“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 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 the impressive the Angkor Wat ruins are. 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.|
|In my hand is a rolled-up oil painting of Angkor Wat. |
Click here for a 10-step guide to Siem Reap.