Saturday, September 26, 2015

Angkor Wat, where I avoided getting typhoid

To begin with, Angkor is the name of the whole region of several temples, while Angkor Wat is the main temple. Angkor is enormous and it's essentially impossible to see all of it in less than 90 years. It's spread over 400 square kilometers and new temples are still being discovered.

From the 9th century until the 14th century, it was the center of the Khmer Kingdom.The ruins include temples, dykes, reservoirs and canals. The range from piles of rubble in rice fields to Angkor Wat, which is considered one of the most important and also largest religious monuments in the world.

When it was originally founded, it was a Hindu, but in the 12th century it changed to Buddhist. It was the largest pre-industrial city in the world.

Angkor Wat was never completely abandoned. And it was preserved more than other temples because its moat protected it from the jungle.

Since I had a limited amount of time in Siem Reap and I was traveling alone, I decided to take a small group tour through the temples. I didn't sleep very well during the night, due to rather loud chanting by nearby Buddhist monks and someone crashing through the hallways at 4 AM. I had dark circles to the extreme.

The tour left early in the morning. There were five of us on the tour: Neil from Manchester in England, Emily and Tom from Cornwall, and Nick from Southern California. We visited Angkor Wat first, after a brief foray through some old and smaller ruins.

Here I am being photobombed.

Here is one of the 7 headed snakes used for protection.

The majority of these reliefs depict the Hindu epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. It also depicted kings and various battles.
Here is the corridor.

Everything was very intricately decorated.

I managed to pick the one day that the Angkor Wat Marathon occurred, but luckily it didn't feel too crowded while touring the temples. I'm sure that this is due to the fact that they are so spread out and there are so many different temples to visit!

Our tour guide was very nice and interested in photography, so he framed our pictures very nicely, which was great! I've experienced people who took pictures of only me with no background, which isn't quite what you want when you're visiting another country.

There was so much to look at throughout the temples! It was hard to see everything! And to choose pictures for this blog!

Headless Buddhas. The heads were sold on the Black Market by the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge was so horrible, destructive and murderous. It's hard to take in.

I will say that Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples were beautiful. It was definitely one of the most incredible places I've ever been.

The pillars were originally mirrors.

One of the main towers of Angkor Wat.
Plants are slowly growing out of it.

The very steep, old stairs you're not allowed to climb. They built stairs so people can go up into the temple.

The jungle is definitely trying to capture it's land again.

This view is amazing!

Love the intricacies!

These are the very steep steps up the temple!
They look slightly less steep from this angle, but they were steep!

It was here that some people bought sugar water from a tree from a lady standing near a tree. I thought it might not be a good idea. Todd and Jen had a friend get typhoid in a similar situation. I thought it best to not get typhoid.

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