Sunday, April 12, 2009
We saw three very different temples on our first day out: Angkor Wat, Bayon (Angkor Thom), and Ta Prohm. Ta Prohm means "Ascension of Buddha," and the temple originally served as a Buddhist monastery. While the faces at Bayon gave me an unnerving feeling, Ta Prohm was downright mystical though that likely wasn't the intent of the builder, Jayavarman VII. What makes Ta Prohm mystical is the way in which Angkor's restorers chose not to disturb some of the jungle's reclamation efforts. No, that's not a giant's foot, nor is it the foot of an ent, though that's certainly the image it gave me since I just finished re-reading The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The spot shown below appeared to be the backdrop for the "we were there" shots. We had our guide take one of us, but since it's on younger son's camera, I can't share it here. Finally, the guide said that the scene below had been used in the movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Since I never saw that one (but may Netflix it when I get home), I can't vouch for the veracity of that statement. Either way, it's an incredible scene that reminded me all too much of snakes. And that's Ta Prohm. Because it's now the morning of the day on which we leave Cambodia, and the upload speed for photos is anything but speedy, I may not get the other temples covered even by combining them into one post. We'll see how things go with the next post, one I want to do before the temples because if you've seen my current Facebook status, you'll know that I don't want to overlook this one.