"Are We Really At Angkor Wat?" Angkor Wat by thedouglas
Angkor Wat Travel Guide: 1,635 reviews and 4,720 photos
Angkor Wat was everything we had expected and so much more. One of the most awe inspiring places to visit. Of all the places I have taken my children to, this was the cherry! These enduring remnants of an ancient civilization, in every sense, are a reminder of the potential of man and cooperative effort, in this computer chip age we live in. Angkor embodies the symbolic religiosity and societal strucuture of an ancient civilization - complete with evidence of architectural skill and practical attention to necessities, such as drainage.
From the first encounter at the most famour Angkor Wat, and smaller outer Baneay Srei, the majesty of Bayon, overgrowth at Ta Prohm, and the Terrace of the Elephants at Angkor Thom, this ethereal place had me mesmerised for days - from sun-up to sundown.
The sheer dimensions of Angkor - from gate to gate - which were a marvel in themselves - was something I was unprepared for.
The steps and the visual experience from the top made me stop and wonder at what it must have been like at that height looking over the kingdom before the jungle encroached on the civilization again - and how the bustle and productivity of life must have looked from up there, with the protective eyes of the massive Khmer guardians, whose faces look over NSEand W of the kingdom.
At each point of Angkor is a gate (gopura) and causeway. The large entrances are as high as 20 metres, and crowned with 4 enormouse heads, thought to represent either Buddha or the profile of JayavarmanII -facing each cardinal direction - looking over the empire - "far but near".
The causeway and moat are an impressive entry, consisting of long rows of stone sculptures of gods who are holding the body of naga, whose head and tail rise up at each end of the causeway. This symbolises their protection within the walls from the evil outside. Sadly, many of the stone figures are headless, or have new heads, as they have been stolen, and taken to many points removed from this Khmer home for someone's profit.
- Pros:A glimpse of an older civilization, and the process of development from Hindu influences to creating the unique Khmer style of architecture and art
- Cons:The cost of human greed seen in the scars of looting
- In a nutshell:Majestic, ethereal, powerful, a wonder of ancient man..........
On the road from Siem Reap into Angkor Wat, the first point of entry is the South Gate. All 5 gates are similar, but the... more travel advice
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