Sunday, August 5, 2012

Photos: Siem Reap and Temples

The temple of Angkor Thom has 216 carved heads.  The number 108 has significance in Buddhism, so it has double that number.  It was build in the early 12th Century.  Angkor Thom means "Great City."
The bridge leading over the moat that surrounds Angkor Thom is lined with statues.  It is common to see local residents running their errands by bicycles, protected from the hot sun by their straw hats.
There are 400 temples in the area of Siem Reap, of which Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom are the most famous.  Some of the temples have been reclaimed by the jungle.
The carved figures are impressive for their artistry that has survived nearly 1,000 years.
Even the inscriptions in the temples remain.  The brutality of the Pol Pot Khmer Rouge regime in the late 20th Century was devastating to the people of Cambodia. The survival of their culture and architectural treasures was crucial to their ability to recover, in part through humanitarian aid and in part through the benefits to the economy from tourism.  Dave and I brought a suitcase of school supplies, which our tour guides was grateful to accept, as his friend started a small village school and was overwhelmed with parents sending 10 times the number of children to be educated than he had anticipated.

5 comments:

Stefan Jansson said...

A fantastic place. Nice photos.

Memphis MOJO said...

Awesome is often overused, but this is awesome.

glenda said...

The face in that first photo is quite remarkable.

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Stunning pictures by all means!!

JM said...

Magnificent!

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