Back to the central part of Angkor. We made leisurely progress through
the Eastern Baray. Now dry, this used to be an vast reservoir back
in the day (7 km x 1.8 km) The Eastern Mebon Temple would have been and
island in the middle of this lake. Here there are enourmous carved
elephants guarding each corner of the temple's base.
Ta Som. The far eastern doorway here is completely overwhelmed by a
Kapok tree. You can still pass though, but it is all firmly in the
grasp of the root structure.
Preah Neak Pean, the Temple of the Intertwined Naga. The Naga is the
sacred seven headed snake, a protector, and there fore often used as
imagery along staircases and walls. This is a tiny temple surrounded by
pools, all dried up now. The temple sits in the middle of a central
pool, with another square pool to each of the cardinal directions.
Next was Preah Khan, the Temple of the Sacred Sword. This was a really
amazing place. Lots of trees taking over buildings and walls, and the
interior is a dense network of narrow passageways and elaborate
carvings of Assei and Apsara. Leading up to it is a stone
causeway bordered with another depiction of the churning the Ocean of
Somewhat jarringly, there is a very greco-roman looking temple in the
middle of the temple complex.
Copyright Estate of Anthony Vail Sloan 2009