Thursday, 10 April 2014

Ruolos - the earliest temples in Angkor

The last temples visited on this trip were the group at Roluos, which used to be an ancient centre of Khmer civilization known as Hariharalaya - these are actually the earliest temples in Angkor, dating from the 9th century.  The group of three temples - Preah Ko, Bakong and Lolei, all have similar architecture, decorations and materials - brick towers on raised platforms.

Preah Ko includes a group of six towers in two rows of three

The sacred bull from which Preah Ko got its name

The lintels here are considered the most beautiful of classic Khmer art 

These fake doors look familiar - the ones at the libraries in Banteay Srei are very similar

Bakong - spring flowers were out! 

Bakong was the earliest temple mountain representing Mount Meru with five levels leading to the central sanctuary, corresponding with the mythical world.  We saw this pattern repeated at the main temple in Angkor Wat.

Looking down from Bakong you could see the new Buddhist temple beside it

This marks the end of our Angkor visit.  It was three amazing days of temple touring - we've never seen so many temples in our lives!  In the end, it was temple overload.  If I were to do Angkor all over again, I would either spend more than a few days here, or visit fewer temples and look at them in greater detail. While they were all different, it was impossible to appreciate them all in the space of a few days other than say "been there done that". Most people we asked allotted three days to visiting the temples and then cram as many of them into the three days as their stamina would allow them.  It is not the best way to enjoy these temples!

Next:  Singapore!  I was dragging my feet when I had to forego Bangkok for Singapore but it turned out I was nicely surprised by the city state.


  1. Wow, after viewing all your temple photos here, I don't think I need to go to Angkor
    Wat. Nice photography of the architecture.

  2. That was what I said after seeing travel photos of Machu Picchu. But I'm glad I ended up going because seeing it in person is not like looking at photos.