Weekly Photo Challenge: On Top (Angkor Wat)

This week’s WPC challenge is On Top.

Many tourists in Angkor Wat have the frightful experience when they found that they have to climb down the steep staircase after visiting the temples.

An example of the deep steps is shown on the photo.DSC_0109

All visitors stayed on the left hand side where blocks are placed to form half steps and a thin rope on the side are provided.

No one really dared to descend just on the steps as the risers of the steps are too high and the tread widths are very narrow, deterioratedย and irregular.

One just wonders why they have provided steps like this when the temples were firstย constructed. Were they intentionally constructed like this so as to deter people from accessing the temple at the top??

There were other steep flights of steps in Angkor Wat. Rumor has it that one Australian female visitor has fallen down the steps and got killed. Their family, out of grief, donated a chain like hand rail to facilitate the decent of visitors.

On descending that flight of steps, my tatics was to reverse my body so my face was facing the steps ( instead of facing out, creating a feel of height), using both my hands to grip onto the upper treads as I descended cautiously. That worked well and my wife followed suite – while other visitors trembled!



72 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: On Top (Angkor Wat)

    • I believe so, especially with a back pack. This way, you can hang on to the step above with both hands as if it is rung of a ladder. Regards, Michael

  1. The Mayan temple at Chichen Itzen is the same way. It’s so easy to climb up but terrifying to try to climb down. There are no steps and ropes there. I tried walking back down by just staring at my feet and not looking past them. My wife sat down and slid down on her backside, one step at a time.

  2. Michael, when did you go there? When I was there, these steep stairways were chained . No one was allowed to climb up or down. I also heard about the story of the tourist’s death .

    • As a child, I visited a US submarine. After the visit, we were to climb back down from the curved submarine body onto a boat. I was frightened to do so as the ladder has rungs which are very wide apart – as a child I had short legs too – not to say I would be looking out to the choppy sea. I did the same tactics – the same I adopted here!

  3. Your reply to Debra explains what I was wondering. It appears that you took the photo from the middle of the stairway, which would have meant having nothing to hold, and both hands on the camera. Presumably, you used a zoom lens after you got down, but still — you were on those dangerous stairs!

  4. Wonders! Was this real or imagined, make up by the power of ITech? How could it be, as I believe those pictures are of real humans up there! I wouldn’t dare it! But what do we take from this – I mean sort of spiritual application?

  5. ive been up there and i find it scary! its amazing that there are plenty of travellers who go up and not worrying about falling. my knees were shaking and I swear i was gripping the rails to so tight that my knuckles were turning white. do you reckon its worth the climb to the top?

    • Actually, there is not a lot to see up there, but tourists are tourists – they won’t want to miss a chance to see what’s up there – not knowing that the climb down could be difficult / scary! Regards, Michael

  6. Wow, you had some fantastic entries for this week’s challenge and I couldn’t remember that I had anything that was suitable, then yesterday I came across some photos that would have been very suitable.

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