It is impossible to visit the hundreds of temple ruins of the Angkor civilization in a few days let alone a few years. Always, a revisit to the temples one finds some other intricacy, subtle expression in a relief panel or an awareness of the audacity of the builders of these great monuments. A lifetime is not enough to take in the grandeur of the largest temple complex in the world that extends beyond the bounds of Angkor Archeological Park, and, indeed, beyond the boundaries of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
The tour begins at 4:30am. with a pick up at your hotel. The half an hour drive to the Park will get us to Angkor Wat in time to see the temple lit up by the rising sun. The awakening of this most important of temples can be a spectacular burst of color on the hundreds of niches in the facade or a graceful appearance amidst the muted hues of the sky at dawn. Every morning is different, every morning is memorable.
For the next two hours, time will be spent wandering around the temple itself. Built during the reign of King Suryavarman 2( 1113 – 1150) and dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, the temple was later converted to Buddhism, and within you will find expressions of both religions.
On this easily accessible site in Angkor Thom, the “four faces temple” was built in the late 12th – early 13th century by King Jayavarman 7. The surfaces unremarkable at first glance, once the eye becomes attuned to the stone, the faces of the Buddha are found to be everywhere. Not the largest of temple sites comprising Angkor Thom, it surely is the most spectacular. Every viewpoint, whether walking around the temple at ground level, or meandering its passageways as one climbs to the top, one is in awe of how such a structure could be built. It is enough to just sit outside and consider it from under the shade of a tree. (45 minutes – 1 hour)
Ta Prohm was built in 1186, also by King Jayavarman 7. He dedicated this temple to the memory of his mother. Eight centuries later it is a testament to Nature versus Man – such comes to mind when one happens upon the ruins of Ta Prohm – and it is easy to see who the victor is. Mysterious, captivating, awesome in the power of nature – all this and more as we get a glimpse of the natural order at work. Temple ruins are engulfed by strangler fig trees and overrun by the massive roots of kapok trees; here the imagination can run wild. No wonder that movie makers have found this place the ideal set for their adventure films. Enigmatic and humbling at the same time, of all the sites in Angkor Archeological Park, what you see here will be of lasting memory. (1-1:30hours)
Of course, there are other temple sites throughout the Archeological Park, and we will pass by many. If time permits a visit to those of interest is certainly possible.
- Tour Providing
- Cool Towel
- Cool Water
- A Tuk Tuk can ride for 4 people