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Hiển thị các bài đăng có nhãn Around Angkor Thom. Hiển thị tất cả bài đăng
Hiển thị các bài đăng có nhãn Around Angkor Thom. Hiển thị tất cả bài đăng

Thứ Bảy, 27 tháng 6, 2015

Around Angkor Thom (Part 2)


Considered by many to be the jewel in the crown of Angkorian art, Banteay Srei – a Hindu temple devoted to Shiva – is cut from stone of a pinkish hue and contains many of the most beautiful stone carving anywhere on earth. Begun in AD 967, it is one of the few temples around Angkor to be commissioned by a Brahman, not by a king, perhaps a tutor to Jayavarman V.
Banteay Srei, which is 21km northeast of Bayon and about 32km from Siem Reap, can be visited along with Kbal Spean and the Cambodia Landmine Museum.


Kbal Spean, which is a spectacularly carved riverbed, set deep in the jungle about 50km northeast of Angkor. More commonly referred to in English as the ‘River of a Thousand Lingas’, it’s a 2km uphill walk to the carvings. From Kbal Spean, you can work your way back down to the waterfall to cool off. Carry plenty of water.
At the nearby Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity, trafficked animals are nursed back to health. Free tours generally start at 1pm from Monday to Saturday.


The most sacred mountain in Cambodia, Phnom Kulen (487m) is where Jayavarman II proclaimed himself a devaraja (god-king) in AD 802, giving birth to Cambodia. A common place of pilgrimage during weekends and festivals, the views it affords are absolutely fantastic .
Phnom Kulen is 50km from Siem Reap and 15km from Banteay Srei. The road toll is US$20 per foreign visitor, none of which goes towards preserving the site.


Beng Mealea (admission US$5), was built by Suryavarman II to the same floor plan as Angkor Wat, is the Titanic of temples and utterly subsumed by jungle. Nature has well and truly run riot here. Jumbled stones lie like forgotten jewels swathed in lichen, and the galleries are strangled by ivy and vines.
Beng Mealea is about 65km northeast of Siem Reap on a sealed toll road.


(admission US$10) Abandoned to the forests of the north, Koh Ker, capital of the Angkorian empire from AD 928 to AD 944, is within day-trip distance of Siem Reap. Most of the travellers begin at Prasat Krahom, where nice stone carvings grace lintels, doorposts and slender window columns. The principal monument is Mayan-looking Prasat Thom, a 55m-wide, 40m-high sandstone-faced pyramid whose seven tiers offer spectacular views across the forest. However, access to the top of Prasat Thom is currently prohibited for safety reasons.

Koh Ker is 127km northeast of Siem Reap (car hire is around US$90, 2½ hours).


The largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, Tonlé Sap, an incredible natural phenomenon that provides fish and irrigation water for half of Cambodia’s population.
The lake is linked to the Mekong at Phnom Penh by a 100km-long channel, the Tonlé Sap River. From mid-May to early October (the wet season), rains raise the level of the Mekong, backing up the Tonlé Sap River and causing it to flow northwest into the Tonlé Sap Lake. During this period, the lake swells from 2500 sq km to 13,000 sq km or more, its maximum depth increasing from about 2.2m to more than 10m. Around the start of October, when the water level of the Mekong starts to fall, the Tonlé Sap River reverses its flow, draining the waters of the lake back into the Mekong.
This extraordinary process makes the Tonlé Sap one of the world’s richest sources of freshwater fish and an ideal habitat for water birds.

Thứ Sáu, 19 tháng 6, 2015

Around Angkor Thom (Part 1)



Ta Prohm, which is t
he last Indiana Jones fantasy, is hidden in speckled shade , its crumbling towers and walls locked in the deliberate , muscular embrace of large root systems. If Angkor Wat, the Bayon and other temples are testimony to the mastermind of the ancient Khmers, Ta Prohm reminds us equally of the awesome richness and strength of the wilderness. There is a graceful cycle to this ruin, with humanity original discovering nature to rapidly create, and natural world once again discovering humanity to gradually wipe out .
Built from 1186 and firstly known as Rajavihara (Monastery of the King), Ta Prohm was a Buddhist temple devoted to the mother of Jayavarman VII. Ta Prohm is a temple of towers, close courtyards and narrow corridors. Ancient trees tower overhead, their leaves filtering the daylight and casting a greenish pall over the whole view . It is the nearest most of us can get to feeling the magic of the explorers of old.

Phnom Bakheng HINDU TEMPLE

About 400m south of Angkor Thom, that hill’s main draw is the sunset view of Angkor Wat, though this has turned into something of a circus, with hundreds of visitors jockeying for space. The temple, built by Yasovarman I (r 889–910), has five tiers with seven levels.


(Sacred Sword) The temple of Preah Khan (Sacred Sword) is one of the largest constructions at Angkor, a maze of vaulted corridors, fine carvings and lichen-clad stonework. Constructed by Jayavarman VII, it contains a very large area, but the temple itself is within a rectangular wall of nearly 700m by 800m. Preah Khan is a genuine combination temple, the eastern entrance devoted to Mahayana Buddhism, with equal-sized doors, and the other cardinal directions dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, with successively smaller doors, emphasising the unequal nature of Hinduism.


Another late-12th-century work of – no surprises here – Jayavarman VII, this petite temple just east of Preah Khan has a big square pool surrounded by four smaller square pools, with a circular ‘island’ in the middle. Water once flowed from the central pond into the four peripheral pools via four ornamental spouts, in the shape of an elephant’s head, a horse’s head, a lion’s head and a human head.


The monuments of Roluos, which served as the capital for Indravarman I (r 877–89), are among the earliest big permanent temples constructed by the Khmers and mark the dawn of Khmer classical art. Preah Ko, dedicated to Shiva, has elaborate inscriptions in Sanskrit on the doorposts of each tower and some of the best surviving examples of Angkorian plasterwork. The city’s central temple, Bakong, with its five-tier central pyramid of sandstone, is a representation of Mt Meru. Roluos is 13km southeast of Siem Reap along NH6.

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