Day 1 Morning Tour: Grand Circuit

1. Preah Khan

Preah Khan is Jayavarman VII's first capital before the completion of Angkor Wat. Large and atmospheric, yet somewhat overshadowed by Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm. This temple is partly in disrepair with strangler figs crawling up the walls, but has some excellent carvings and less visitors, and is well worth a visit. The temple is some 3kilometers north of Angkor Thom.

# Main entrance

# Churning of the Ocean of Milk, most of the head have disappeared

# Entrance to the temple is under renovation, we are using the side door to enter

# Little Ta Phrom

# This tree is unique right?

# More photos

My friends thought this is Angkor Wat. :-p As they didn't look at the itinerary. One of them accidentally deleted all his pictures but he said it's ok as long as it's not Angkor Wat. LOL...

2. Neak Pean

Neak Pean has a large square pool surrounded by four smaller square pools. In the centre of the central pool is a circular “island” encircled by the two naga whose intertwined tails give the temple it’s name.

In the pool around the central island there were once four statues, but only one remains, reconstructed from the debris by the French archaeologists who cleared the site. The curious figure has the body of a horse supported by a tangle of human legs. It relates to a legend that Avalokiteshvara once saved a group of shipwrecked followers from an island of ghouls by transforming himself into flying horse.

# the flying horse

3. Ta Som

The central area of Ta Som is in a ruined state, but restoration by the World Monument Fund is getting closer to completion.

# The western entrance

# Some unrestore stones

# My crazy travel mates

# Statue of Apsara

# The square door way. It's very common to see this kind of doorway in the temples

The most impressive feature at Ta Som is the huge tree completely overwhelming the eastern entrance. A lot of tourists came here just want to take photo here.

# We are using this way to go out

# After passing the entrance, here is the tree overwhelming the entrance.

4. East Mebon

Located on what was an island in the now dry East Baray, this is a large, three-story temple-mountain crowned by five towers, like a miniature Angkor Wat. Originally built by Rajendravarman II in the 10th century, many structures are in poor shape, but the temple is best known for its massive (restored) elephant statues.

# Elephant statue

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