Kade kneels next to a stream formed by the San Francisco Glacier, about two hours outside Santiago, Chile.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Angkor Wat - Cambodia

“It is such an extraordinary construction that it cannot be described in words, especially as it resembles no other building in the world.  It has towers and decorations and all the refinements that the human genius can conceive.”  Antonio da Madalena, a Portuguese monk, 16th Century.  He would go on to consider that the great temple complex was far greater than any Greek or Roman heritage.  

“One of these temples – a rival to that of Solomon, and erected by some ancient Michelangelo - might take its place beside our most beautiful buildings – Grander than anything left to us by Greece or Rome …it makes the traveler forget all the fatigues of the journey, filling him with admiration and delight, such as should be experienced on finding a verdant oasis in the sandy desert."  Henri Mouhot, French naturalist and explorer, 19th Century

This video gives you a look at Angkor Wat, the temple that was the heart of the powerful Khmer Kingdom that flourished in the 13th century.

In 2003, Kade and I flew from Bangkok to Siem Reap, Cambodia.  From there we toured the ancient city and temples of Angkor.  I made the video above using our photos - many of the same photos I posted below.

This is actual video footage I made, using an older pocket camera.  We were in this tuk-tuk, and this is our driver.  We were on our way to the Angkor ruins.  At the time we visited - and even now - I knew so little of Cambodia's history.  What I was learning, I was learning "on the fly," reading various tourist brochures.  Initially, what got me interested in visiting Cambodia was hearing some of my colleagues in Bangkok talk about how impressive the Angkor Wat ruins were.  Also in the video, you will catch glimpses of my wife Kade.

The painting above is of Angkor Wat.  Although we really didn't desire to buy any artwork in Cambodia, it was very hard to pass up this $20 oil painting.  It was rolled up and put in a tube, eventually making its way with us to the United States.  In my photos below, find one where I am holding a rolled up object as we're about to get on the plane back to Bangkok.  That's this painting! And the bust on the table is of Jayavarman VII, a Cambodian king of great significance.

Going up to Phnom Bakheng for the sunset.

the postcard set I bought from the cute kid

In my hand is a rolled-up oil painting of Angkor Wat. 



 Click here for a 10-step guide to Siem  Reap.

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