“Angkor Wat (Khmer: អង្គរវត្ត) is the largest Hindu temple complex and the largest religious monument in the world.
The temple was built by a king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yasodharapura (Khmer:យសោធរបុរៈ, present-day Angkor), the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Breaking from the Shaivism tradition of previous kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated to Vishnu. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation – first Hindu, then Buddhist. 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.” (thanks Wiki)
We spent an entire day at Angkor Wat and had our tuk-tuk take us to only the three main temples: Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom (the Jungle Temple – where Tomb Raider was filmed), and Bayon. Our group of five quickly separated when Sage and I began dominating the temples. We tag-teamed these temples for so long that our tuk-tuk driver actually left us! The other three in our group had moved on to Angkor Thom and we got a different driver to bring us there, where we found our original driver, had a laugh with him as he tried to get up to hurry up and we just shook our heads no. There was just no way I was going to rush through this deserted, crumbling, magnificent place. I’m happy Sage had the same mindset, we really maximized our time here.
For hours we wandered around jaw-dropped and wide-eyed. We made Japanese friends who took lots of pictures with us. We joked about temple parkor. We played with the cutest little snowball of a puppy and the kids who owned him, who quickly lot to know us well enough to demonstrate “Gangham Style” over and over and over. We talked to the brothers and friends of the kids, who spoke amazing English and got the low-down of growing up in Cambodia (fyi- brand names are everything here. Put an apple sticker on a crappy little nokia phone and call it an iPhone). We miiiiight have gotten lost for a little bit. We walked probably 6 or 7 miles total around the three main temples and that was only like 10% of the entire site.
Truly humbling to have the chance to be at a place so important in the history of the world.