This is Ta Keo, built by Jayavarman V (968-1001) but not finished. It was the first Angkorian monument built entirely of sandstone, including pieces of many tons. The central tower is almost 50m high. No one is certain why construction work stopped.
From this stage of the construction it is very visual that the architects first fit the raw pieces together and built the structure and then add the ornaments.
It is very difficult to climb those stairs as they are unbelievable steep.
Those windows are all along the gallery on the first floor. What might not be too much of a problem with modern technology has been a matter of highly sophisticated craftsmanship about 1000 years ago. All those pillars look exactly the same.
After we are done with this temple we go by moto to a place close to Ta Prohm to have lunch. There are a high number of small businesses catering to tourists, which seem to be rare these days. So the lunch business is very competitive. When we arrive about a dozen of women shout and wave at us, indicating that we should eat at their place. We have extensive lunch while a number of children keep trying to sell books, post cards, and souvenirs.
By the time we finish lunch it starts raining. There are hammocks in the back of most of the huts in which food is served and we decide to stay a bit longer and hang out in hammocks.
The rain is not strong but does not stop so we make it an hour. To get a nap is a good thing to happen to me right now since last night was a short one. And it feels good to be here close to the temples, listening to the rain and resting in a hammock.
Then we move to see Ta Prohm, which is said to be one of the most atmospheric ruins around here.
This is some sort of orchestra on the way. The Musicians do not play when we pass. So I wait since I want to know what it sounds like. They still do not start playing and I put some money into the tin. Now those fellows start playing enthusiastically and I sort of like the sound.
This is the gate.
This is the next gallery.
Inside is a number of Buddha, maintained by old people.
It really is the roots of those old trees what makes a significant part of the fascination of those ruins.
The walls are covered with fine carvings.
This fellow is a famous person among travelers in Cambodia as his picture is on the cover of the current Lonely Planet.
This complex is much bigger than it might appear on these pictures and we spend about two hours exploring it. Than we get on the moto again and go back to Angkor Wat.
This is the pool around the complex, with the outer gallery on the opposite side and the towers of the central sanctum in the background.
This is the gate through the outer gallery.
This is a famous statue of Vishnu, which is standing in the outer gallery. It took my some time to take this picture with the central sanctum in the background.
This is the gate again.
The walls of those galleries are very long and yet covered with fine carvings of apsaras (classical dancers).
This is a place where Khmer Rouge soldiers had fired guns at those carvings.
This is Angkor Wat.
Those pictures are taken from the library.
This is at the gate.
This is inside.
One of the towers.
This is taken from upstairs. In the background is the outer gallery, connected with the central sanctum via the wide road in the center. To the left and right of this road are the former libraries.
The place is in the middle of the jungle.
There are four basins up here. Like the one upfront. They used to be filled with water which was said to have special powers.
A number of statues standing in line along one of the galleries.
Incomprehensible amounts of walls are covered with those fine carvings.
At this point it is about 5 pm. The sun set is said to take place at about 6:30 pm. However, the sun has not been shining for the last few hours and it does not look like there will be anything like a sun set. At the same time we have spend the entire day walking and climbing through ruins and both of us feel tired. So we decide to leave.
Monks in front of what used to be the library.
Monks at the inner side of the outer gallery.
This is on the other side of the road, where security personal is persuading homeless kids to leave the compound, since it does not look good in the eyes of the few tourists.
In the outer gallery. In the background is a Shiva statue. Walls to the right are covered with carvings of apsara dancers the windows to the left are covered with still finer carvings and inscriptions.
This is outside the compound of the Angkor Wat temple.
It is holiday and the place in front of Angkor Wat is a popular place for picnic among locals.
Mr. Kim gives me a lift to the guest house where I have a shower and some rest.
Already yesterday I though it would be a great idea after one day on the moto and another day exploring the temples to find a good massage in town. So I ask Mr. Kim for a blind massage place. Those places can be found in several towns. People who are blind for various reasons get some training from a NGO in massage. This is to enable them to have a job and occupation even with this significant handicap. So going there serves a good purpose. Furthermore, most massage places in most cities are just brothels. Asking for blind massage is a good way of making sure that what is asked for really is just massage.
We find the place and both get us a one hour massage for just $3 each. We leave to have diner and then I decide to go to bed.