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Zentraveler showcases Angkor Wat Temple, Cambodia.

Monks Angkor Wat

ANGKOR WAT-THE 7TH WONDER OF THE WORLD.

Angkor Wat, in its beauty and state of preservation, is unrivaled. Its mightiness and magnificence bespeak a pomp and a luxury surpassing that of a Pharaoh or a Shah Jahan, an impressiveness greater than that of the Pyramids, an artistic distinctiveness as fine as that of the Taj Mahal. Angkor Wat is located about six kilometers (four miles) north of Siem Reap, south of Angkor Thom.  Entry and exit to Angkor Wat can only be access from its west gate.

Angkor Wat was built in the first half of the 12th century (113-5BC). Estimated construction time of the temple is 30 years by King Suryavarman II, dedicated to Vishnu (Hindu), replica of Angkor Thom  style of art.

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat, the largest monument of the Angkor group and the best preserved, is an architectural masterpiece. Its perfection in composition, balance, proportions, relief’s and sculpture make it one of the finest monuments in the world.

Large Temple

Wat is the Khmer name for temple (the French spelling is “vat “), which was probably added to “Angkor “when it became a Theravada Buddhist monument, most likely in the sixteenth century. After 1432 when the capital moved to Phnom Penh, Angkor Wat was cared for by Buddhist monks.

Angor Wat

It is generally accepted that Angkor Wat was a funerary temple for King Suryavarman II and oriented to the west to conform to the symbolism between the setting sun and death. The bas-reliefs, designed for viewing from left to right in the order of Hindu funereal ritual, support this function.

Angkor Wat is a miniature replica of the universe in stone and represents an earthly model of the cosmic world. The central tower rises from the center of the monument symbolizing the mythical mountain, Meru, situated at the center of the universe. Its five towers correspond to the peaks of Meru. The outer wall corresponds to the mountains at the edge of the world, and the surrounding moat the oceans beyond.

Entrance Angkor Wat

The Angkor Wat Temples are so amazing I can honestly say words cannot describe this experience, however If you can’t visit Angkor Wat there is a plethora of excellent research from scientists, paleontologists, geographers, photographers, scholars and historical architects.

Even though Angkor Wat is the most photographed Khmer monument, nothing approaches the actual experience of seeing this temple. Frank Vincent grasped this sensation over 100 years ago.

Photo Opt

The general appearance of the wonder of the temple is beautiful and romantic as well as impressive and grand it must be seen to be understood and appreciated. One can never look upon the ensemble of the vat without a thrill, a pause, a feeling of being caught up onto the heavens. Perhaps it is the most impressive sight in the world of edifices.

Entwined Trees

Angkor Wat occupies a rectangular area of about 208 hectares (500 acres) defined by a laetrile wall. The first evidence of the site is a moat with a long sandstone causeway (length 250 meters, 820 feet; width 12 meters, 39 feet) crossing it and serving as the main access to the monument. The moat is 200 meters (656 feel) wide with a perimeter of 5.5 kilometers (3.4 miles).

Female God

There are several options available for viewing Angkor Wat which include a tuc-tuc pickup at your hotel who will take you to the ticket office to purchase your ticket. They will photograph you and will be embedded on your ticket useful for various checkoff points amongst the many temples.  Your tuc tuc driver even though quite knowledgeable about the temples is not a licensed guide.  He will stay with you all day and drop you off at various temple sites and pick you up later as you walk through the historical temples.

Buddhist Monk

This was the choice I used, however his signage or communication says Tuc Tuc tour Angkor Wat approximately $10.00 us dollars, which does not include your entrance ticket another $10.00.  Make sure you have loose cotton clothing, extra bottles of water, and comfortable walking shoes…as you will be doing some serious trekking on a one day outing.  They have local eateries for snacks, water and going to the toilet.  Did I mention maybe a good idea to take your camera or cameras and take digital pictures till the cows come home. Also don’t forget to give your tuc tuc driver some bottled water and a tip…they provide an excellent service.

Kings Swim Pool

Other options include a guide which would be very informative, a three day pass which is still not enough time to photograph, and grasp the grandeur and enormity of these temples. Second day you could bicycle out… have lunch and just kick back while taking in the sites.

Temple Outdoor

So there you have it!  If you want to experience one of the greatest world heritage sites in the world…jump on an airplane, bus in from Thailand, take a river cruise or arrive on a water buffalo and just like that you are now a part of the wonder itself. Tip: Seeing Angkor Wat at sunrise should be on anyone’s must-see list. You won’t be the only one there, however. Expect a lot of tourists! It’s still best to go at sunrise, as more tourists arrive later in the day, and the heat becomes stifling anyway.

Contour Temple

QUOTE: God is in the details.  If our people can build Angkor Wat they can do anything.

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: The sun rising behind the five signature lotus-like towers, combined with the artificial pools situated in front of the temple, creates a perfect mirror perspective that enhances this heavenly and colorful natural display.  It’s a beautiful sunrise and a magnificent sandstone temple worth seeing twice, at the same time.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Old Temples and such they are a goldmine if preserved.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Add Angkor Wat to your travel and bucket list and enjoy one of the seven wonders of the world.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.  Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

 

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Filed under Angkor Wat, Angkor Wat Cambodia, Angkor Wat Siem Reap, Angkor Wat Temple, Uncategorized

Zentraveler buses to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

 

Angor Wat Temples

After spending a week in Phnom Penh the bustling capital of Cambodia I went to a travel agent and purchased a bus ticket on Mekong Express Limousine Bus lines to Siem Reap on the northern part of Cambodia.  You never know what you are going to get when you book a bus as the travel agents are biased to certain bus companies and often offer a lesser less convenient service.

All aboard as I am picked up at my hotel and delivered to the Limousine Bus which was as the name implies.  After adjusting my very comfortable seat with ample leg room the female bus attendant gave each passenger a sandwich and a bottle of water and the bus had a toilet in the back of the bus…which is really a nice luxury to have especially on long trips.

Local Tuc Tuc

You can tell immediately If you have a good bus driver as he shifts smoothly and keeps the bus at even speed without passing on curves, blowing his horn. as if that would make a difference to a water buffalo or turned over tractor trailer truck on a blind curve. This bus trip was absolutely amazing and gave  passengers time to enjoy the scenery consisting of  huge rice fields, water buffaloes, cattle egrets and small towns as we proceeded north.

Elephant Hotel

We had a twenty minute snack break with local foods and a sit down restaurant. We arrived in Siem Reap in five hours even though the agent said it was six hours.  Bus stations are a challenge worldwide…you never know exactly where the bus might stop and then get your next mode of transport to the hotel district.  Thank god for the internet since it told you to either take regular taxi (expensive) or take local tuc tuc with the exact fee to pay.

I hopped in the first tuc tuc and negotiated the price to the tourist area and off I went like royalty in their well appointed tuc tucks with comfortable seats and open air to take in the sights as you motored along.  Siem Reap is a bit of a mystery as you cruise along wide treed streets with French Architecture and well appointed corporate and local buildings nestled into the landscape.

Pub Street

Immediately you think to yourself this city has style and would be an excellent place to hang your hat for a while.  It has fresh bakeries, many excellent restaurants, coffee shops everywhere, many churches and religions, hospitals and local clinics, and an entire block called Pub Street which is a great place to take a beer, eat in its many restaurants, ideal for a night out of bar-hopping, enjoy local bands or just people watch.  It reminds me of New Orleans during Mardi Gras, but here the party goes on every night of the year.

Another plus factor about Siem Reap is the cost of living is quite reasonable and a retiree could easily live here for under $1000 per month.  Hotels run the gamut from cheap to expensive and I found a brand new boutique hotel with a large room for $300 dollars a month and had its own bar and healthy cuisine located in the green area only five minutes from down town.

Angor Wat

What draws millions of visitors to Siem Reap is their ancient temples called Angor Wat. Angkor Wat is a UNESCO Archaeological Site and is listed as the 7th Wonder of the World.

Buddhist Monk

Angkor Wat is the ultimate expression of Khmer genius – an awe-inspiring temple that is stunning for both its grand scale and its incredible detail.  Angkor Wat, in its beauty and state of preservation, is unrivaled. Its mightiness and magnificence bespeak a pomp and a luxury surpassing that of a Pharaoh or a Shah Jahan, an impressiveness greater than that of the Pyramids, an artistic distinctiveness as fine as that of the Taj Mahal. Angkor Wat is located about six kilometers (four miles) north of Siem Reap.  Listed as one of the best travel destinations in the world… Angkor Wat will not disappoint.

Stilt House River Tour

Another adventure which should be on your list is a river tour to Tone Lake Sap area where you can take a local boat and  experience river life at the small town of Kampong Khleang which feels genuinely untouched and peaceful.  You will see stilt houses as far as the eye can see. More than a village, Kampong Khleang is a small town with its schools, its 3 pagodas, its clinics and everything such a large community requires to function. For those of you who have never seen such things before, it is a truly mind-boggling experience.

Travel like the Natives

Once your boat navigates away from the stilt houses, you will enter the “actual” floating village: several dozens of wooden houses floating on the river. The village moves along the river according to the seasons, and even sits on Tonlé Sap lake during the dry season. Just amazing.

One of the best things about Kampong Khleang is that the boat service is still owned by the locals, which means that the money we spend on the boat trip gets back to the community. We really hope it remains this way.

Zentraveler

So there you have it Siem Reap is a hidden gem that has something for everyone and should definitely be on your bucket list as a travel destination.

Magnificent Culture

QUOTE: “If a picture is worth a thousand words, why did God invent captions?” -David Mellonie

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: Angkor Wat ( or “Capital Temple”) is a temple complex in Cambodia  and the Largest Religious Monument in the World, with the site measuring 162.6 hectares (1,626,000 m2; 402 acres).[ It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple of god for the Khmer Empire, gradually transforming into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Our Historical Temples…they are a reflection of who we are.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: If you plan to go to Siem Reap, Cambodia you should be dressed like the famous Indiana Jones, carry a professional looking camera, some round spectacle glasses and a leather bound copy of poetry in your back pocket.  Also Beards are welcome as you mingle with the pseudo-intellectuals who are sipping strong coffee, munching on French croissants and vividly re-living past civilizations.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.  Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

 

 

 

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Filed under 7th wonder of the world, Angor Wat Temples, Pub Street, River Tour, Siem Reap, Uncategorized, UNESCO Archaeological Site