Angkor What?

by leelefever ( | | | | )

The reviews of Angkor Wat are invariably the same.  The words "stunning", "amazing", "incredible" abound, as do comparisons to the levels of human achievement that produced the Pyramids at Giza of Egypt and the Taj Mahal in India. Our hopes and expectations were high, perhaps too high, because Angkor Wat was not all that we thought it would be.  Perhaps we have temple fatigue.

Angkor Wat is a site that should not be missed on any trip to Cambodia and I do not mean to diminish it's reputation.  It is huge, it is impressive and it is very old. However, it just didn't measure up to the sky-high expectations. The towers, when you are standing next to them, didn't seem as big or ornate as I expected. I also didn't expect that the corner rooms at the base of two of the towers would be used a toilets. Your milage may vary, but we enjoyed the other ruins at Angkor much more than Angkor Wat itself. 

Our favorite of the temples near Siem Reap was Ta Phrom, where the ravages of nature have been left for our enjoyment.  Much of Angkor was overtaken by jungle in the 1000+ years since the temples were built and most have been cleared of organic matter. The trees and roots of Ta Phrom are still very much a part of the scene and make for a magical experience that seems like something out of a movie. There is something special about seeing life overtake these structures over so much time.  It reminds me of candle wax dripping over the stones.



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