Today we began our tour through the Angkor ruins outside of Siem Reap. We thought it best not to start with Angkor Wat as everything after it would seem like chump change. The guide book had mentioned that all the other temples around Angkor Wat are very impressive and would be star attractions anywhere else in the world but since Angkor Wat trumped them they do not get the name recognition. Either way we decided to head out today and see as much as we could on a Tuk Tuk (A small motorcycle with a carriage/wagon attached to the back of it.) We arranged for one to pick us up and negotiated our route and his fee. We then proceeded on our day. Both Caitlin and I were glad we wore sunglasses as the dirt flying into our faces would have hindered our site seeing. Based on the amount of dirt in my mouth the sites were impressive. We drove through the gates of ancient walls and over old bridges all with carvings that we tried to snatch pictures of. The driver took us from temple to temple and would wait for us as we tromped through each temple. The first day we managed to see Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Ta Som, East Mebon, Banteay Srey and Pre Rup. Each one was impressive and each one was different in some manner. The brief history behind these temples is that each king wanted to outdo his predecessors and so they built more elaborate temple complexes. Each temple complex would have had a city around it, these no longer exist as the workers houses would have been made of materials other than stone. The only temple that was an exception was Bateay Srey which was created by a lower noble. I am still reading about the history of each of the following places and I will try to add more on the next post but I feel like I am falling behind as we are taking pictures faster than I can blog or organize them. Needless to say it was a great day of trekking around temples and riding in the back of a tuk tuk.
The center of Preah Khan. All the holes in the walls behind were from the builders. They were placed there in order to put sticks to carry the stones to the build site.
Trying to mimic the lion. Most of the temple entrances had some sort of animal guarding them.