Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Angkor and Bayon

Hi Folks,

The Angkor complex is without a doubt one of the most inspiring places to visit anywhere in the world, and surely ranks up there along side Macchu Pichu and the Pyramids, etc. I had actually been there once before, in 2000, but was happy to go again, this time with my friend Gerrit, who had come over from Japan specially.

I personally find the Bayon area the most interesting, with all those giant smiling faces. One can walk around for hours bemused just by the sheer magnitude of the whole thing. Interestingly, most of it pre-dates Buddhism and is consequently largely Hinduistic in design. Not only are there temples, but also, of course, the king's palace and the various terraces around it. Funnily enough, the view from the Leper's Terrace always reminds me of Scotland!

View from the Leper's Terrace

Ta Phrom is also extremely atmospheric, not least because in places the jungle is still trying to reclaim it. Certainly when the original explorers discovered it earlier in the century, it must have seemed liked a fantasy, and no wonder film direcors used it for the Lara Croft movies. The only drawback now is that it's difficult to get away from all the other tourists. Damn inconvenient they are!

The fig tree reclaims Ta Phrom


Anonymous said...

Hi Robert,
As I do not have bookmarked your websites and blogs on my old computer I searched Google for your name and after 8 pages I got to your tropicalrob blog. Good read your posting on Angkor and Bayon! and as always a delight to see premium pictures to go with it!

Ian Paul said...

Hi Rob,
I agree the Angkor complex is right up there with the best sites in the world. I liked Banteay Sreay best, the carvings are superb. Hard to believe they are all on a par with medieval castles age wise but look so fresh and sharp. Cambodia to me looks like how I was promised Thailand would like. I love the woven sunscreens on the houses, so much better than a plastic CocaCola advert!