Journey of discovery the land of temple (pt2): Angkor Wat – like the life’s bare

Today is the most anticipated day of the journey because we will admire Angkor, was dubbed the “Pyramid of Southeast Asia” due to the voluminous works of architecture as well as the historical size of a once vast empire by storm in the area for several hundred years. With an area equivalent to China’s Forbidden City, of course, we can not visit meticulously every corner within just 1 day. In addition, also have to be honest, not a single member of our team as well as avid fan of architecture or history. Thus, a perfect day to visit the most representative works is probably more than enough for the team, not to mention stamina below 35 degrees heat. We only visit sites that people most often mentioned on screen: Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Banteay Kdei, Ta Prohm. Again, to reiterate, Angkor was not a house but a few area of ​​400m2. Which has numerous temples, palaces and houses are scattered everywhere. What we visit in less than 10% of the truth. Everything is made from boulders, giant, mysterious, sacred … I feel like back in time back to the heyday of this work. Although a lot of the work is subject to the erosion of time, Angkor remains the monumental level that anyone coming here should also gaped admiration.


Once you arrive at the ticket gate, I started very excited. Angkor was once a prosperous capital city under the Khmer empire exists within 600 years (IX-XV). If you like to look at the surrounding dense forests, we can imagine a huge mobilization of human and financial capacity to be able to dredge canals, stone mining, cutting trees to logging can make a large capital 400km2. And the attraction of Angkor even bigger by the interesting historical anecdotes revolving around it. After the empire collapsed in the 15th century, the entire capital sunk in the traditional flowers eternal sleep, no one is known, including the Khmer people. Yet before the first French archaeologists have rediscovered Angkor ruins in the early 19th century, as a miracle.

If Europeans have Rome, Asians Angkor. At the peak period of the empire, has ever had 1 million people live here. Also today, 1 million people was not the indigenous population that is … tourists. Angkor is said to have attracted some 2 million international passengers each year and do not be surprised when our group is just one among hundreds of thousands of people are flocking to it! Understanding the risks will face the sea of ​​people, I had to coordinate with HDV you build a more reasonable schedule to avoid crowded times as possible. That is why we visit Angkor Wat before.

Of course, on the campus of a large 400km2 ancient capital, there are many buildings require massive mobilization of manpower giant but Angkor Wat is considered as the best example of such greatness . According to the record books, this temple was built in the 12th century AD and contemporary king Suryavarman II had mobilized about 300,000 workers and 6,000 elephants to transport construction materials. All stones are mined in an ore here in a hill about 50km. From this hill, the Khmer people had used the Siem Reap river and rocks transported by boat to the town. If you look at the massive Angkor Wat, perhaps we could not help feeling ashamed by Hoang Thanh Thang Long in the Ly dynasty, along with Angkor era, only candle in terms of area as well as the sophistication of sculpture in stone.

Angkor Wat is a work of architecture that is a microcosm of the universe with the concept of Brahmanism. According to this direction, the direction of the temple built to the east-west axis by the east (where the sun rises) symbolizes the birth was west (sunset) symbolizes death.


The entrance of Angkor Wat to the west makes the archaeologists deduced that the structure was built as a kind of royal tombs for. Angkor Wat itself is a metaphor describing heaven, where the reign of the gods. Canals that surround the temple symbolizes the immense ocean. The system of outdoor lobby and the tower is a symbol of the mountains and continents. And the tallest tower in the middle of the heart as a bridge between heaven and earth, or can be understood in astronomy as a bridge between the earth and the universe.

From the main entrance, there is a stone paved road is very long (about 300 meters) to the main power connection of Angkor Wat. Both sides of this road is two fences crystal shaped beam 7 first child. This is a sacred animal originated from Brahmanism came from India. When introduced into Cambodia, the Khmer have added some more features makes the local bar than pure substances, especially in the sea, shaped like dragons, a god of rain to bring water kingdom country. Thus, the crystal to the crossbar 300m along the road are not random because it symbolizes the rainbow connection between earth (external ports) and the realm of paradise where reign of the gods (Angkor Wat).

Angkor Wat has a total of 3 layers of corridors and hallways at outermost layer 2 is a series of intricate sculptures on the surface of the stone wall. Said preliminary, the sculptures on the walls of the corridor surrounded the house more often refers to the legend of Brahmanism, like the Ramayana, the war between the gods ,. .. there are also some historical works depicting the war between the Khmer empire and the neighboring kingdom, which shall include Siam, Champa and Dai Vietnamese.

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Angkor Wat seen from 2nd grade corridor could be seen from the far side of the Arabic theater woods like she “devoured” Angkor Wat. Without the care of community practice Buddhist monks retreat here in the 16-18 century, perhaps its fate will be like so many others, were sprouting weeds and protruded each class roots destroyed wall.

The sculptures on the wall is a rare historical evidence referring to diplomatic relations between the Empire and the Republic of Vietnam Angkor and Champa in the 13th century equivalent of this Dynasty, Cambodia at that time was worth because by a king named Jayavarman VII prominent. This king succeeded in pushing Champa invaders and to conduct a series of socio-political reforms to transform the Angkor kingdom into a mighty empire. They consecutive territorial expansion and defeat the surrounding vassal state. Area empire reached its peak at this time, including the majority of Thailand, southern Laos, Malaysia and the northern part of the western part of Vietnam. Siam (Thailand) and Myanmar is the only identity the vassal state of the empire. To be able to visit and understand the industry tops all these sculptures, maybe it takes about 2-3 hours. Because of time constraints, we only focus on some type representative works, especially those relating to the war between the Angkor empire and the neighboring kingdom.

Obviously there has been a lot of historians obsolete in Cambodia at that stage. But strangely, they do not have a tradition recorded in history books or paper but only on the surfaces of stone carving. That is why historians today face many difficulties in the past to learn because they sometimes have to patchwork the stones scattered around to be able to embroider a historical happenings logical.


In the early 13th century, Buddhism gradually dominated the Khmer society and replace Brahmanism and became the state religion. Angkor Wat is also gradually changed owners, and in the lobby Buddhist sanctuary has been a lot of Buddha statues have been put in two lines on either side. However, over time, and particularly by the war, many statues were destroyed. Under the Khmer Rouge regime, there are many statues were destroyed.

One of the few remaining objects are also lost his head, is not intact. According to experts, most likely those tracing ancient tomb first came here to steal to sell it to people who object giants favorite antiques collectibles. Some members of the museum was the West as France and the UK acquisition and then display in their lobby. Perhaps the Cambodian government to reclaim the legacy of this is difficult to accomplish in the near future.

Angkor Wat is known as a huge collection of works of art of stone carving on the surface and more special, more than 3000 symbols paradise Apsara fairies appear everywhere. Derived from Brahmanism legend, it is said that fairies were born from the foam of the ocean waves. According to experts’ reasoning historians, the reason the fairies apsara sculptures have so many kings of Angkor are as desired as they stood before the sky, will be enjoying a peaceful life with party has apsara dancers of her lavish dance. We can say, it is the sculpture is a precious historical treasures, to help conservation professionals Apsara dance techniques to identify movements or traditional costume for thousands of years ago.

Leaving Angkor Wat, I noticed that some members had expressed some fatigue due to the blazing heat resistant. In addition, during the visit Angkor Wat, the members also seemed attentive to photography rather than pay attention to the words of the guide’s presentation. Realizing this, he guided me and has counseled together and agreed that only added a point to visit again within half an hour and then go to lunch, too. Banteay Kdei Temple is the optimal choice. No grandiose in size and sophistication nor sculpture as Angkor Wat, Banteay Kdei still possess the features that I have to choose it when designing the program. Built in the late 12th century, this is the temple marking the religious transferred between Brahmanism and Buddhism. Indeed, Jayavarman VII built this works as a hermitage for Buddhist, where the monks just focused on practice and recording material scriptures. Themselves right in the Banteay Kdei clearly shows the intent that: Banteay means “neighborhood” was Kdei means “room”, an area with a small room used as a series where each religious retreats Doctorate.

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