We went to a city called Siem Reap in Cambodia. The whole reason we went to this city was to see the Angkor temples. This place is an amazing place built over centuries by different rulers. It is a temple complex that has many different temples in it. There are over ten temples that you can actually visit. There are even more but they are now in rubble. People have been trying to rebuild this amazing place for years. They have successfully rebuilt some. Unfortunately they are not in the same condition as they were when they were first built, so you have to use your imagination.
Angkor is the name often given to the whole temple complex. It gets it name from the biggest and best built temple, Angkor Wat. The Angkor temples are still used to worship buddhism and hinduism to this day. I find it fascinating that there are so many kings over so many centuries that have built these temples. What really is amazing is that people lived in and around them. The temples were the capital of Cambodia on and off for many years.
Most of the temples used to have carvings and statues. It is believed that they were painted in extravagant colours that have faded away from the sun. I would have loved to see pictures of what it looked like back then, but there are none. The carvings are still there, but they have no colour. Even without colour, they did a fantastic job with fascinating carvings.
There were two different religions that competed over this area of temples: Buddism and Hinduism, Because of this competition, some of the temples have had some of the faces chiselled off their carvings and statues by the competing religion. Imagine how much work was put into doing that. There are hundreds of faces damaged.
I find the history of Angkor and its temples amazing.
On our first day to the temple complex we took a “tuk-tuk”. You are probably wondering what a tuk-tuk is. It is a motorcycle with a little carriage like contraption hooked on the back, or sometimes on the side. It can fit 2 to 4 adults depending on the size. I think it is very fun to ride in a tuk-tuk with the wind in my face.
The tuk-tuk we picked had a very nice owner. It was very comfortable and he drove us to all the temples. He would wait for us to finish one temple so he could take us to the next. We went to about 8 temples in total doing this in a day. I absolutely love tuk-tuks they are extremely fun.
There are so many temples that we went to, so I can not talk about them all. I am just going to talk about my favourite two temples that stood out the most for me. These temples were completely different. That is why I chose them to go into my blog.
My first favourite temple was a very detailed one called “Pre Rup”. It was not spread out as much as the others. It was taller instead. The only downside to having taller temples it that it means stairs. You might be thinking right now, “What’s so bad about stairs?” If you are saying this, you have never seen stairs like these. They go almost straight up and each step can be over a foot high. They are different heights which makes it worse. The reason I liked this temple was not because it had so many steps. It’s because it had very detailed carvings of people, animals and other things. Another reason I like this temple is because it looks out over a vast landscape of forest as far as the eye can see.
My second favourite temple was the first we visited. It was called Preah Khan. This temple was amazing to me because it had amazing carvings. I also like it because it has tons of little corridors to explore, things to see and lots of history. I imagined how it would look when it was not in rubble. It would be standing there with sparkling colours. That would be a sight to see for me. When you look closely, the carvings, each one is different. Some have carvings of an elephant and the others have carvings of monkeys. They are all so different.
The Angkor Wat temple itself was amazing too, but my brother is blogging about that one.