While stuck here in Siem Reap domestic airport due to flight delay. With thanks to my camera which conked out on me yest. I'm having this opportunity to blog on the go from my phone about Angkor Wat. =P
Angkor Wat: 'World's largest religious building' (Lonely Planet: Southeast Asia on a Shoestring Budget. Published Jul 2012.)
'The hundreds of temples surviving today are but the sacred skeleton if the vast political, religious and social centre of the ancient Khmer empire. Angkor was a city that, at it's zenith, boasted a population of one million when London was a small town of 50,000. ... ... Right to dwell in structures of brick or stone was reserved for the gods.' (Lonely Planet: Southeast Asia on a Shoestring Budget. Published Jul 2012.)
I went with 2 friends on this trip and after reading reviews of the amazing sunrise at Angkor Wat. We jumped onto the bandwagon and reached at 5.15am (Camobodia time) to watch the sun rise.
After seeing the rise - which in my own honest opinion - is a different sense of amazing and breathtaking. It didn't 'wow!' me like I thought it would and I would swap it any day with a visit to Tibet.
Anyways. We 'caught' out breakfast by the roadside before departing on the tuk tuk to Bayon. US$1 for a bowl of hot steaming pork porridge.
At the gate before entering Angkor Thom. We saw 2 rows of statues depicting '54 demons and 54 gods engaged in an epic tug of war on the causeway.' (Lonely Planet: Southeast Asia on a Shoestring Budget. Published Jul 2012.)
Angkor Thom was the last great capital of the Khmer empire and what we saw following did take our breaths away - literally.
Wishing stones I believe. Stacked on top of another. Each with a prayer for a better future.
I took the chance to climb up the steps. And it was vertical enough to make you afraid to go down.
A chance of life at Bayon. 'These huge visages glare down on every angle, exuding power and control with a hint if humanity - precisely the blend to required to hold sway over such a vast empire, ensuring disparate and far-flung populations yielded to the monarch's magnanimous will.' (Lonely Planet: Southeast Asia on a Shoestring Budget. Published Jul 2012.)
And literally - breathtaking. The few hundreds of stairs we had to take in an almost vertical basis again.
And the Terrace of the Elephants.
A short ice cream pit stop before heading over to Ta Phrom.
One of the gates entering into the temple that was ruined by trees. 'Many temples were ruined by humans or animals. Ta Phrom is ruined by trees.' (Overhead from one of the tour guides bringing a group of tourists around.)
A friend taking picture of the other at the tree.
It was a great difference before and after conservation efforts. And it juz makes me think of the amount of work put into it.
If I would come to Angkor again? I'll aim for the sunset at Angkor Wat this time. =)