Day 1 continued:

All the temples, gates and terraces I will write about are a part of Angkor Wat.  We visited 14 in all - they all vary in size, so hang on tight for the next few days we will race through the temples of Angkor Wat.

Angkor Thom dates back to the late 12th century.  There are 5 gates in all.
We entered Angkor Thom through the South Gate as it is the gate that has been restored the most.
To get to the gate you must cross a moat and it is lined by an avenue of statues.
There are statues on either side carrying the body of a giant serpent - a seven headed naga.
It is believed that the purpose of the naga was to guard the city's royal wealth and to link the world of men (outside the temple) to the world of the gods.
On the left side the figures are gods:
On the right side you will find asuras (demons).
The naga, seven headed serpent:
The south gate.  The gates are 23m high and have a triple tower carved with four faces.
The base of the gate on either side is a three headed elephant, Airavata, it is plucking lotus flowers with its trunk.
A view of the entrance to the South gate - from this view asuras are on the left and gods on the right.  (Isn't this amazing?!)
Just a super cool tree.  The trunk and branches were silver.  These trees were all over Cambodia.
On the road to Bayon:

People on their way to work - I found it very interesting that people cut through the grounds of Angkor Wat to get to work, many people actually work on the grounds; children are selling anything they can get their hands on from fruit, to bracelets, to paper ornaments they make, to water and some just beg.
Picture
notice how many people are on that motorbike?
I tried to get the picture before they started getting off the motorbike.  That is right, 5 people on that motorbike!
Do you see what I see?
That's right, free roaming MONKEYS!!
We bought bananas from children to feed the monkeys.  These little boogers were SCARY!!  Hubby handed the bananas to the monkeys; I didn't want them to get too close to me so I just tossed them.
Bayon - Construction was believed to have begun around the turn of the 13th century, about the year 1200.  1200!  Over 800 years ago!  Woozer!
Bayon is like a maze.  You can enter at multiple points - it has narrow chambers, corridors and stairways.  You can spend hours roaming around this amazing temple.
Bayon was HUGE and there were stories being told on all the walls.  Can you believe these were HAND carved over 800 years ago?  I'm amazed. 

I also feel very blessed to have visited at this time; we can walk right in, climb through the temple touch the walls and just be up close and personal with the temples. 
Face towers: It is believed that there were originally 49 towers - today only 37 are standing.
Isn't it amazing?  How did they get them up there so many years ago?
Elephant Terrace & Leper King Terrace - Elephant Terrace is on the far end of this picture & Leper King Terrace is closer to you. 

Elephant Terrace was built first in the late 12th century and Leper King Terrace was added later in the early 13th century. 

The Terraces were the foundation for royal receptions.
And this concludes today's tour....see you all tomorrow! 
Stacey
11/2/2012 01:10:45 pm

Such an interesting country...and beautiful! Thank you for sharing these awesome photos.

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Daniel
11/2/2012 01:11:28 pm

The last pic with your hubby, I think that temple was on Amazing Race if I remember right.

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Heather
11/2/2012 03:54:28 pm

Amazing!!

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Tracy H
11/2/2012 04:36:20 pm

Amazing and beautiful! I would love to visit one day...

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prashanth yadiur
4/11/2015 01:58:11 pm

Very super

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