body. The heads were probably restored ones cos they
looked newer 

asuras3
The figures on the right were the asuras (demons)

asuras
So scary looking!

asura2
Scary eyes staring at you… :p

Also see related posts:
Tomb Raiding the Tree-strangled Temple – Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia Trip #4
Steps, Steps and More Steps! – Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia Trip #3
> Walls of Art – Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia Trip #2
Up, Up and Away! – Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia Trip #1

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5 Comments »

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  1. Great pics!!! 🙂

  2. Thank you. Do check out our other posts! 😀

  3. Really nice photos!

    I was there only 2 weeks ago checking out Angkor Wat! Such an amazing place!

    Keep up the great work!

    Regards,

    Adam
    http://www.vietnamandcambodia.com/

  4. Hi Adam,

    Thanks for dropping by Itchyfingers again. Yeah, Angkor is really amazing…!

    Am collating more pictures for more follow-up posts. Do check us up. 🙂

  5. Very, very nice photos! I can never get enough of Cambodia, please post more photos as soon as you can. It is simply, in my humble opinion, the most beautiful place on earth!!

    Thank you again for the great photos.

    Bruce.


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