Monday, December 15, 2014

Siem Reap Temple Tour, Angkor Wat (In Which I Discover I Love Columns and Endless Hallways)

On the first day after the run, we went on a fantastic temple tour with our tour guide, Sammy, and viewed Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, then ended the afternoon by going to Ta Prohm (famously known as the Tomb Raider temple and, for better or worse, forever associated with Angelina Jolie and her Tomb Raider outfit).

The temples were amazing and I learned that Angkor Wat is actually an entire compound of temples, of which Angkor Thom is one.  I also learned how to tell the difference between a Buddhist temple and a Hindu temple. 

Here, our indefatigable tour guide:
Here we are in our private van for the day:
But of course I had to work for a little bit:
We drove through the Angkor Wat compound that we all ran through the day before, and then began our tour at the back (to avoid the crowds).
Here our tour guide dubbed us the "Girls Generation" and proceeded to snap photos of us as if we were a girl band on tour.  We were only too happy to oblige.

 As you will see... this is the reason for my post title.  I just love the long hallways and columns that pervade the Angkor temples!
 The intricate details are amazing.  The remaining red paint hints at the color that one suffused this incredible site.

 I loved the juxtaposition of the tall, reedy lone palm trees next to the old, decrepit ruins.  It seemed a startlingly modern touch next to the remainders of a civilization long gone.
Look at that blue!  Look at that green!  Contrasted with the dark, fading, gray black stone of the temples, isn't it all achingly beautiful?
Interestingly and sadly, the statues in the temple are nearly all without heads because they were looted and brought to Thailand for money.

See what I mean about hallways and columns?  This place just begs you to worship them!
 We blocked the doorway and our punishment was photo bombers:
 Fun times.

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