Friday 23 September 2011

Angkor Thom and the Rolo temples

Ok so they're actually called the Rolous but we make up our own names for places we can't really pronounce.. After our disastrous day attempting to walk from Angkor Wat to Angkor Thom on our second day in Siem Reap we hired bikes from a nearby hostel to cycle around the different sites. There are loads of places to rent bikes in Siem Reap, but they are all in town. It's about 5 km from the main area to Angkor Wat, and then another 4 to Angkor Thom. It was very hot when we were there, and we were really sweaty cycling around, but to be honest even if you're walking around it's unlikely you're not going to get sweaty, and travelling around by bike is a really good experience, definitely one of our best days of the entire trip. So to make up for our lack of sightseeing the day before we made sure to see everything we could in the main temple area. The ancient walled city of Angkor Thom houses the Bayon, The Baphuon, The Terrace of elephants, The terrace of the leper king and lots of food and souvenir stalls. This is the perfect place to have lunch. After sufficently wandering around this area we set off out of the east exit towards to most famous of the Angkor Temples; La Prohm. This was an interesting temple, and you can read about our serch for the Tombraider tree here. This is the most atmospheric temple and it gives you the impression that you've just sumbled across it, well sort of, if you can ignore all the other tourists and the specially made photopoints... On our third and last day at the temples we hired a tuk tuk to take us over to the Rolous temples, which are a small cluster about 13 KM from Siem Riep. They are in worse repair than the main temple sites, and this was such a hot day, with no shade from the sun we didn't spend a great deal of time area this area. But it was good to see a different area of the Angkor complex. This was also the day Fontaine got lost in the Bakong. Rolo's central temple, which is a small square temple in which anyone else would find it impossible to get lost...

At the gate of Angkor Thom, depicting the Churning of the Ocean Milk.

The renovations to this are fairly flawless and in keeping with the look of the original ruins

The bayon's turrets are decorated with 4 faces, one of each side. Eyes upon you from every angle,

The circus

a fish eating an antelope with prawns swimming nearby


The pose we're attempting


Terrace of the elephants

Reclining buddha (can you see it?)

Rolous Temples


The front three buildings represent the male gods

The back three the female gods

The temple Fontaine got lost in

Working monastery next door 

Steps to heaven


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