Posts tagged temples
Posts tagged temples
Another of the outlying temples, the Roluos Group is strangely laid out, as though still unfinished
Everywhere there seems to be piles of rocks like this
The temple itself is simple, a single tower surrounded by unfinished smaller structures
What I love about the temples is how you can find carvings and sculpted figures in the most obscure nooks and crannies. Every rock, whether standing or discarded, seems to bear some significance or hide some carved secret.
Me & Tara, enjoying a rare breeze atop the temple. Climbing temples all day is no easy feat under the scorching sun :|
Photos: Fuji underwater camera
Banteay Samre is one of the more outlying temples, so it was much less crowded than the ones in the central loop
These kids seem to live/hang out here, and at first were game for photos but soon were trying to corner me into giving them money. So much for that.
I guess compared to other temples, there doesn’t seem to be anything different or unusual about this, but actually, you get to appreciate it more because it’s so deserted. I got to explore and walk and climb about freely, and it was not as vast an area as the other bigger temples so this really felt like a life-sized temple playground. The temple “heads” are built so close to each other that you can climb from head to head just by hopping over or carefully stepping over the gap between them
In one of the central heads, there was a small makeshift prayer room of sorts, with a candle and mat. It was a serene moment.
That’s Tara trying to mimic a kowtow
Still worth a visit, if you seek a more personal and quiet time around the temples, as opposed to the sneaker-clad crowds bustling around everywhere. Even though temples can start to look alike, you can still find details and corners to love and appreciate. I guess that’s why in a lot of ways I prefer these outlying, more obscure sort of temples.
Photos: Fuji underwater camera
After our waterfall trek to Kbal Spean, we visited the temples along the outlying areas of Siem Reap. One of these was the Banteay Srei, which also turned out to be another favourite of mine.
There was a marked decrease in number of tourists here. Maybe it was the sheer distance? It was farther out compared to the temples in the main loop (the ones we visited in the days before), so maybe tuktuks frequented these less? I don’t know, but in any case, I was grateful for the breathing room!
Happy li’l kids. They were nice enough to pose and smile for my camera
There was a small area along one wall where artifacts and such were displayed
Look at those gorgeous details
Now entering the main temple area (I’ve noticed that for most, if not all, temples, there is usually an entrance, followed by a long walk through a park or garden of sorts, before coming upon a second entrance that leads to the actual temple)
More beautiful ornate stone carvings
I love how you can always find little surprises in the carvings—like stories or special characters or unusual subjects marked into the stone
See the elephants framing the god/deity below? So many intricate details!
Through a little window, a peek into the temple—are those monkey men statues?
Those monkey-men-looking statues are everywhere. It’s a distinctive feature of Banteay Srei—I didn’t see any other temple with these monkey-like deities
How cool is this
Aside from the main temple, there are also all of these random smaller structures in ruins all around. Toolsheds and guardhouses, maybe? Haha
I love trees, especially leafless, branchy, spindly, veiny ones. Basically the ones that look mangled and old and like they came out of a tim burton film. So you can understand why I love this tree stump!
I think I’d like a chair like this in my room.
Another cheery kid cycling about
This is the entrance/tourist information center of sorts for the site. Interesting pattern the shadow makes from the bamboo-laden roof.
Photos: Sony P200, Fuji underwater camera
Pre Rup and East Mebon are similar (not sure if identical) temples built North and South of each other, and our driver brought us to one—I’m not sure which.
The most distinguishable aspect here is the red color on the brick—most of the other temples had natural stone-colors. These were a combination of mudbricks, minerals and bricks and rocks I think.
This was a more chill sort of temple, but maybe only because there weren’t as many tourists when we were here. It was a pain to climb, because at this point the sun was really on our backs. I had to use my umbrella as a climbing stick to keep from touching the hot rock. Still worth the visit (maybe you can just pick one, too!)
Photos: Sony P200 + Fuji Underwater Camera + Makeshift filter (my shades!)
Thommanom is one of the first few temples we visited, and it was very understated (I can’t think of another word for it). It wasn’t grand like the Angkor Wat, or labyrinthine like Ta Prohm…it was laid out quite simply, with a few low-standing structures and steps which are humble compared to the stairways-to-heaven that other temples had.
I liked it, though. Maybe it was the novelty of the temples, or maybe there was just something about it being so small and disregarded that made me like it.
And of course we took this opportunity to pose as statues (this is one of the few pedestals that weren’t too high that we’d be dead if we fell off)
Photos: Sony P200
This is also one of my favourite temples, a large part because of the awesome trees
I love how the rocks have a reddish/greenish hue, sort of like they’ve imbibed the earth over the years. I don’t think the rock started out looking that way
And I love how ginormous trees randomly sprout up out of structures, or wrap around temples, or just rise up from the ground like something out of the Lord of the Rings
An ancient structure which, despite everything beside it having fallen down, is still quite intact
One of my favourite trees. We had so much fun camwhoring here
This seems like such a great tree to build a treehouse on
Look at these awesome agey textures
I’m miniscule compared to those tentacley roots
In the back, another temple extension (I’m not sure which one is Preah Khan and which one is Ta Som, but I think the temple in the back is Ta Som)
Another favourite tree! How awesome is it
And what a giant!
I am an ant in comparison
And look, a little hidden surprise nestled in its branches! <3
Photos: Sony P200
Below: BTS on how we got on that ledge hahaha
Love love love <3
Another personal favourite temple of mine would be the Ta Prohm, more famously known for scenes shot in the movie Tomb Raider. Looking at it from the outside, you wouldn’t think that the grounds beyond are as expansive and interesting as the movie portrayed it, but it really is beautiful and historic inside.
I love finding random little sculptures, textures and statuettes amid the rock. It’s like hidden treasure that you have to look more closely to find.
It’s also interesting to note that even though a lot of the statues look similar, or could possibly be of the same deities, certain imperfections like cracks and missing pieces make it all the more fascinating and beautiful.
I love these tumbling roots, which coincidentally are all over the place!
Under the streaming sunlight, the rock reflects some reddish hues underneath the moss
Check out that ginormous tree that made its home by this temple gateway
One of the more famous giant trees—I think this might’ve also been the one in the movie.
Gorgeous ruby hues brought out by the sun
If I could, I would spend a whole day exploring each temple! I think that there is still so much more to see and discover, but because of the tight schedule, we really only got a glimpse of the basics, the surface of the rock, as it were. I’m pretty happy with how the photos turned out too, considering I was using just our trusty ol’ point and shoot. The wonders of manual function!
Photos: Sony P200
Long hot trek to the entrance
And another long hot trek to the real entrance
I wanted to climb up too but I literally had like five minutes walking around like a maniac trying to see as much as I could before we had to go :( Definitely must return to give it a fair photographic chance!
2010 seemed to be a year for renovation. In Italy, almost all the sites we visited seemed to be under renovation too!
Photos: taken from my crappy Blackberry camera. at this point, my batteries were dead, my main memory stick was full, and my camera’s battery was dangerously close to copping out. I felt so bad that just as we went to visit the most significant temple, my tech stuffs decide to fail :|
Here are some I was able to borrow from Tara
She took this one while I hid behind the column so she could take the shot of the hallway
Photos: borrowed from Tara