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Sofia Ps.
3 mins read

Angkor Temples; a Photo-Story

Have you ever heard of Angkor Temples? If not, the first thing you need to know about Angkor is that it’s big. Can’t-get-your-head-around-it big. You read about it -of course before you go, but when you’re there you’re still surprised. It’s a vast place with crazy enormous temples! And it’s magnificent.

The capital

Angkor is located in Siem Reap Province, Cambodia. It used to be the capital of the Khmer Empire. The name literally means the “capital city”, and what a city it was indeed! It’s estimated that it was the largest pre-industrial city in the world.

Lost in the jungle

The ruins date back to the 9th-15th century AD, so -being Greek- I thought they were not that old. I mean, they’re old but they’re not ancient. However, they certainly look and feel ancient! Maybe it’s the size of it that consumes you, or the brilliant architecture, or the massive stones, or even the jungle that has “taken back” some of the places. I dunno what it is, but fact remains that when you’re in Angkor, you feel like you’re back in time or that you’re an explorer in the coolest video game ever!

Unesco site

Nowadays, Angkor Temples are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s open to visitors and you can spend many days exploring the huge site –it’s too big to try to walk everywhere, so I’d recommend hiring a tuk-tuk for the day.

More than a building

In Angkor, nothing was built “randomly”. The temples have a very strict and harmonious structure and symmetry, which reflect specific symbolism. Every summit of a mountain temple, every tower and every mandala formation, all have a purpose. When you’re walking in the temples it’s like you’re walking in a living representation of Hindu and Buddhist stories and understanding of the whole cosmos.

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat, the most famous temple complex, is the largest religious monument in the world! Evidently, it’s the most popular among visitors as well, however, it’s not the only one. There are many spectacular temples to see; some of my favourites were Bakong, Phnom Bakheng, Pre Rup, Ta Keo, Baphuon, Ta Prohm, Preah Khan, and Bayon. Within Angkor Thom, there is also the impressive Royal Palace area with beautiful views near the royal pond and the terraces.

Shapes of stone

Carved figures from history, relief apsaras and devatas, priests and hermits, gods and demons, elephants and lions, nagas and kalas, dvarapalas guardians. The richness of the decoration in Angkor temples will overwhelm you for sure.

Up, up we go!

Climbing to many of the temples is MUCH harder than it looks. The stairs are extremely steep in many cases, and there’s a lot of walking, hiking, and climbing involved in general, if you really want to explore everything.

Bucket listed yet?

All in all, I could write a thousand pages about Angkor. It’s one of the most extraordinary and fascinating places I’ve ever been to! However, for now, I simply want to give you a teeny-weeny taste of something that it’s too great to describe in just one post.

If you ever find yourself in Cambodia, explore this remarkable place and discover its wonders yourself! It’s really worth it.

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