Beautiful Cambodia – A day @ The Ancient City, Part 2

And our journey continue…. where we head off for a lovely Khmer Lunch @ The Palmboo Restaurant located within the Ancient city of Angkor Thom. Here, we tried the lovely Cambodian Iced Coffee and Coconut Milkshake… best drink to have for the hot day!

We ended the lovely lunch with banana fritters served with strawberry jam and condensed milk.Unique but indeed yummy dessert even for someone whom does not have a sweet tooth.

We head next to explore the temple of Ta Prohm…. and along the way, we see many beautiful sight…

The temple of Ta Prohm, built in the middle of the XII – early XIII centuries. This temple is unique in that it’s specifically cleared of jungle, now it appears in the form in which it saw the French at the end of the XIX century. Towers are literally torn apart by the trunks of trees, statues of gods with branches entwined vines, galleries and roof, sagging under the weight of huge roots.

Originally called Rajavihara (រាជវិហារ), it is founded by the Khmer King Jayavarman VII as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and university. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Ta Prohm has been left in much the same condition in which it was found, the photogenic and atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surrounding have made it one of Angkor’s most popular temples with visitors.

Ta Prohm was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1992. Today it is one of the most visited complexes in Angkor Thom region. The temple was also used as a location in the film Tomb Raider.

Ta Prohm (ប្រាសាទតាព្រហ្ម, brasaeattaproh)

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After enjoying ourselves with various photo shot in Ta Prohm, we head off to the highlight of the day…. The famous temples of Angkor Wat, the largest monument of the Angkor group and the best preserved architectural masterpiece that is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and was previously also a part of the 7 Wonders of The World.

Angkor Wat was built by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century as a vast funerary temple that would hold his remains, symbolically confirming his permanent identity with Vishnu.

Many of the bas-reliefs in the temple depict scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, Hindu sacred texts that recount the adventures of two major incarnations of Vishnu.

During its six centuries as imperial capital, Angkor went through many changes in architectural styles and in religion. The city of Angkor transferred its from the Hindu god Shiva to the Hindu god Vishnu, and finally to the Mahayana Buddhist deity Avalokitesvara.

By the late 13th century, the once frenzied pace of Angkor’s architectural pursuits had begun to die down, and a more restrained type of religion was on the rise under the growing influence of Theravada Buddhism.

At the same time, Angkor and the Khmer Empire were increasingly threatened and attacked by invading armies. By the 16th century, the golden age of Angkor was over and many of the great temples began to recede into the jungle.

From the 15th to 19th centuries, Theravada Buddhist monks cared for Angkor Wat, and it is thanks to them that the temple remains mostly intact. Angkor Wat became one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Southeast Asia.

European visitors to Cambodia towards the later end of this period were intrigued by the “lost city” of Angkor. After the French established a colonial regime in Cambodia in 1863, the entire site became a focus of scholarly interest.

Angkor Wat (អង្គរវត្ត)

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Very steep steps up for a fantastic view!

Fantastic view from the top…

Goodbye…. Indeed a beautiful sight…. a place worth visiting!

The wonderful day of exploration ended with a hike up Phnom Bakhen, also known as Bakhen Hill, a Hindu temple in the form of a temple mountain. Dedicated to Shiva, it was built at the end of the 9th century, during the reign of King Yasovarman (889 – 910). Located atop a hill, it is a popular tourist spot to enjoy the beautiful Cambodia Sunset of the much bigger temple of Angkor Wat.

Phnom Bakheng is a symbolic representation of Mount Meru, home of the Hindu gods, a status emphasized by the temple’s location atop a steep hill. The temple faces east, measures 76 meters square at its base and is built in a pyramid form of six tiers. At the top level, five sandstone sanctuaries, in various states of repair, stand in a quincunx pattern—one in the centre and one at each corner of the level’s square. Originally, 108 small towers were arrayed around the temple at ground level and on several of its tiers; most of them have collapsed.

Beautiful sunset @ Phnom Bakhen ( ប្រាសាទភ្នំបាខែង)

We ended the memorable day with dinner at Kulen II with Aspara dancing show.


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