Photo Reflections: Visions of Angkor Part 1: Angkor Wat

I’ll preface the next series of posts (there should be three) by saying “I’m not a historian.” The statues, inscriptions, and details of every facade, archway, and so on are not going to come back to me easily. So. I will instead leave readers of this blog to learn more about the Angkor Empire on the their own, and instead provide some commentary on my experience at the Angkor temples near Siem Reap. I should say that Angkor Wat, which is how most people know the temple systems near Siem Reap, is a blanket term used by a lot of people but is actually inaccurate: each temple complex has its own name, with sub-names for the structures within. That’s how I’ve chosen to divide the photo galleries. Fun fact: Angkor Wat isn’t even the largest (in terms of ground-space) of the complexes, but it is probably the most impressive.

Jason and I did not get to see every temple. We also only spent one day checking the temples out. Tour guides recommend 2-3 days. I don’t know about three whole days (though if you’re an enthusiast you might spend even longer than three days) but I do feel like I could go back and learn more, which I will be doing, in November. You might also be interested to know that though it seems like your average sunny day outside, it was some of the hottest weather we saw, and was exhausting. More than exhausting. It’s hard to even think, which makes it even harder to think about how the feats of these temples were made in the first place.

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Below: the ruins of an Angkor library:

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Fortunately we weren’t touring at the height of tourist season. I could just imagine the grounds being filled with thirty times more people, and it being almost impossible to move around without seeing someone else.

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Missing a tail:

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Don’t sit on the snakes:

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