Siem Reap, Angkor Wat and the temples of Angkor
Trip Start Aug 19, 2010
92Trip End Aug 31, 2011
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The sheer size and detail of this place is mind blowing. It is made from sandstone and each and every large brick has been chiselled out to show all sorted of stories, the fact that the original builder would have taken these stones across a river by boat and constructed these buildings without all the modern day technology is again, mind blowing.
We woke up at 4am to see the sunrise over the most famous of these temples, Angkor Wat. The tuk tuk driver whom our friends we met from the visa scam had organised for us all for the day from their hotel had not showed
Sunrise was amazing, it was beautiful. We cant say we are not a little disappointed by the scaffolding in places and the construction still going on but we understood how vast these temples are and how many years they have been standing, they need constant care as they are still a place of worship.
We walked around soaking it all in for hours, some of them are mazes with massive large green spaces in the middle and huge stone building towering above us. We went to the middle of the buildings where there was always a shrine and a few people offering incense for a donation and a red cloth bracelet, like in Hinduism, I think these ones stand for long life. We both particularly enjoyed the Churning of the Ocean of Milk where there are gods (92!) and devils (88!) holding a snake who churn the sea to get the elixir of immortality. The structure was amazing and it felt like we were in an Indiana Jones films. There are countless other stories about each building but this would take a lifetime to document here!
It was getting hot and we had appreciated the early rise for the cool morning, we soaked up more temples and saw one where the trees had fused into the stones which was amazing. The temples are known as the 'ultimate fusion of creative ambition and spiritual devotion that are a source of inspiration and profound pride to all Khmers’ and to have experienced these temples left us feeling insightful and in awe of human capacity.