Travel

Angkor Wat & Siem Reap Photo Diary

22. November 2017

As I did not want to cram to many pictures into my other posts, I needed a separate post for all my pictures I took in Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. Special thanks to my travel group – Sash, Ryan and Riz – for a great weekend and their picture contributions!

Angkor Wat East Side Palm Trees

The East side of Angkor Wat at sunrise. It is incredible how fast the sun rises. Within minutes, the long awaited sunrise is already over again.

 

Angkor Wat Sandstone Carvings Details

Throughout the temple sites, I was amazed by the intricate details of the sandstone carvings. Some have survived like this beautiful gate decor at the entrance of main temple. Others have faded but some of the details can still be seen.

 

Angkor Wat Sunrise Horse

A horse eating “breakfast”, totally unimpressed by the crowds awaiting the opening of Angkor Wat.

 

Angkor Wat Five Towers

Angkor Wat was built according to star constellations with the five main towers also representing the stars.

 

Angkor Wat Tower Sunrise

The light reflections on the sandstone were so beautiful. I could not stop looking at them.

 

Angkor Wat Tower Sunrise Yellow Perspective

We were in the queue to go up to these towers. I cannot believe that these buildings are almost 900 years old. The towers represent lotus buds which have meanings in the Hindu as well as the Buddhist religion.

 

Angkor Wat Stairs Profile

Can you imagine walking up these steep stairs? Today, the entrance has a wooden staircase making the climb up easier. I have to admit, going down was still a bit scary as it is still quite steep.

 

Angkor Wat Tower Queue

It took us about 20-30 minutes to wait to go up.

 

Angkor Wat Broken Tower View

All those beautiful views in the morning sun were breathtaking.

 

Angkor Wat Courtyard Pointed Tower

See the little “no entry” sign? We got so annoyed by visitors who were ignoring the basic concepts of respect: do not were you are not supposed to walk, were respectful apparel, do not scream at each other, …. *sigh*

 

Angkor Wat Window Carvings

All these intricate carvings are still visible, even after hundreds of years.

 

Angkor Wat Window Sunrise View

Let the sunshine in!

 

Angkor Wat Courtyard Inner View

The upper courtyard connecting the towers.

 

Angkor Wat Door View

We were actually quite lucky, as the temples were not too crowded during our visit.

 

Angkor Wat Pillar View Entrance

View towards the West gate (main entrance)

 

Angkor Wat Carvings Goddess

The temples were originally Hindu temples and in the 14th century turned into Buddhist ones (which they are until today).

 

Angkor Wat Statue without Head

A lot of statues are missing their heads or hands. Very often, they were stolen to be sold abroad or used as war souvenirs.

 

Angkor Wat Carvings and Pillars

Throughout the temples, we spotted coloured parts on the walls and pillars. I have read that some hidden paintings were discovered a few years ago but I am still not sure if the temples were coloured initially.

 

Angkor Wat View Down

On the East side, we could hear the bells ring form the nearby Buddhist monastery.

 

Angkor Wat Tower Sunrise Turquoise

Those colours!

 

Angkor Wat Window View

It is time to head to the next temple.

 

Angkor Wat Entrance Sunrise Crowds

At 7.30 am the crowds have arrived.

 

Angkor Wat Lake View

In front of the temples, on the West side, there are big lakes and several entrances. However, these entrances were only reserved for the king, his family, nobility and the imperial animals. Servants had to enter from other sides.

 

Angkor Wat Street Stalls

Outside of the temples, street stalls with souvenirs and food will wait for you. It can be a bit overwhelming when the kids are running after you and are trying to sell something.

 

Angkor Wat Bayon View Tree

Entrance of Bayon Temple (inside Angkor Thom, the “Tomb Raider” temple)

 

Angkor Wat Bayon Face Tower

Bayon Temple is famous for its many smiling faces.

 

Angkor Wat Bayon Chinese Carving

Similar to Angkor Wat, there are hundreds of intricate carvings. This one shows the support of the Khmer by the Chinese.

 

Angkor Wat Bayon Goddess Carving

Bayon Temple is a bit “younger” than Angkor Wat and was built in the late 12th or early 13th century as a Buddhist temple.

 

Angkor Wat Bayon Goddess Carving Detail

It was later on turned into a Hindu temple and subsequently into a Theravada Buddhist temple.

 

Angkor Wat Bayon Doors

The many doors of Bayon

 

Angkor Wat Bayon More Dog

Look who we met here!

 

Angkor Wat Bayon Three Faces

Can you spot the three faces here?

 

Siem Reap Phnom Kulen Stalls

On our accidental tour to Phnom Kulen National Park, we got to see the daily life in Siem Reap. Street shops on the way to the park.

 

Siem Reap Phnom Kulen Road Dust

The drive up to the mountain was very bumpy and the road extremely dusty – a sign that the monsoon season has ended.

 

Siem Reap Phnom Kulen Waterfall Down

That was the initial reason why we went to the national park: the waterfall. We decided that the view from above was enough 🙂

 

Siem Reap Phnom Kulen River Carvings

We found the Hindu sandstone carvings in the river dating back to 800 AD much more interesting than the waterfall.

 

Siem Reap Phnom Kulen Temple Lotus Woman

Lotus flowers are folded and put together into beautiful bouquets as offerings for the temple.

 

Siem Reap Phnom Kulen Temple Decoration

At the top of the mountain there is a Buddhist temple with Buddha’s footprint and beautiful decoration.

 

Siem Reap Phnom Kulen Kids

Kids playing near the river.

 

Siem Reap Phnom Kulen Hammock

Others enjoy their afternoon nap.

 

Siem Reap Phnom Kulen Boy Playing

While this boy is playing in front of the house.

 

Cambodia Rice Fields

Our guide Ry told us that the rice was about to be harvested soon. On our flight back we saw the vast rice fields of Cambodia.

 

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