Saturday, February 22, 2014

Angkor

By Jason

There are two Angkors:  the temple, Angkor Wat, and the city, Angkor.  Around 1200, when London was only 50,000 people, the city of Angkor was 1 million people.

Khmer kings in Cambodia had the city of Angkor built, including Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm.  They took many years and thousands of people worked on them.  In the temples, there are a lot of carvings, and the carvings are very detailed and perfect.

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is the most special temple in the city of Angkor, and it is also the world's largest religious building.  Suryavarman II had Angkor Wat built.

Jason's drawing of Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
Monkeys battling demons (which the monkeys defeat) at Angkor Wat.  The demon king, which you can't see here, has ten heads.  
One of the towers at Angkor Wat.

Bayon

Bayon is about 800 years old.  Bayon is a Buddhist temple, and Jayavarman VII built Bayon.  There were 54 towers, and each tower had four faces.  If you add up all the faces, you would get 216 faces.  The faces look like Avalokiteshvara, a Buddhist god.  They also look like Jayavarman VII.  There are a lot of bats in the tall towers.

Jason's drawing of Bayon
Jason, at Bayon.
All of the towers at Bayon.
Close-up of a face on one of the towers, at Bayon.

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm is also known as the Tomb Raider temple.Ta Prohm is diffrent from the other temples becuse the trees conquered the temple and you can't see most of the temple.  Ta Prohm is about 800 years old.  Jayavarman VII built Ta Prohm for his mother.

Jason's drawing of Ta Prohm
The trees conquering Ta Prohm

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Vietnam - Video post

By Jamie

Here's a 4 minute video blog post about our time in Vietnam.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Box Turtles

By Jason

We visited a turtle rescue center in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam.  The turtle rescue center helps turtles that are captured from the illegal wildlife trade.  They also try to preserve species that are endangered.  A woman named Sarah gave us a tour and we saw turtles and she taught us about them.  We saw a turtle that was a baby box turtle.  There are many kinds of box turtles in the world.  Box turtles are found in Asia and North America, but there are different species in the two continents.

Sarah Wahl gave us a tour of the turtle rescue center
A young box turtle
There is a hinge on the under side of a box turtle that allows them to close their shell all the way.  When box turtles get scared they close the bottom of the shell.

Under side of a box turtle - look for the hinge, it is just above the thumb and goes straight across the shell


We visited another turtle center in Cambodia on the way to a homestay near Kratie.  I got to hold a box turtle there.

Me holding a baby box turtle in Cambodia
Turtles are really cool but it's not always a good idea to have them as a pet, because they live a really long time.  Some turtles live 50-100 years.  And it's not a good idea to re-release turtles into the wild, because they may have diseases and they may not be found in the area where you live.  There's one species of turtle that is very very bad.  It's called the Red Slider.  It's from the United States and is not native to Vietnam.  It's been released into the wild when people got tired of having it as a pet.  But it eats anything and everything, including other turtles.

Red slider



Here's a good site for more information on box turtles:
http://www.boxturtlesite.info