Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cambodia -Angkor Wat and something else!

I boarded the Bangkok Airline in Bangkok. The duration the flight to Siem Reap is aproximately one and a half hour. The main task of my trip was to visit Ankor Wat. It is said that it is the one largest Khemer cities ever built, 9 sq km in area. Quoting wikipedia "One of these temples—a rival to that of Solomon, and erected by some ancient Michelangelo—might take an honourable place beside our most beautiful buildings. It is grander than anything left to us by Greece or Rome, and presents a sad contrast to the state of barbarism in which the nation is now plunged."

That the city walls, surrounded by a moat, enclose a square, approximately 3km on each side means that Angkor Wat was built under an idea; the microcosmos. These walls are pierced by four gates at the cardinal points, and the roads that pass through them converge on the central State Temple of Jayavarman VII, the Bayon. Finally, this temple is considered the 8th ancient world's wonder.

Down at the right the Tonlé Sap Lake. Tonlé meaning "large fresh water River. It is more commonly translated as "Great Lake" The Tonlé Sap is the largest freshwater lake in south East Asia and it is an ecological hot spot that was designated as a biosphere by UNESCO in 1997.
To get there takes 40 minutes by "Tuk Tuk" from the Seam Reap center. The fare depends on how you bargain. (beetwen USD 8 to 12 round trip)

Bellow, part of the custom desk at the international airport in Seam Reap.
Drinking one of the most famous cocktail in Siem Reap; The Tomb Raider!

It looks like a Cannal, but in fact it is the Siem Reap River flowing through Siem Reap Province, in north-west Cambodia. This river meets the great Tonlé Sap Lake. By the way, the name Siem Reap means the Defeat of Siam -today's Thailand. (Source wikipedia)

Bellow as you can see, most of the temples are protected by those Lion's sculpture.

Ta Prohm. Late 12th to 13th centuries. One of the mayor temples of Jayavarman VII - in fact, a temple-monastery - The complexity of its layout is increased by its partly collapsed state, with silk-cotton trees interlaced among the ruins. The principal deity , Prajñaparamita, the "Perfection of Wisdom", was carved in the shape of king's mother. Ta Prohm's original name was Rajavihara, "the royal monastery". In the inicial plan for Ta Phrom , 260 divinities were called for; many more were added later. (source Ancient Angkor)

This day we visited many temples, among them we visit Angkor Wat, the most astonishing temple in Seam Reap.  In the picture, you can see part of the main entrance gate.

DEVATAS. Deva is the Hindu term for deity;devatas are a kind of smaller more focused devas, the equivalent of guardian spirits or guardian angels. The term "devata" also means devas (deva in plural form or the gods). They are male and female devata. There are many kinds of devatas: vanadevatas (forest spirits, perhaps descendants of early nature-spirit cults), gramadevata (village gods), devata of river crossings, caves, mountains, and so on. In Hinduism, the devatas that guard the nine cardinal points are called Devata Lokapala (Guardians of the Directions) or in ancient Java called Dewata Nawa Sanga (Nine guardian gods). Each caste has its guardian deva, and every human activity has its devata, its spiritual counterpart or aspect.

Devata is considered as the divine guardian spirits of sacred palaces. They shared similar concept with Abrahamic mythology. Their closest counterparts is guardian angels often founds in Judaism, Christianity, and Islamic mythology. (Source Wikipedia)

We also visited The Bayon. You will know that you are in Bayon if you see many human faces carved along the stone towers.

Finally : Tonlé sap Lake. We went there by Tuk-Tuk, it took around 40 minutes to get there.  There we rent a boat, it costed aroud 25 USD each one.  Back in the hotel we were told that it is possible to find a tour along the lake for only 5 or 7 USD.  

Catholic Church.

School. No, no, this is no a ferry but a classroom!!!

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