Angkor What?

I am often asked when I start babbling about Angkor Wat – a fascinating temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia and the largest religious site in the world.  It is one of a hundred or so monuments that remained scattered over an area of 300 square kilometers.  Built by the Khmer kings in different times during a span of 4 centuries, it was abandoned and hidden by thick tropical foliage.  The ornate architectural details and exquisite stone carvings are masterpieces.  It is humbling to know that there were people before us who were capable of producing structures that would present a major challenge to architects and engineers today.

The most interesting structures are Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, The Bayon, and Ta Prohm.  My personal favorite:  Ta Prohm, deliberately neglected by perservationalists and looks rather like the complex must have appeared in the 19th century — overgrown by jungle foliage.

Angkor Wat has become a major tourist destination as evident during my visit in 2004.  Restaurants and all sorts of accommodation from 5-star to hostels abound.

angkor

Credits:  Digital sketch by Jen Caputo (http://jencaputo.typepad.com) available at Scrapbook Graphics; Jessica Sprague Echoes of Asia kit:  Green Argyle paper (inner circle), Green Bamboo paper (background), Green Solid paper (scallop), Red Floral paper (fold), Red Solid paper (outer paper)

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