Well its only 9am and we are onto Baphuon in Angkor Thom, our 3rd temple, after 2 of the best this morning! Baphuon isn’t as impressive, and you really have to look hard to see the apparent lying Buddha at the rear of the temple, but it is quite long and actually makes up the wall itself so its cool in that sense. The reason the temple is less impressive is because it was built on sand, and over time it collapsed in various parts. Restoration is also difficult and was currently underway.
The Terrace of the Elephants is, as the name suggests, an intricate Terrace covered in Elephants, and makes up part of the Walled city of Angkor Thom. It leads out to a large open area with grass, trees, and the road paths around the Big and Little Loop, and at 350m long its not hard to imagine it being the center of ceremonies.
Ta Keo is possibly the first sandstone temple by the Khmers, is a five-tier pyramid, and has huge, steep steps leading to the top. We were practically climbing our way, up with some of the steps more than 2 feet high, and very narrow.
Ta Prohm is famous because it was used as a location for one of the Tomb Raider films. While I’ll admit to having watched both films once (it is, Angelina Jolie, after all) I have no real memory of it. I can’t remember the actual scene or even which of the two films it is from. Ta Prohm is also billed as the “jungle” temple of Angkor, but really that claim clearly goes to Beng Mealea. The best thing about Ta Prohm is the huge trees overgrowing the temple. Thick roots and vines and massive trunks dominate the area. There is a platform in front of one of them and we think that was a particular spot from Tomb Raider…Who knows?!
Last stop for the day is Preah Khan, a flat temple that didn’t hold our interest very long, especially after the better part of 8 hours! Then back on our tuk tuk to head for food and drinks!