Sunday, January 27, 2013

Temples of Angkor, Part II: Bayon

We began our second day of temple exploring with the Bayon, the central temple of the ancient capital city, Angkor Thom. We entered through the south gate, over the long causeway spanning the wide moat, past hundreds of expressive-faced Hindu deities (warring devas and asuras), and under the giant faces keeping guard. As with Ta Prohm, Bayon has been partially and faithfully restored. Thousands of hefty sandstone and laterite blocks have been reassembled back into their impressive bas-relief friezes, narrow hallways, sacred chambers and towers. The temple has 54 spires, each with 4 faces, for a total of 216 half-smiling faces. I overheard one guide say that if the face features open eyes, that symbolizes protection; half-closed eyes means imagination, and closed means meditation.

After Bayon, we had lunch, resting in the shade from the exhausting heat (which is both humid and dry at the same time, somehow), then explored the Terrace of the Elephants, the Terrace of the Leper King, and the treed grounds of the Royal Palace and Phimeanakas.

In the evening, to relieve our weary feet, my mom and I (voluntarily) submerged our feet in a tank of hungry fish, so they could nibble on them. It was so ticklish, and I handled it for the allotted 20 minutes, but barely. But my feet are so much smoother now!

"Puzzle" pieces waiting to be assembled...

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kids, It's fun watching the videos and seeing your pictures and remembering the fun of seeing all those extraordinary temples, geckos, carvings. Also experiencing the amazing traffic of all those little overloaded motorbikes, the tuktuks swirling around each other and us as we crossed the steet. Have lots more fun on your adventures. Love Mum & Dad