Monday, August 21, 2006


For easy orientation, please click for:

Map of Angkor
Kings of Cambodia
Chronology of Angkor Sites
Some Useful Terms

FIRST ~ Banteay Kdei 100806

The main gate to Banteay Kdei, facing east. This is another Buddhist monastic complex built in the 12th century, also by Jayavarman VII. Same style as the Bayon (note the 4-faced tower at the gate) and Ta Prohm.

Walking past the gate, and a glance to the left, another crumbling temple, yet to be restored.

After the ruins, the remnant of a lake flanks the left side as I walk on.

At the water's edge, a family forages for food.
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The Singhas and Nagas 100806

The main building of Banteay Kdei ...

... guarded by a phalanx of fierce-looking singhas and the multi-headed nagas, which form the start of the balustrades.

And the balustrades end as naga heads too.
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Temple Walk 100806a

Elevated stone path going right through the centre of the temple ruins. Note the naga-headed balustrades.

A revered intact Buddha, in the middle of the temple.

History lesson on the fly.

More Apsaras 100806

More dancing apsaras.

Very graceful. I never grow tired studying these heavenly individuals.

Divine symbol of happiness. Yeah, you bet!
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Temple Walk 100806b

A statue yanked off its feet. Note the metal jutting out. I notice it's not rusting. Looks new!

Pretty Buddhas all in a row, or two ... or three?

More Buddhas carved in stones outside the temple. Probably part of a building once, but has crumbled since.
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The Crumbling Walls 100806

A wall of Banteay Kdei in the state of near-collapse. Note the supports.

Looks crooked, but not camera fault here. Unstable soil, and maybe low quality sandstones used. The whole thing is tilting.

Another impressive-looking mural on the wall.
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The Twin Towers 100806

Follow this mysterious cave-like path, and ...

... you will find the Petronas Twin Towers, next to a headless Buddha. Golden some more!
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More Devatas 100806

More devatas too.

A devata and what looks like an armed guard, welcoming visitors at the northern door.

One beautiful devata.
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The Book-sellers 100806

The rear of the temple. Reminds me of Ta Prohm.

Book-sellers having a rest in the yard at the back of the temple. There's another building there, but we have had enough of temple-exploring for the day.

Items on sale. Don't ask me if they are legit. For a few dollars each, go figure.
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The Dynamic Duo 100806

The duo take a breather after day-long temple-stomping and climbing.

And I take a closer look at the handsome carriages. Costs US$15/day to hire one of these puppies, driver cum guide included, of course. Pleasant for short distances.
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Off to Srah Srang 100806

We return to the main (eastern) gate of Banteay Kdei and ...

... cross the road to take a look at Srah Srang, a 1000-year old reservoir, ...

... while observing the modern work-horses of rural Cambodia.
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Srah Srang 100806

This is Srah Srang, a big artificial lake, 700m x 300m, first built mid-10th century.

Looking east in the late afternoon sun, the towers of Pre Rup, a Hindu temple as old as Srah Srang, in the woods.

Maintenance workers in blue, in the middle of the lake.
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The Terrace 100806

In the foreground the royal landing, complete with the naga balustrades.

The sandstone terrace facing the lake, looking east. Fresh cool breeze blowing from the water.

The spectators. Exhausted. :-)
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