Monday, March 29, 2010

Kingdom of Wonder

Sunrise at Angkor Wat. Doesn't it sound grand? Well, it did to me anyway and that's what I got up this morning to do. I couldn't sleep last night, but somehow, with only about 2 1/2 hours of sleep, I still managed to drag my butt outta bed because I really didn't want to miss seeing the sunrise.

It was worth it, lemme tell you. I won't go into the history because it's all been told before, probably better than I could tell it. Go here and read up on it if you'd like, or just go here and look at my pictures of it. :-) 

What I can tell you is that Angkor Wat is big and imposing and dark and in a combined ruins/restoration state. And so cool. It's hundreds of years older than the Taj Mahal, has been neglected and left to the jungle, looted and pilfered from, and had damage from civil wars. All of these things are readily apparent.

As interesting as Angkor Wat was, I think Angkor Thom, specifically the temple of Bayon, may be even more impressive. The 12th century king Jayavarman VII established the Cambodian capital at Angkor Thom and then set to work building and building and building. What makes Bayon striking is the 216 stone faces on the temple towers. The faces themselves are believed to be a composite of the king himself and a Buddhist representation of compassion. Everywhere you go in this temple, faces are looking down on you. It would be kind of creepy if the faces weren't so peaceful looking.

There are over 100 pictures from today and they are ALL uploaded, so go take a peek!

1 comment:

  1. WOW Shan, great pictures. I see what you mean
    about how steep the staircases are. Going up
    would'nt be to bad except I would have to rest
    a few times. Coming down I would have to come
    down backwards.

    Love and miss you!