Archive for June 13th, 2008

This Little Place Called Angkor Wat

It’s hard to grasp the scope of this place on the first visit. At first it seems like just a bunch of stone piles in the jungle and rice fields.

But after a few days of seeing so many immense stone structures in various states of ruin spread out across a wide area, and to realize this was all done some 1000 to 800 years ago, the size and scope of this place begins to sink in.

It was quite an experience to wander through countless doorways and passages that lead further into the heart of these walled city-temples.

There is something haunting and mysterious in hearing the high pitch squeal of the insects all around after stepping back out into the light from the many interior spaces and chambers, many with strange ancient and current alters.

And there are always figures, and faces staring back at you.

Of course there are many interesting sights along the way from one temple to another, which may be miles away.

And the children are always eager to pose and look at a funny looking photographer.

There so many temple complexes, usually within huge stone walls that sometimes have given way to immense trees that are slowly reclaiming the stone back to the earth.

Any one of the many sites here would be a major historical site anywhere else. The Angkor Wat site itself (just one of many) is considered to be the largest religious structure in the world. Of course with so many temples spread across the landscape, even it can get lost in the forest. And when one tries to imagine how all this was built so long ago, it may just be easier to sit back, have a cold one, and just enjoy the view.