Cambodia: Off-the-Beaten Temples of Angkor Archaeological Park

Children playing at the Ta Som Temple

Children playing at the Ta Som Temple

For my long overdue wrap-up post on Cambodia, I’d like to summarize some of the not-so-popular or off-the-beaten-path temples around the Angkor Archaeological Park which I think is worth some people’s look if they have extra time. The park like I always said is huge and warrants considerable number of days to explore all of them. But personally, no matter how grand the structures here are, there are times you would be “Templed Out”. I must admit on our last day there after visiting a major temple, I no longer want to see another brick or ruin again because they started to look the same. hehe. So it is advisable if you mix your temple-hopping with other activities in between to add variety.

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Cambodia: Preah Rup Temple

The upper central tower of Preah Rup

The upper central tower of Preah Rup

I still have quite a lot of materials from my fave temples in Cambodia’s Angkor Wat Archaeological Park. Like I said before, this place is quite huge so there’s a lot of photo opportunity here. I will try to post an entry or two each month until it runs out along with some new materials. Please note that not all travel post are real time, as some materials are posted for documentation purposes as well. And for this entry, is another temple that I enjoyed exploring at the park, Preah Rup Temple.

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Cambodia Tourist Monks, some site updates and news

Monks at Phnom Bakheng

Monks at Phnom Bakheng

Who said monks are restrained by their vow of silence and abstinence of worldy pleasures? I guess times have changed. Like our modern priest and nuns, monks are no longer confined to the walls of their convents or temples. They seem to be open nowadays to explore new things and the world around them.

Monks among the tourist

Monks among the tourist

I found this group of monks who seems to be tourist as well when we were waiting for the sundown at Phnom Bakheng in Angkor Archaological park. I was amused to see them carrying some cool gadgets under their brightly colored robes. To think that another word for buddhist monks are Bikkhus which means beggars, these folks have money to afford gadgets as such.

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Cambodia: Bantey Srei

Exquisite detail carvings

Exquisite detail carvings (height is about 1 foot)

Continuing on with my series of my favorite temples in the Angkor Wat Archaeological Park, this time we venture of quite a distance, 20km away from the main temples and visit the so called ‘Jewel among the Temples Angkor‘, Bantey Srei. If Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom impressed you with its sheer scale, Bantey Srei, which literally translates to ‘Citadel of the women’, will mesmerize you with one of the most celebrated Khmer Art intricately carved along its temple walls.

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Cambodia: Ta Prohm

Rooted doorway at Ta Prohm

Rooted doorway at Ta Prohm

The Angkor Archaeological Park, is huge and there are numerous temples around that you would need at most a week to explore most of them. But like I said before, I would only be featuring some of my favorite temples. One such temple which have also been popularized in the media and one of the most postcard perfect temple scenery is Ta Prohm.

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Cambodia: Khmer Eats

Cambodian Chicken Dish

Moan Cha Kdov (Cambodian Chicken Dish)

Updated: Thank you Toe for the help on naming the dishes 😀

Let me start first that by saying that I’m no food critic nor a gourmet expert and my cooking skills rank below 5 out 10. But one thing I know is that I do appreciate good food and binge into what I really enjoy. And in any adventure, I always try to be as adventurous with the local dish as well. Cambodia is no exception of course, a taste of Khmer Cuisine is a welcome experience.

But apologies if I forgot the names of some of the dishes. Any help on identifying them would be welcome (help Toe! hehe). Like the dish above is a Khmer chicken dish we ate for lunch at a restaurant near Srah Srang worth USD$ 3. It has that semi mint lemon grass taste and the sauce is a bit on a sweet and sour side.

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Cambodia: Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat’s famous sunrise

Angkor Wat’s famous sunrise

I think most people already know that Angkor Wat is one of the most important structures in the world. Since Cambodia finally cleared itself of its land mines and opened itself up for tourism, it gave a lot of people from around the world a chance to finally see this UNESCO World Heritage Site which entranced a lot of people since its discovery. It has been used as a setting for some movies like Lara Croft’s Tomb Raider adventures in Angkor Thom and the profound whispers of Chow Mo-wan in a hole at one of the walls at Angkor Wat in the film In The Mood for Love by Wong Kar-wai, which piqued a lot more interest to the general movie going public. Personally, being a fan of places with scenic ruins overflowing with history, Angkor Wat placed as one of my dream destinations (along with Maccu Picchu). And it has been great that I finally had the chance to walk these hallowed corridors whose walls echo stories withstanding throughout time.

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