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cambodia - angkor wat

Written on: Tuesday February 12th, 2008

A journal entry from: South East Asia 2008

note: one picture is included, while some of my others are here on flickr.

the temples surrounding the angkor wat region are too much for words. if you go to cambodia, you really must see them. the temples were built as grand, long-standing statements by kings in order to honour the gods (and themselves). the most obviously outstanding jewel in the crown is Angkor Wat (best seen at sunrise - like we did) but there are many gems to take in using your 1 or 3 day pass.

we were shuttled from our guesthouse to temple to temple by our driver. we were AT Angkor Wat for sunrise and didn't come home for about a dozen hours. we were hot, with the dirtiest feet i've ever seen, but completely amazed.

standing at the feet of these iconic monuments from centuries passed is humbling.

the dedication, planning and execution is simply unbelievable. the fact that some of these sites are over 1000 years old only adds another layer to it.

unfortunatley, like a lot of cambodia, there is still garbage thrown everywhere. there are even garbage cans! ugh.

wandering though the ruins (some of the temples are still very much together, while others stand in picturesque decay) is just a glimpe of another time and civilization - and such a treat to experience.

if you're looking for special photos of an "ANCIENT TEMPLE", go to Ta Prohm. old trees with their root-tenticles have taken over the grounds, punishing the temple and reclaiming it as nature.

it can be very difficult to get unspoiled (ie: without tourists) photos because of the amount of people who go to see angkor wat every day. patience is a virtue here -- as you will definitely need to wait for people to move out of your shot...even the completely oblivious ones. hang out, appreciate it, and you'll probably get the shot. if not - there are plenty of kids selling post cards outside.

seeing the grounds surrounding angkor wat should obviously be part of any first trip to cambodia - but don't make Siem Reap your only khmer destination. this country has so much to offer and experience.

order of what we saw:

  • Angkor Wat
  • Bayon
  • Terrace of the Elephants
  • Terrace of the Leper King
  • Ta Keo
  • Ta Prohm
  • Banteay Kdei
  • Sras Srang
  • Pre Rup
  • East Mebon
  • Ta Som
  • Preah Neak Peam
  • Preah Kahn

one picture is included, while some of my others are here on flickr.