Angkor Wat

MORE PHOTOS OF SIEM REAP 2005

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  Angkor Wat


 


 

All in all it was a disappointing return for me photographically and not an auspicious first visit for Barbara.   The Wat was over run with people.  There was a huge amount of restoration going on with scaffolding and tarps covering large areas


 I wanted to be here at the end of the rainy season in the hope I would be blessed with a spectacular dawn but once again my timing was off and the dawn failed to enchant, so I took a little artistic license in Photoshop
 

 

This day we were at Angkor before dawn to see the sunrise over the temple then returned later in the day to go inside the grounds.  Even with the crowds, scaffolding and tarps it is always a thrill to cross the causeway and enter the largest religious complex in the World

 

2005 Climbing to the third level

2007 Climbing not possible:
Standing in the Western Gallery is Neak Ta the granter of wishes.  Locals still come here to pay homage to him and make their wishes which are said to always be granted

For many years he stood here without his head which had been taken to the National Museum in Phnom Penh for safekeeping

The two were reunited in 2003


carpenters were busy covering the badly eroded stairs with wooden ones which look just as intimidating as the originals.  The stairs are now open again for visitors to access the third level   


 
As often happens a disappointing time can be turned around by a chance encounter.   I was taking a photo of this cloister when out of nowhere appeared a monk.  I thought he would rush by but he stopped to look at his photo on the camera and stayed to tell us of  life under the Pol Pot regime 

 He is the last remaining member of his family, most perished in the notorious S-21, where only seven of the estimated 20,000 people imprisoned are known to have survived


Just as I was deciding now (November 2007) was not a good time to visit Angkor Wat, everything changed  
The Legend of Angkor Wat
We read in our Bangkok Airways in flight magazine that there was to be a sound and light show at Angkor.  When we got to Siem Reap there were posters all over town but we had a hard time finding ticket sellers and nobody could tell us what to expect.  When finally tracked down the Marketing Co-ordinator told us he had been marketing to the 5 star hotels for almost a year.   No wonder nobody we met knew anything about it

 
 
We choose not to go to the Premier,  figuring it prudent to give them a day to work out any minor glitches.  Ticket sales for the second night were poor (not too surprising) but even so they had managed to sell mine twice. 

 The moon was full and we arrived very early, which gave us time to enjoy the play of lights on the Wat.  It also meant that when the prospective occupant of my seat arrived,   I was firmly attached to it and not about to vacate my front row aisle seat
 
   

 
The brochure promised Angkor Wat would explode in an extravaganza display.  We were to be transported back with the aid of lights, sounds, water screens and other special effects to the re-discovery of Angkor in the mid 19th century and beyond to it's creation

With Apsara dancers and over 100 performers on stage and arranged  around the corridors and windows of the Wat combined with  special effects they delivered on the promise 

Never in our wildest travel dreams did we imagine being there and seeing that

MORE PHOTOS OF SIEM REAP 2005

2007/08 Asia Trip Itinerary | Home Page 3 of 6| Page Down | Page Up