Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Other "Temples" around Siem Reap

Although the temples around Siem Reap that were the highlights for me I covered in previous blog entries, there are still many more.

One of the best was Kbal Spean. Not only did it involve 90 minutes of peaceful travel in a tuktuk through rural Cambodia, this was then followed by a 1.5 kilometre walk through the jungle. The destination is very different- carved figures in rocks beside a stream and above a small waterfall. Some looked like bells, other were people (or gods) plus there were lingas carved into rocks in the base of the stream. These resembled a checkerboard of round circles on top of the rocks, often hard to see because of a covering of mud. Many locals come here for picnics and to splash in the stream, while a couple of saffron-clad monks were also there when I was. Here are some photos.

This is Sras Srang, what today looks like a large lake but was actually once the Royal Baths. Its shores make a popular place on the weekends. Here I met the girl below in the pink, who talked to me - well actually tried to get me to buy something from her - while playing on the boat. She eventually left to head off for English lessons.

Bakong Temple shown below is part of the Rolous group. These structures were built prior to those closer to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. It is believed to be the first temple with the pyramidal structure. It looks better in black and white than in colour.

The feet of a statue in front of Chou Say Thevoda, a small structure that was under heavy renovation when I visited.

Also part of the Roluos group is Neak Pean, another very different structure. Resembling a Buddhist stupa, the temple is surrounded by pools with stone stairs leading down to its shore. The photo below shows the detail of a statue depicting a horse rescuing drowning sailors.

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