Who doesn’t like a good wander through temples? It feels like I am sent back in time. Priceless feeling, no? The peace is a bliss in a world where rushing is pretty much the only acceptable way of living in our modern society. I’m looking forward to our new adventure to hopefully be able to slow down. I count a lot on our backpacking trip through central and South America to remind me who I am without feeling the need to rush around, simply enjoying life, rush free. But wait, I’m drifting here. Where was I?
Oh yeah, Cambodia, December 2013… When our reunion happened to be in South East Asia (read Vietnam and Cambodia), we immediately added Angkor Wat to our itinerary. We couldn’t wait to go there and check what fellow travelers reported as a wunder! I was s bit skeptical, South East Asia has a lot (lot lot) of temples and every time I visit one, I think that I have seen them all and that I am done “templing”. Temple me once, shame on you. Temple me twice, shame on me or something like that. I was wrong (Again! Damn you temples! How do you dare challenging me?) and I discovered another amazing place on Earth.
If Angkor Wat was beautiful, its neighbors were even more incredible to me and I am very much delighted to take you to Angkor Wat and its surroundings this week.
About Angkor Wat, Cambodia
- It is located in Cambodia and was built by Suryavarman II
- Angkor Wat means city of temples and was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992
- It is one of the most important tourist attractions in Cambodia
- The temple adorns the National flag
Angkor Wat’s random and funny facts:
- It is the primary reason that more than 50% of international tourists visit Cambodia
- Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world
- Angkor Wat is unusually oriented to the west, a direction typically associated with death in Hindu culture
- Over 3’000 nymphs (known as beguiling apsaras) are carved into Angkor Wat’s walls
If you have 24 hours in Angkor Wat, have fun:
- Watching the sunrise at Angkor Wat. This was an incredible experience even though people were not very civilized. Have I already shared my strong aversion to selfie sticks and girlfriends on boyfriends’ shoulders?!. They made it difficult for people like me who claimed that they are not short, their size is cute!
- Discovering Angkor Thom, which means”great city”.
- Admiring the carvings in Bayon, a Khmer temple. The stone faces, serene, smile right back at you and you almost do not want to leave!
- Wandering in the beautiful Baphuon temple, a former Shiva temple, with its very steep stairs but worth to “climb” them! It was definitely one of my favorite parts of the full on day!
- Walking through the roots of those trees growing from temple ruins in Ta Prohm (made famous by Lara Croft)
You can certainly spend more than one day “templing” around, admiring the architecture and learning a bunch of historical and cultural facts (which doesn’t necessarily have to be boring, school days are over!). I somehow found a day of wandering through temples enough… until next time!