We travelers are very familiar with all of the great travel sights around the world and certainly the magnificent Angkor Wat temple is amongst the very best known. However, perhaps less appreciated is that this much photographed and visited Angkor Wat temple is only one temple (albeit the best!) in the vast Angkor Temple Complex.
Within the huge temple complex are many monumental surprises (quite literally) and I want to take this brief opportunity to share with you some of these sights that are so often put into the shade as soon as Angkor Wat is mentioned.
I put my hand up to having lost count of the number of entry portals, four-faced Buddha statues and carved porticoes that I saw, but these photos bring back for me the magnificence of the entire complex. It is fascinating to see the number of "monkey soldiers" that form part of the decorative carvings - I wonder if they ever existed or whether they were part of the great tapestry of fantasy and mythology.
Amongst the best known sights thanks to the "Tomb Raider" genre of films is fascinating Ta Prohm. This great temple has been left in much the same condition in which it was found: a photogenic and atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings that have made it one of Angkor's most popular temples with visitors. UNESCO included Ta Prohm on the World Heritage List in 1992.
Into the end of the photos I have "snuck in" 3 of my favourite "non-temple" pictures just for fun:
- The first is of a beautifully 'cool' Chinese lady visitor in a purple shawl who was just too pretty not to include in these highlights!
- The second is a splendid golden winged dragonfly (the photo does not do justice to it's golden wings).
- Finally, from deep in one of the temples is the carving of what I am totally convinced is the Squirrel straight from the "Ice Age" series of films. Go figure how he got there!!!