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 Milk.

Somewhat jarringly, there is a very greco-roman looking temple in the middle of the temple complex.

Copyright Estate of Anthony Vail Sloan 2009