Sunday, February 22, 2009

Gates galore

You can just see the Gate of the Dead through the forest of trees, outside the walled city
From the Prasat Chrung shrine in the southeast corner of Angkor Thom to the Gate of the Dead (East Gate) is less than five minutes by bicycle, though a big hole in the wall and the track meant one short diversion through the adjoining forest of trees. The moat at the foot of the wall had been replaced with rice fields and a few farmers shouted their hellos, as I carried by mountainbike down the embankment for a quick ride through the secluded gate and into the forest to see where the track took me. After five minutes I was still surrounded by trees, so turned back and climbed the other side of the East Gate to continue my ride along the top of the wall until I reached the Victory Gate. I highlighted both of these massive gates topped by the engaging four faces in recent blog entries, so will just post a few new pictures from my latest trip to the eastern wall of Angkor Thom.
A large hole in the wall of the ancient city and the track disappeared as well The shaded track as I approach the Gate of the Dead (East Gate)
The face of Jayavarman VII on the southern approach to the East Gate
Outside the city of Angkor Thom, this is the secluded East Gate through the trees
Praying figures on the side panel of the East Gate
The face of Jayavarman VII looks eastwards from the Gate of the Dead
The Victory Gate, from outside the ancient city looking eastwards
The east entry to the Victory Gate and the heads of the demon guardians
The imposing face of Jayavarman VII at the Victory Gate
A row of five praying worshippers on the Victory Gate



Anonymous Anonymous said...

is it possible to ride a motorbike along the walls?


February 23, 2009 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

don't be so lazy....only joking.
I tried that with my friend Rieng a few years ago and we were thwarted by the breaks in the walls both at the gates themselves but also a couple of big holes that we couldn't get past on a moto.
Even on a cycle it was a bit of an adventure and carrying the bike up & down a few of the wall collapses was tricky, including one where I had to lie flat, with the bike, to scramble under a very large fallen tree trunk.
So I reckon its impossible to do the whole trip on a moto and getting up and down at the Gates would be a tricky prospect as the embankment walls can be pretty sheer for anything other than someone on two feet. For example, older people may find the trip simply too difficult without lots of help to negotiate the Gates (without being disrespectful to 'older' people).
Sorry to be the bringer of negative news Allan.

February 23, 2009 at 1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cheer's andy.. was just curious ;) cuz I'll be travelling with Sokhom in April.. and was contemplating on doing maybe sections if i had any time ;0

but cheers for the thumbs up.. really enjoy reading your adventure travels!


February 23, 2009 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

you didn't tell me you were using Sokhom. That man is capable of anything, I should know after years of enjoying his amazing skills across northern Cambodia. Alas even the mighty Sokhom would find some sections impassable, though that hasn't stopped him before! He is what you would call resourceful. Yes you can do some sections but others will be impossible.
Have a great trip nonetheless.
I saw Sokhom recently and he gave me a spin in his car. But he is still doing moto trips too, though like everyone who progresses, he'd prefer these days to do the long trips by car - and who would blame him. Though in my view you miss so much when you are in a car, as opposed to a 100 cc moto!
Thanks for the compliments.

February 23, 2009 at 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeh i've already arranged a meet with sokhom for
Sisophon - Banteay Chhmar - Oddar Meanchey - travelling in the country towards siemreap .. a few days in siemreap and beng melea

then break during cambodian new years

after cambodia new years meet him in Kampong Thom, travel to Kaov and travel along ancient highway visiting bridges to Preah Bakan, then up to Tbeng Meanchey, to some ruins between/north till Koh Ker, and then back to Siemreap ;)

Ah-Kun Andy

Hope to one day visit as Many angkor ruins as you have... 215 and counting so far hahaha


February 23, 2009 at 4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

also ive also got a small list of Khmer Ruins in SOuth VIetnam if you are interested :) (did you get the list of ruins in Laos that i sent you via email a few months ago?)


February 23, 2009 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

hi Allan,
yes I'd love the list of ruins in Vietnam, thanks. And yes I've got the Laos list. Sorry I didn't send an ack'ment of their receipt.
well you certainly sound as though you have a long and interesting trip on your hands with Sokhom. If I need his services I'd better get my booking in quick!
Make sure you get a copy of the CISARK province maps that show all of the known archaeological sites in the country. Allied to the CISARK website, they are a goldmine of information.

February 24, 2009 at 8:55 AM  

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