The temples of Siem Reap, Cambodia

7 12 2011

By Whitney

Many of you have undoubtedly heard of the amazing Cambodian temples located in Siem Reap, the most famous of which is Angkor Wat. The collection of temples was built by the Khmer civilization starting in the 9th century – these puppies are old! In true ancient temple fashion, slave labor was used, and the temples symbolically tie kingship and religion together. Many of the temples were originally Hindu-oriented, and then were refitted for Buddhism, while some started out as Buddhist temples. Angkor Wat is an excellent example of this – both Hindu and Buddhist relics are now displayed there so you get a feel for the complete history!

It takes multiple days to see all the temples – I did most of it on my own after Phil’s hospital stay while he was sleeping it off in the hotel room. Phil joined me on our last day there for a quick tour of my 5 favorite temples! I’m going to just post a photo essay – the listing of the temples is a bit boring if you’re not there to see it all, so I’ll spare you the dry bits and get right to the stunning visuals :-).

The famous Angkor Wat....shrouded with scaffolding. I had the same let down when I sent to see Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

 

Hindu relic in Angkor Wat.

 

A 3-D carving of an Indian tale lining the outer walls of a temple building in Angkor Wat.

 

A makeshift shrine.

 

 

Note the faces of the Buddha carved into the towers of this temple:

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