Temples…..Day 1…..

Temples…..Day 1…..

After a good breakfast we waited outside for Gursewa Singh. We have decided to share the cost of the Tuk Tuk. Works out to be around USD$7.50 each.

Our first port of call was to buy the entrance tickets. You must possess an admission pass (an ‘Angkor Pass’) to visit the temples and sites in the Angkor Archaeological Park. Passes may be purchased at the main entrance on the road to Angkor Wat. One-day tickets only can be purchased at the secondary tollgate on airport road entrance near Angkor Wat and at Banteay Srey.

Passes are sold in one-day ($20), three-day ($40) and seven-day ($60) blocks. The three day pass is valid for one week, i.e. 3 days to be used within the week, not necessarily consecutively. The seven day pass is valid for one month, i.e. 7 days to be used within the month, not necessarily consecutively.

A one-day visit allows you to see the highlights of the most famous temples but very little more. Three days is sufficient to visit all of the major temples once, a few of the minor ones and have a little extra time at your favorites. Seven days is enough time to really explore some of your favorite ruins and visit many of the minor structures as well. One passport-sized photo is require at time of purchase of three and seven day passes. If you do not have a photo, free photos are provided at the main entrance, though this can be a time consuming process at peak entrance hours.

Visiting hours are 5:00AM – 6:00PM. Angkor Wat closes at 6:00PM, Banteay Srey closes at 5:00PM and Kbal Spean at 3:00PM. Always carry your ticket. It will be checked upon each park entry and at major temples. There is a significant fine for not possessing a valid ticket inside the park. A regular admission ticket is not required to visit Phnom Kulen, Koh Ker or Beng Melea, but there is a separate entrance fee of $20, $10 and $5, respectively.

We then rode to Preah Khan. Sometimes transliterated as Prah Khan, is a temple at Angkor, Cambodia, built in the 12th century for King Jayavarman VII. It is located northeast of Angkor Thom and just west of the Jayatataka baray, with which it was associated. It was the centre of a substantial organisation, with almost 100,000 officials and servants. The temple is flat in design, with a basic plan of successive rectangular galleries around a Buddhist sanctuary complicated by Hindu satellite temples and numerous later additions. Like the nearby Ta Prohm, Preah Khan has been left largely unrestored, with numerous trees and other vegetation growing among the ruins.

Preah Khan

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The Entrance where we spent an hour before realising the temple is further on!

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Afterwards we saw Neak Pean (“The entwined serpents”) at Angkor, Cambodia is an artificial island with a Buddhist temple on a circular island in Preah Khan Baray built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII. It is the “Mebon” of the Preah Khan baray (the “Jayatataka” of the inscription).

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Next was, Roluos Group which is a collection of monuments representing the remains of Hariharalaya, the first major capital of the Angkorian-era Khmer Empire. It has become known as the ‘Roluos Group’ due to its proximity to the modern town of Roluos. The ancient capital was named for Hari-Hara, a synthesis of the Hindu gods Shiva and Vishnu. Though there was an existing settlement in the area before the rise of Angkor, Hariharalaya was established as a capital city by Jayavarman II and served as the Khmer capital for over 70 years under four successive kings. Setting the pattern for the next four centuries, the first great Khmer temples (Bakong Temple, Preah Ko Temple, Lolei Temple) and baray (reservoir) were constructed at Hariharalaya. The last king at Hariharalaya, Yasovarman I, built the first major temple at Angkor, Phnom Bakheng Mountain, and moved the capital to the Bakheng area in 905 C.E. With the exception of a 20 year interruption in the 10th century, the capital would remain at Angkor until 1422 C.E., 12km southeast of Siem Reap.

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A modern temple

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Temple at Lolei

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Here the budhists have setup a free school for the local children

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On entering and exiting the temples you are bombarded with adults and children selling you books, drinks and whatever else they can sell you! A simple no will not make them go away….I usually find that no eye contact, no talking and just carry on walking does the trick. The day was very hot around 32 degrees c and a humidity of 80%.

Afterwards we headed to Chamkar for dinner. Once the tuk tuk driver had dropped us off, his price had gone from USD$15 to USD$25 he said it is because he had to take us to Rolous Group…….I just got angry and told him not to bother picking us up tomorrow, his greed had lost the business for the next two days……to get rid of him, Gursewa gave him USD$5…..I was not happy – this place is exactly like India, they want to get more out of you!

The dinner at Chamkar was okay at the time, afterwards it gave me a bad stomach……not what I need in this part of the world.

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