Post # 35 Temples of Angkor
Day 41 1039 days to go. Distance: today 40km total 2142km. It’s 10.10am Tuesday the 10/1/1012 Angkor Thom. I’m sitting on top an Angkor structure known as the Baphuon watching a pigeon builds its nest in one of its facial dome structures. Pigeons are very cool. They are well travelled and always trying to get layed. I’ve watched pigeons do that mating dance at 5000m in the Indian Himilayas. Opps off track back to Baphuon. The temple is sometimes referred to as the worlds biggest jigsaw puzzle. As part of restoration early 1900s the structure was taken apart stone by stone but the records are destroyed during the Khmer rouge years leaving 300 000 pieces for experts to put back together. Given theres still a way to go it looks pretty impressive and your able to walk up the stairs to its height of 43m. Great views and nice place for a sit to share the morning. Angkor is a collection of temple skeletons restored to capture the power of the ancient Khmer empire from 9th to 13th century when it was overruled by the Siamese in 1400 and the capital moved eastwards. This lost city gained European attention mid 1800s and restoration by the french commenced 1908 and continues today. It was initially rescued from the jungle which still has a nostalgic strangling presence in temples such as Ta Prohm. I got up still very dark o’clock this morning and navigates my way out here for the sunrise at the king of temples Angkor watt. Angkor watt is enclosed in a 5mile square walled moat representing the four ages of Hindu thought . It represents the spatial universe in miniature. The central tower is Mt Meru, the lower courtyards the continents and the moat the oceans. a visitor who walks the causeway to the main entrance trough the courtyards do the central tower is metaphorically travelling back to she first age of the creation of the universe and all bedford breakfast. After that monumental offset pa possy away from the crowds and enjoyed a morning coffee as the sun came up over the domed towers. I revisit there late this afternoon as part of my cycle tour. Next was Angkor Thom with it multi angles and layers of sculptured smiling face domes. The face represents the Khmer king at the time built to show his power and humanity. Theres so much symbolism and mystery in the sculptured impressions and temple designs. As such there’s a nice twist of irony in his enigmatic smile like well never fully know the mystery of his history. Very cool I like this. It’s like despite our cleverness there are things that remain left to educated guess it’s that whole mystery of life thing that I find very cool. It’s like we know very little about the biggest animal on earth the blue whale. Oops butterflying again now ancient Khmer temples right! Ankor Thom is equally impressive in size an grandeur . Its enclosed by a 8m high 12km long square moated wall and 20m high gates on each of its four sides. Rube and I arrived via the causeway along with those arriving by elephants, tuk tuks, moped taxis, other bicycles, mini vans and hige tour buses. Crazy mixed traffic of tourists all enjoying the delights of this place. the causeway was lined with 54 demons and 54 gods representing the epic tug of war
Of life. Very yin yang I like it. Anyway onwards James lots of cool stuff still to see.
It’s 8.35pm and what an amazing day. I kbow I say that a fair bit beacuse of the amount of new stuff I’m getting to experience but really this place is incredible. Angkor Watt is one of the ancient wonders of the world. Its hand-on ancient history seeing places I know from books but seeing it real is something else. day ` has been taking in the closer temples all within about a 40km circuit. The day climaxed at a temple called Ta Prohm which is still strangled by huge old figs and famous for its use in the film Tomb Raider. It was such a great way to finish a 12 hour temple fix and I got watt fever and 2 days still to go yay. I still want to go through Angkor Watt and head out to a temple a bit further out called Banteay Srei. This ones apparently a jewel being cut from a pinkish stone with some amazing stone carvings and great in later afternoon light. So that’s me tomorrow. I’ll end it there as its a bit late and still to have dinner. Awesome day and looking forward to uploading the photos for you. This is a particularly awes inspiring and magical corner of the world. I just sat today so many times grinning at what I was looking at in amazement. Big time great! Talk soon x