Temple Tour in Siem Reap by ABOUTAsia
One of the main reasons to visit Cambodia is to experience at first hand the world-famous temples of Angkor. We had the chance to go for a temple tour organised by ABOUTAsia.
After collecting my entry passes at the Archaeological Park Entrance, we walk through Ta Nei temple from the West entrance to the East entrance. Located deep in the jungles of Angkor, Ta Nei temple is ideal for the adventurous traveler. It is not a popular tourist destination but you will be greeted by the tranquility and interrupted voices of travelers.
Ta Nei was built late in the 12th century. King Jayavarman VII is responsible for the design and construction of the temple. He dedicated the stone monument to the principles of Buddhism. Some of the carvings are still in pretty good condition.
Archeologists have left Ta Nei as it originally was, for the most part. Tree roots split open the temple stone, and jungle flora sprawls out across the temple grounds. Ta Nei has been the object of minimal reconstruction and clearing efforts.
After the visit to Ta Nei, ABOUTAsia has specially prepared a light breakfast around this peaceful area before exploring further. Eating croissants on the premium tuk tuk, how cool is that! We can also sip English Breakfast tea lor! We then carry on to Ta Keo temple. Known as the “mountain with bronze peaks”, it is a pyramid of five levels reaching a total height of 22m.
Finally, we reached the magnificent Angkor Wat. The temple is busy at any time of day, but late morning is the quietest time for us to explore and admire this architectural wonder and the world class bas reliefs. We went by the quieter and less frequented Eastern causeway. Do you know that it was originally a hindu temple, built by Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century.
The construction of Angkor Wat was not an easy task as it involved lots and lots of quarrying, detailed artistic work and digging. The task involved thousands of people working at one time. Although most tourists know of the Angkor Wat temple complex, the city comprises of Angkor Thom and the Bayon Temple which are equally intriguing.
Out of the temples we visited, I love Bayon Temple the most – a spectacular central temple of the ancient city of Angkor Thom. Bayon is known for its huge stone faces of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, with one facing outward and keeping watch at each compass point.
It is also called the temple of the smiling gods, with 54 towers containing over 200 large faces of the Bodhisattva. We had some quiet time there yesterday evening, admiring the faces of buddha smiling at every corner. Their smile created is mysterious yet peaceful. Bayon is a sight to behold. It forms a nice picture backdrop that one treasures forever.