During our kids yoga training in 2014, our group decided to do a “yoga journey to Angkor Wat” photo shoot, depicting the beautiful temples that can be found there.
Fast forward one year later, and barely two months after giving birth, we were on our way to Siem Reap. We only stayed for two nights, but it was an enriching experience.
We took a standard package tour from Happy Angkor Tour, starting very early at 4:50 a.m. to view the sunrise. We were accompanied by the very friendly Mr. Bunchup who had a lot of stories to tell.
Unfortunately for us, Mr. Sun was not cooperating as he hid behind clouds.
Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world, with site measuring 162.6 hectares (1,626,000 sq meters). It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple for the Khmer Empire, gradually transforming into a Buddhist temple toward the end of the 12th century. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious center since its foundation. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors. (Source: Wikipedia)
The outer wall is surrounded by an open ground and a moat. Access to the temple is by an earth bank to the east and a sandstone causeway to the west; the latter, the main entrance, is a later addition, possibly replacing a wooden bridge. (Source: Wikipedia)
The temple stands on a terrace raised higher than the city. It is made of three rectangular galleries rising to a central tower, each level higher than the last.
Integrated with the architecture of the building, and one of the causes for its fame is Angkor Wat’s extensive decoration, which predominantly takes the form of bas-relief friezes. (Source: Wikipedia)
Mr. Bunchup was very helpful in telling interesting stories behind the drawings. It is unfortunate that it was only recently that tourists were prohibited from touching the sandstones. As a result, a major portion of the walls look smooth and faded, losing their original texture.
Our visit was a difficult one for me as I had to express breast milk in between our stops. Thus, we were not able to snap as many photos as we would have liked. Nevertheless, it was enough that we were able to visit this cultural heritage.