Angkor and Siem Reap
Siem Reap is a small city, located near famous Angkor. Every year a lot of tourists from all over the world come here to see its wonderful temples. We got there from Singapore during our trip to South-East Asia. Siem Reap is very touristic place, here you can see people of all nations. There are a lot of hotels in the city. Large hotels are located at the main road, which goes from airport. Small hotels are close to downtown and the city market. Siem Reap market is very colorful place — grocery rows with a lot of fruits and vegetables, fuge jars with fish, enormous bags of rice. Venders, sleeping at their hammocks. A lot of sections with souvenirs, furnishings and other pretty things. On the market and nearest shops we bought really cute wide silk scarfs, an excellent present for friends and family, by the way. My mom likes her cambodian scarf very much!
Angkor was the ancient capital of the Khmer empire (9-15 centuries). During several centuries numerous temples were built at this place. In 15 century Angkor was abandoned after Siamese attacks. Great city was destroyed and being absorbed by jungle, temples turned into ruins. At the end of 19 century it was found by French archaeologists, and they start reconstruction work. In 1970 because of the Civil War archaeologists had to leave Angkor, but after its ending works were renewed and now are carried out by several countries. Since 1992 Angkor is under UNESCO protection.
Angkor Wat is a largest cult building in the world and a symol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag. Angkor Wat was the main temple of Angkor, an ancient capital of Khmer empire. It was built in 12 century as Hindu temple, dedicated to god Vishnu. The temple is a multilevel construction with the set of passages and stairs, galleries, large open yards and the ponds. The walls of galleries are decorated with stone carving, which picture scenes of Hindu mythology. At the centre of the temple stand five towers, which (possibly) represent Mount Meru, a sacred mountain considered to be the center of the universe and home of the gods. The temple is surrounded by the external wall, which symbolizes the external wall of universe, and the wide canal, which depicts world ocean.
Bayon is one of Angkor’s temples. It was built in the 13th century as the state temple of king Jayavarman VII, and stands at the centre of his capital, Angkor Thom. It is very mysterious and quiet temple, and now it more looks like inspired stone mass, then the actual building. The main feature of Bayon are the wonderful faces on its towers — per 4 faces for each tower. They placed at 4 sides of tower, and they look at 4 parts of the world. As far as I know it was 200 faces at 50 towers of the temple, and now we can see about 150 of them. The main version is that the faces image bodhisattva Lokesvara, embodiment of Budda. But possibly these faces can also represent the king, who built the temple.
Ta Prohm was built in 12-13 centuries. Unlike to others Angkor’s temples it was not restored, and now you can see this temple just like it was found in 19 century. I like this temple most of all. Ancient ruins among the jungle, roots of trees around the stones, intricate passages and corridors, vivid open areas — all this creates the exciting atmosphere, and you may never want to leave it.
Wikipedia about Angkor — en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angkor
Angkor Guide — www.theangkorguide.com
© Sonia Ovsiannikova