After a lovely time in Phnom Penh, we took a bumpy bus ride across the country to Siem Reap, home of the famed Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, the world’s largest Hindu temple complex, and the overall largest religious monument (of any faith), anywhere in the world. The temple complex was built in the 12th century, and was originally dedicated to Vishnu, a Hindu god. However in 1177, Angkor was attacked and a new empire came to power. Gradually the temple was changed from a Hindu house of worship to a Buddhist one. While never fully abandoned, the temple complex became used less over time. The surrounding jungle grew up around it, hiding the temple while simultaneously preserving it. Angkor Wat was continually used by Cambodian people, but it wasn’t until the late 1500′s that it was “discovered” by Westerners and began to gain worldwide fame.
One thing I didn’t realize about Angkor Wat is just how big it is. The complex is surrounded by a wall, which encloses 820,000 square meters of land (203 acres). Seeing all of Angkor Wat would take more than a couple of days. Unfortunately for us, the day we went I felt terrible. The whole time in Cambodia I had a lingering sensation of nausea, but I never actually got sick. I like to call our day at this famous temple “the day I tried not to puke on Angkor Wat.” I would walk for a while, take some pictures, and then sit in the shade and try not to vomit. Fun, right? So we only spent a couple of hours there–so sad! Whatever my sickness was, it resolved as soon as we left Cambodia. I’m not sure if it was the water or our anti-malaria medication or what, but despite how much I loved Cambodia, I spent a lot of time there feeling under the weather.
Despite our relatively short visit, we managed to take hundreds of photos. It’s a bit ridiculous really. I’ve tried to not overwhelm you all and just choose some of the best. Without further ado, here’s a little peek into one of the grandest temples on earth!
A Day At Angkor Wat