Still talking about Cambodia. We did visit Angkor Wat on the second day and really took our time looking at the largest series of carved reliefs in the world. They mostly depict stories from Indian Epics and Angkor period wars and are beautifully carved. It is still possible to get up close and Asians usually touch them for good luck, something which has caused the surface to become shiny, one wonders how much longer it will be before they have to be protected from the people like Stonehenge in England and the Parthenon in Greece.
This is a shot of one of the most famous of the releifs showing “The churning of the sea of milk”You have demons on one side pulling with the soldiers on the other side and in thus doing so the waters of life are released and a new world can begin.
This shows a vision of hell on the bottom panel.
Angkor Wat faces west a direction associated with death in the Hindu world view, leading scholars to think it may have been erected as a funerary temple. Suryavarman II (1113-50) had it built using 1,200sq. Meters of sandstone . It is designed to represent the Hindu universe in miniature its 5 towers symbolizing the peaks of Mount Meru.
This is me trying to climb up to the top level, it was very steep and at first I gave up, then decided as I had climbed up Chichen Itza in
Mexico I could do this.
This is a view from the top of Angkor Wat.
A later statue of Buddha being protected by a naga from the rain. Khmer style naga heads.
Me descending from the upper level, very scary and very hot! At least their was a railing, going up their was nothing to hold onto only the very narrow steps.
A corridor at Angkor showing the distinctive balustrades.