Temples of Angkor

The ancient capital city of Angkor is Cambodia’s crown and glory. Angkor Wat even proudly centers on the countries flag. This monumental place is revered for good reason. Between 900 and 1200 AD a whole succession of “God-Kings” stamped their mark on this place, building temple after temple, of a size and complexity remarkable by today’s standards, all dedicated to their many gods. Although, interestingly, who exactly their gods were changed a lot during that period! Angkor had a lot of expectation to live up to, but for me it was one of the highlights of my time in South-East Asia. Despite the desperately hot weather and the ever-present hoards of tourists (I can hardly complain being part of the hoard) the temples didn’t fail to impress. Two things really make Angkor special: scale and detail. Angkor Wat (the temple from all the sunrise photos) is the largest religious monument in the world, covering 162 hectares, and the city itself is so large you need a tuk-tuk and three days to explore beyond the main showstoppers. While the size provides impact, the hand carved detail on almost every surfaces leaves a truly lasting impression, representing the unimaginable amount of effort put into every stone.