Temple-tramping the Angkor, Part 1

So back to reminiscing the Angkor! I swear, this blog sounds like a disoriented, attention-span-deprived crazy person, but I think I have enough sanity, thanks to the cup of coffee besides me *sips coffee*

So Angkor! The historical temple wonderland that is Angkor Wat Archeological Complex (full name yo!) It’s hundreds of acres of land spanning historical political and religious sites in Cambodia, mostly seats of power and civilization in ancient Khmer history. Now, it’s a sacred ground for Buddhist and Hindu monks around Cambodia and the world.

Ideally, you’d go here in the break of dawn to catch the staple sunrise against the Angkor Wat stupas BUT I was massively drunk the night before we went here with a new Moroccan friend in Linga (also, coming from a dragging seven-hour overland trip) so the earliest time we got here was around 7:30am — thanks to our trusty tuktuk driver who we just hailed from outside our hotel. Neat.

White washed walls and steep stupas greeted my drunk sleepy face. I know that some of the temples are steep (Ta Keo, which I will discuss on my next posts) but I didn’t expect that Angkor would require that much climbing. I might not talk a lot about this, but I have an immense fear of heights. I wish I knew this before I went here!

Apsaras were everywhere, guarding the magical walls 

Aside from apsara images from practically every corner, there were a lot of Buddha images as well – some casted in gold, some clothed in full regalia, and some bathing in incense. What I didn’t appreciate though is that some people would offer you incense and would actually teach you how the Buddhists pray… but for a price. It happened once, and I was happy to save my money on the next ones by refusing politely. It got eerie though when some leered at us 🙁

The walls of the Angkor Wat is a big storybook. Aside from being the biggest religious monument in the world — modeled after the five peaks of Mt. Meru where the Hindu gods live, it also tells the story of the Khmers and their ancient empire – from rise to fall.

The high stupas with the sky as a backdrop is just simply beautiful

The real reason why my trip to Cambodia was non-negotiable is that renovation is quickly starting

These aged stupas have some stories to tell

The walk from the moat to the temple itself is short, but there is more to walk around inside. It seemed to me like a maze inside, with steep stairs and… there’s no looking down because jeez those were some high stairs. Also, inside are more Buddha images. They were kind of starting to creep me out, but slowly growing into me.

Monkeys were all over too! The Khmers have kind of learned to coexist with them. These two, however, seemed too comfortable. 

This one seemed very hungry 🙁

Walking around Angkor Wat is just one thing, remember it’s not the only temple in the area – it’s a complex of temples! Also, Angkor Wat is the largest temple in the complex, let alone the world. You can easily use half of your day ’til lunch (especially if you didn’t go before dawn) to roam around. Remember to hydrate yourself ’cause it can be hot as the devil’s asshole in there. Water is available to buy at various points outside the temple.

After this half-day walkathon around Angkor Wat, we went to the neighboring Angkor Thom…

I’d really like to sum up everything in one post, but I think this needs a part 2!

Stay tuned!

This is a series of posts about my trip in Cambodia and Thailand:

Temple-tramping the Angkor, Part 2
Banyan Leaf Hotel in Cambodia
Primer: How to get to REP, Cambodia

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He drinks coffee day in, day out. Iced Americano is his poison of choice, anytime anywhere.

He works in digital advertising but this blog is not about his job. Jonver overshares about his travels, boy dreams, and existentiality on his little space in the world wide web. He finds drunk tweeting amusing - all the more because he's funnier that way.

He likes to believe that his name is so unique he feels confident to ask you to search his name instead of giving his social media handles.

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