Stunning golden pagodas, exquisitely detailed stone architecture, dazzling white temples, serene statues of Lord Buddha placed between tranquil green pools share space with new governmental offices and tree lined boulevards, chromatic slums, crumbling colonial buildings and bustling markets that never fail to enthral and mystify.
The “Great Walled City” or Angkor Thom, the capital of Angkor, was built by King Jayavarman VII said to be the mightiest ruler. Spread over ten square kilometres and enclosed by a hundred meters wide moat also home to beastly crocodiles. Four colossal gates, each large enough to allow the Kings procession to pass by complete with elephants, horse riders and a band, faced in all four directions. The Baryon temple is unparalleled in its sheer size with fifty four towers built to represent the 54 districts of Angkor Wat. Each tower has one face on each of its four sides to represent compassion, knowledge, equality and simplicity. The enigmatic heads of the Bayon, It’s labelled its crowning glory, took twenty one years and many hours of labour to build. The Baryon temple is almost as impacting as Angkor Wat, the carving is not as precise as that of Angkor Wat, which was built forty years before the Baryon, but the influence is just as impressionable.