Siem Reap Trip 2015 – Day 2
In the second day, we started early. The plan is to visit the Angkor Thom and its surrounding historical sites. The first destination is South Gate of Angkor Thom.
Angkor Thom, literally Great City, is built in the early 12th century, by one of the greatest ruler during the Khmer Civilization, King Jayavarnam VII. He was known as the king that has merged the Hinduism and Buddhism culture under his rule. Thus, the architecture and design concepts of Angkor Thom has reference to both culture and religion.
After this, we took tuk-tuk to Bayon Complex, right at the center of Angkor Thom. The complex itself is made up of 54 towers with faces of deities(it’s still being discussed among scholars that these faces represents the King himself, Buddha, some other deities or a combination of them) carved on its 4 directions, a total of 216 faces to be exact in the whole complex.
Looking at the complex itself, gave us the sense of awe, where the people in 12th century were capable to build such a massive scale of building complex with intricate carvings.
Apart from the sheer scale of the complex and it’s huge number for towers and wall carvings, the Bayon is also famous for its bas relief / wall carvings that dictates historical, social as well as religious events during its time.
After Bayon Complex, we walked towards the north west to the Baphuon Temple. It was a temple built in the mid 11th century as the state temple of the time, dedicated to God Shiva.
Nearby to the Baphuon, we walked to the famous Elephant Terrace and Lepper King Terrace. From there, we can have a great view of the East Gate, which is know as Victory Gate where the king will inspect his troops and it’s also the gate that army was deployed during the time of war.
After this, we took tuk-tuk to Ta Prohm, which is famous due to the filming of Tomb Raider. This particular temple is one of those temple that has less restoration work done, and with the trees growth on the temple is what made this temple as one of the most visited site.
With the visit at Ta Prohm ended, we concluded our half day visit and stopped for lunch. After lunch, we went to Angkor Wat.
We spent quite some time at the Angkor Wat, admiring the wall carving and with its stories narrated by our guide. The view from the Main Tower is spectacular, giving one the bird’s eye view of the area nearby.
By the time we’re done with Angkor Wat, we proceeded to Bakheng mountain to view the sunset. We ended the day with such a spectacular view at the Bakheng.