Tuesday, 10 March 2009
FuFu World Tour - Angkor Wat, Cambodia
6 ~ 9 June 2007 - Annabel & FuFu - Part Two
Good morning, Phnom Penh.
The street life of the capital city.
We had our breakfast at a local restaurant.
With the local people, of course.
You should know why the literacy rate is low in Cambodia.
She happily smiled and posed for the picture.
The Khmer pork soup noodles.
The Khmer prawn noodles.
Digital camera was still new to the people in Phnom Penh.
The soup was so yummy.
The fruits peddlers on the street.
The famous French bread (fyi, Cambodia was a French colonial).
We bought croissant each since the noodles couldn't fill up the stomachs.
Waiting for the earliest bus heading to Siem Reap.
From the city, we were taking another five hour bus ride to Siem Reap, the home of Angkor temples and mysterious dark jungle that once swallowed the temples.
We stopped half way for early lunch.
Bought the cheap lychee for the fruit of that day.
We were safely brought to the terminal of Siem Reap.
These people were striving to get customer to stay at their guesthouses. But don't worry, talk to them one by one until you got the best deal because at least a policeman would be around there. Anyhow, we got our accommodation arranged in Phnom Penh. A guy immediately hopped on the bus once we had arrived and brought us back to his guesthouse.
We went to the guesthouse by this tuk-tuk.
A great deal - US$8 for a double bed room (air-con, TV, bathroom).
Since we were going to leave on the next day, immediately we paid US$6 for a private motorcycle plus driver to bring us to the must-see Angkor Wat and other famous temples by motorcycle instead of seeing the city by bicycle.
The lake in the Angkor Wat ground.
Entrance to the famous Angkor Wat.
Angkor Wat is the prime example of the classical style of Khmer architecture - the Angkor style. As one of the previous World's seven wonders (until the 7th July, 2007), Angkor Wat has drawn praise above all for the harmony of its design, which has been compared to the architecture of ancient Greece and Rome.
It was a super fine day for us.
The outer gallery of Angkor Wat.
It's still a long way to the main gallery.
Our first Wonder of the World - Angkor Wat.
The guardian creatures of the temple.
The main entrance to the temple.
Angkor is the capital of ancient Khmer empire, that stretched from Myanmar to Vietnam. In the early 12th century, the Cambodian kings built a temple complex at Angkor as his state temple, culminating the worlds largest religious building - Angkor Wat.
We had entered the main compound of the main gallery.
Angkor Wat is believed to be the largest religious structure in the world with more than three thousands apsaras (heavenly nymphs) carved into the walls. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the prime tourist attraction of Cambodia since it had been discovered.
The dancing apsaras on the wall.
Basically, you could see various apsaras on the walls and columns.
Over hundreds of years, the surrounding palaces and building have long decayed as they were made from wood. Most of the temples have still survived but part of the Buddha images and apasaras on the wall were damaged.
There's a little ceremony held inside the temple.
Amithaba - i was being blessed by a monk.
The Buddha statues were so badly damaged.
But one common point - Buddha heads were missing.
Wonder why the heads were the target?
I am regret now as i did something wrong on the wall.
This is actually kind of vandalism which we must not follow!
We were going to explore the inner part of Angkor Wat.
One must not miss the inner gallery of the tower.
Make sure you have purchased travel insurance!
A real steep climb to the top (more than 70°).
The only handrail was using by aunties and uncles.
Thus, i used my hands and legs to climb up.
Nevertheless, i would never forget to snap also.
Annabel has height phobia, so she waited me.
But seriously, you need to be extra careful!
Annabel was too proud of FuFu - because FuFu made it!
Standing higher is definitely feeling better.
You would see the temple is surrounded by the moat.
The northwest tower of the inner gallery.
The sleeping Buddha statue and the carved standing Buddha.
The Buddha images swathed in scared cloth as a sign of reverence.
The corridor - only very few of the damaged statues left.
Wow, so well captured - the southwest tower.
The common scene you could see anywhere in Angkor Wat.
The gorgeously carved wall with apsaras and the windows.
The close-up - apsaras carvings on the walls.
The wall of the gallery.
Looking out from the gallery.
Showing a battle scene.
The dancing asparas on the wall.
The carved Buddha image sitting on lotus on the wall.
No kidding, you need to have enough courage before you climb.
I had spent too much time taking pictures around.
Annabel might have walked to the other places.
A very nice pavilion at the back of Angkor Wat.
I gotta stop exploring around - need to met up Annabel.
You could hop on the donkey for only a dollar.
To be frank, i was not willing to leave.
But i gotta find Annabel and move on to other temple.
Wait, i saw the people wearing the ancient costume.
I was offered to take pictures with them for free - lucky FuFu.
Actually, you need to pay them for a picture with them.
She asked for a picture with her - it's actually my pleasure though.
The naga you could found outside of any temples in Cambodia.
I saw Annabel waving to me at the point we got off the motorcycle.
Life is tough in Cambodia. Everyone, especially the kids, is striving for a better living. Anyway, if you intend to buy souvenirs, please don't buy all the stuff you want from a kid, try to distribute your money to others as well since they are selling the same things.
We hopped on for another temples.
I would suggest you to spend at least two nights in Siem Reap as there has plenty of temples worth you to pay a visit. You could actually rent a bicycle slowly exploring the ancient city. I will be back to Siem Reap again in the near future. Definitely.
Cambodia Part One