Cambodia Travel Story – Overwhelming temple of Angkor
We have some knowledge and understanding of the complex of Angkor in mind. When Angkor was being in front of my eyes, I was overwhelmed, unbelievable and extreme confusing before its magnificence. Angkor is one of the seven wonders of the world, recognized by UNESCO. There were many books, scientific works mention to these architectures.
600 years sleep
From Siem Reap Tourist City, we entered a huge, primary and majestic forest only after 10 minutes of drive. There were many ancient trees with hundreds, even thousands of years in two sides. After 15 minutes, we reached the Angkor complex that we were lost in another world, the world of ancient and mysterious castle – tower. The Angkor complex consisted of many temples, towers, mausoleums, royal palace ... with the function of the capital of the most powerful empire of this country from ancient times.
It consisted of a royal palace, palaces of queens and ministers, with infrastructure of diplomacy, economic, military, cultural-social, and places of worship and ceremony of the state religion, which was Buddhism and Hindu. The width of each temple was 9-12 ha. Perhaps, it was too hard to exploit all the Angkor Temples on a tour even including many days.
The Angkor complex was built in the 11th century, which have been almost 1,000 years old until now. It was built by a mighty dynasty known as the Angkor empire. The constructing time for each temple was about 30-40 years. They were mainly built by stone that was taken from a mountain away from 45 km. At that time, elephants were the facility to transfer the stone that created a path to the temple as a deep river which has passed through Siem Reap city. When completed the temples, the Angkor dynasty was settled and then had occupied by Cambodia for 90 years. After that, the Angkor complex was left over 600 years. Until the 18th century, the French discovered it.
It was so curious about the mystical status and the greatness of the temples or towers from the ancient time that everybody in over the world flocked into the Angkor to admire satisfactorily. They made a big deep protection gallery like a river around the Angkor complex and then put some crocodiles into. Similarly, they also dug this gallery around each of temple and bred the crocodile in. There were four entrances to the Angkor complex, but the entrance to each temple had only one door.
They built a long road which was lengthened hundreds of meters and very big as the highway in Vietnam by connecting the stone at each of entrance. Before entering the Angkor complex, we encountered dozens of big statues, one side stood for good people, the other was the evil people riding the nine-headed dragon which its ending was a gate. In fact, it must be called a watch-tower, because of massiveness with the height of 20 m and the width of 20 m.
There was a stone wall after a deep ditch surrounded at each temple. After the stone wall was the temples and towers. The entrance to the temple usually had three doors. It was divided that the main door for the King, the auxiliary door for ministers and the left door for civilian. The magnificent temples were located behind the walls which was 60- 70 m in height, up to hundreds of meters in width and several hundred meters in length. It had stood the test of time after experiencing the fierce war and the vicissitudes of time.
Some temples which weight million tons, but it now still be good without any depression even 1 cm. All construction materials were made from stone from the wall to the pillars and the cover. How many ten tons of rocks were brought to the top of the tower, 60-70 m in height and what it was made of still be unknowns.
Feast your eyes on mysterious things
In general, the Angkor complex is a great sculpture which is subtle every detail and imbued with culture of Khmer. We always encountered the stone carving from the fence to the roof anywhere. The beliefs, legends of Buddhist and folk including the international relationships, military, economic, cultural-social relations and landscapes and products of Cambodia from 1,000 years ago were expressed in the motifs.
It is a monumental record of Cambodian history. When the next generations (1000 years later) read this one, they will see the life of previous generations who came from 1000 years ago with a lot of interesting things. It is recognized that the modern hairstyle of bride or current performance costumes has been derived from the idea of thousands of statues of Apsara dancers with different faces, costumes, jewelry and hairstyles. The current corrugated iron has been also a version of the rock roofs in the Angkor temples.
Visitors went in great numbers without tiredness, because they were fully interested in the mysterious scenes.
It is so easy to understand that sculpture, painting, and art was strongly developed during the period of Angkor empire because they had schools of sculpture and art.
Moreover, they also focused on the traffic that was very standout with some considerable achievements. There was a large bridge, hundreds of meters in length, approximately 40-50 m in width which was far away from Angkor over 100 km, was built in more than 900 years without any depression (1 cm), made from stone. UNESCO has funded to preserve this ancient bridge.
It was a long, rough and serpentine road to enter the Angkor Temples, but West, Chinese guests, Vietnamese guests … was keeping their united spirit to visit and admire from the great mysteries of the past and the present crowdedly. In addition of the Angkor citadel, it was also the thousand-year-old tree growing on the wall whose roots hanged down as big as houses. There were many nests of honey bees and wasps with diameter of 3 - 4 meters.
Ms. Pho Pha told that one famous film named “Secret of the Tomb” had been filmed by Hollywood in the Angkor complex.
Leaving Angkor, I thought what a wonderful and great world!
Leaving Cambodia, I have impressed too much in mind.