Trip to Cambodia + Thailand '06/07 - Day 2

Day 2 (Siem Reap)

"Lady, do you wanna buy some cold drinks?" --little peddlar children

We woke up early in the morning eager to start our journey - the Little Circuit. Just mention Little Circuit to the tuktuk driver and he'll know.

Little Circuit is basically a tour of the grand city of Angkor Thom, which was the largest of all Khmer cities, founded by Jayavarman VII. The circuit consists of (in visiting order):

Bayon
Baphuon
Phimeanakas
Terrace of the Leper King
Terrace of the Elephants

The tuktuk will fetch you from your lodge to Angkor Thom, then from there you can just visit the other buildings on foot. Or by Jumbo.

South Gate walkway

Pose with the gods on the entrance to Angkor Thom through the South Gate. On your left are the gods, while on your right are the devils. I didn't know before this, so I kept posing with the devils =_='''

Behind: One of the 4 all-seeing faces of Avalokiteshvara on the gatetop tower.

Visit the 216 enigmatic faces at the Bayon!

How many faces can you count? ^_^

Smile of Khmer / 高棉的微笑

Too bad we didn't manage to visit Baphuon cos it was closed under restoration. Lonely Planet says "Baphuon would have been one of the most spectacular of Angkor's temples in its heyday." So if you're lucky, do try to visit during weekdays, while it's open during working hours!

Baphuon
Displaced blocks - Baphuon

Walking through all those fallen blocks made me feel as if I was walking inside a gigantic jigsaw puzzle... they have to actually follow the previous drawings to rebuild the entire monument... It's simply amazing how the restoration folk do it! Well, well... I guess archeologists can find a job after all!
Taming elephants - Terrace of the elephants


Ta Keo - Giant Temple Mountain which is uniquely known for its uncarved walls. Lonely Planet says "Had it been finished, it would have been one of the most impressive monuments in those times..." I met a young guide on the top that told me this was a bad-luck temple because the top was struck off by lightning. He also showed me the small little peaks of Angkor Wat from the top. I paid him USD2 after that.

Travel Tip 1: Take your time on the Mini Circuit... don't need to hurry through the grandeur of it all!
Travel Tip 2: Bring an umbrella or cap along, it's damn hot walking under the sun on the terraces...!
Travel Tip 3: Wear comfortable, long pants as you need to clamber up the temples and you might hurt your legs on the rough steps if you are in shorts.
Travel Tip 4: Do bring along a guidebook... it helps to explain the carvings and must-sees. If you don't have a guidebook yet, don't fret... buy it in Cambodia! There are plenty of cheap and lovely guidebooks for sale (My fully coloured one only cost me USD7!) And Lonely Planet is also available (if you don't mind having pirated copies at only USD5...)

Comments

libelly said…
Hey, good post, especially on the travel tips! Very useful:)
Anonymous said…
Haha, waste by RM70 to buy wei xuan the lonely planet only
weixuan said…
day 2 is incomplete. you didnt told the story of you getting drunk and can't stop laughing :P

and the anon up there is my sister

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