Angkor Wat
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Plane loader
Animated dots
Tomb Riders
Sunrise over Angkor Wat
Pause
Moat of lotus flowers
Double Fisting It
Empty Angkor Wat
The Heart of Angkor Wat
Crossing the Moat at Angkor Wat
Reverse Tree House
Pedalling around Angkor Wat
Roll on and Keep Calm, Angkor Wat, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.
Lost
View from the Top
Life at Angkor Wat
Breaking the mold
Outside the Elephant Terrace
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Banteay Samrei
A Moment in Angkor
The faces of Angkor Wat
Unlikely Art - Cambodian Collage
Sunrise at Angkor Wat
thristy?
Sunrise Over an Ancient Kingdom
Great Mountain Bike tour for a good cause.
Secrets of Cambodia
Adorned Shiva
Dramatic Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat sunrise
Touring the Wats (Temples)
Endless Hallways
Sunrise at Angkor Wat
Sunset in Angkor Wat
Sunset in Angkor Wat
Sunrise at Angkor Wat
Sunrise at Angkor Wat
The Amazing Carved Goddesses of Angkor Wat
Angkor What?
Banteay Srei
Meditating or contemplating at Angkor Wat
Cololourful ancient beauty
Carefree Monk!
History, mystery, great food and friendly people
History, mystery, great food and friendly people
Tomb Riders
Sunrise over Angkor Wat
Pause
Moat of lotus flowers
Double Fisting It
Empty Angkor Wat
The Heart of Angkor Wat
Crossing the Moat at Angkor Wat
Reverse Tree House
Pedalling around Angkor Wat
Roll on and Keep Calm, Angkor Wat, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.
Lost
View from the Top
Life at Angkor Wat
Breaking the mold
Outside the Elephant Terrace
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Banteay Samrei
A Moment in Angkor
The faces of Angkor Wat
Unlikely Art - Cambodian Collage
Sunrise at Angkor Wat
thristy?
Sunrise Over an Ancient Kingdom
Great Mountain Bike tour for a good cause.
Secrets of Cambodia
Adorned Shiva
Dramatic Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat sunrise
Touring the Wats (Temples)
Endless Hallways
Sunrise at Angkor Wat
Sunset in Angkor Wat
Sunset in Angkor Wat
Sunrise at Angkor Wat
Sunrise at Angkor Wat
The Amazing Carved Goddesses of Angkor Wat
Angkor What?
Banteay Srei
Meditating or contemplating at Angkor Wat
Cololourful ancient beauty
Carefree Monk!
History, mystery, great food and friendly people
History, mystery, great food and friendly people
Tomb Riders
Tourists travel from around the world to spend days exploring the temples of Angkor Wat. But these three local boys quickly pedal past the back entrance (always less crowded in the mornings) without a second glance. I guess even Angkor Wat can lose its awe when it's part of your daily commute.
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Moat of lotus flowers
Lotus flowers fill the moat surrounding Cambodia's ancient temple Angkor Wat. The buds serve as architectural inspiration for the monument's towers, symbolizing creation and awakening.
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Pause
Tired aspara dancers take a break among the ruins of Angkor Wat.
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Sunrise over Angkor Wat
Tourists swarm to the hills of the park to watch the sun set, but fewer people attempt to greet it at dawn. We embarked to the complex around 5 am and sat ourselves at the library temple while still dark. Soft light slowly exposed the delicate outlines of the temple and surrounding flora. The sky gradually warmed to coral pink, unveiling the regal beauty of Angkor Wat. It was a magical experience to be introduced to Angkor Wat for the first time as the sun slowly illuminated the grand complex.
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Double Fisting It
There's a story behind this. (No, I didn't feed the monkeys.) If you've ever been around monkeys, you know...totally a monkey maneuver.
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Reverse Tree House
Usually you build a house in the tree, but at Angkor Wat it's not how things are done. Yes, there are a few questions about this photo that need to be asked and that I can answer, but one I cannot. Once you cross the threshold to Angkor Wat, you are in for a dizzying array of sights for the next few hours, or days, if you choose to stick around that long. However, the inaugural sight upon entering is this: an ancient structure with a tree beside it and on TOP of it. The structure you can google for its history, and the tree to the right, well, it makes perfect sense. But the tree on the roof, nay, the well-established-and-been-there-for-quite-some-time tree on the roof, I cannot explain. There wasn't much else to do except stare for a bit, take a photo, share it with others, and recommend that people just go and see it for themselves.
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Crossing the Moat at Angkor Wat
If you've traversed safely through the epic expanse that is Angor Wat, you will be greeted by a final, dramatic scene such as this as you reach its center. This 350 meter causeway spans the distance between outer area the temple proper. Giddy local school children will dive off the edge doing aerial acrobats into the water, for a small donation of course.
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The Heart of Angkor Wat
With sandstone as the main material, the city center of Angkor Wat rests solemnly under blue skies just outside of Siem Reap. Built in the classic style of Khmer architecture, this building houses various courtyards, libraries and shrines that were once the beating heart of Siem Reap and its rulers. Even though Angkor Wat is no longer the reigning epicenter of Cambodia, the hundreds of thousands of yearly visitors continue to beat a steady pulse and keep this vibrant historical sight very much alive.
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Empty Angkor Wat
It can be done. It's true that Angkor Wat does see hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, and who knows how many on any given day. That being said, I was told that this ancient temple would be teeming with tourists and groups and guides and locals, and that I would be hard-pressed to experience any solitude. Well that is simply not the case. Two factors helped to alleviate this worry. First, go during the off season, which in my case happened to be in July, when fewer people choose to visit. And two, get up and go extra early, because while everyone says they will do that, you will find it's far fewer that actually go through with it. The experience of wandering through ancient ruins, with total silence save for a clicking camera shutter, is something that all travelers should strive to achieve whenever possible.
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Pedalling around Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat is a behemoth. Tackling this city of temples when you don't have the time––or the cash––for a week-long tour can be daunting, to say the least. A great way to traverse the maze of complexes is to rent a bike for the day, allowing for a more leisurely approach that cuts down on walking time when off the road proper. Word of warning: make sure your bike is tuned up and bring plenty of water.
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Roll on and Keep Calm, Angkor Wat, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.
Make no bones about it - Angkor Wat is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, and if you're visiting for the first time, you're going to be overwhelmed. You're going to be overwhelmed by the calamity of humanity that muscles for space while attempting to shoot sunrise photos at the main gate; you're going to be overwhelmed by the pomp and circumstance of history that surrounds you; you're going to be overwhelmed by touts every time you pull you tuk-tuk to the side of the road. All this is in good fun, of course. Angkor Wat is popular because it's one of the most amazing achievements in the history of humanity, without question. Yet it's possible to escape the madness if you're willing to drift a bit further afield. I suggest hopping on a bicycle and exploring the sprawling complex on your own. It doesn't take long to get lost.
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Lost
Henri Mouhot, a French explorer, is noted for making the Temples at Angkor popularized to the western world, during one of his expeditions in the mid 19th century Mouhot came across these ancient Khmer structures which had been taken over by the jungle and shared them in his writing and drawings. Today, the monuments rival the grandest of structures and play a pivotal role in tourism for Cambodia. Millions come each year to see the temples but these Khmer blessings have also become a curse. Throughout the past several decades a lack of governance and sustainable tourism efforts have taken a toll on some of the temples. Crumbling facades, vandalism and theft all haunt the nearly 800 year old temples. For Angkor to continue bringing in much needed tourism dollars, efforts towards sustainability need to be greater fulfilled. The recent news of lights being added to the compound for night tours have infuriated both local and foreign peoples, leaving the Cambodian Government with many tough decisions to be made in the future.
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Life at Angkor Wat
To be standing in the Angkor Wat complex was a dream of mine. I couldn't believe how old it really was and that it was still there! It was amazing to be able to walk inside and see all the reliefs but, what really made this a special experience for me was the kids. There were a lot of local kids around. Some just watching people, some talking and some looking for a "gift". They were very sweet and I was happy to see a lot of kids that can and will eventually bring this country with a sad past to a new place in the future.
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View from the Top
A group of friends visited this World Heritage Site, and two of us opted to climb through the passages of Angkor Wat to gain an unusual perspective. It was a one-way maze of halls, rooms, and stairways, but we found our way to the top. As spectacular as the view was, I most enjoyed seeing this monk lighting a candle...probably much as it has been done for millennia.
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Banteay Samrei
It's bustling and it wasn't even busy season. So I could only imagine what the premises look and sound like in the heavier tourists months. You're trying to take in all of what Angkor has to offer. So many temples, so much history, so much culture.. and then you see a local just taking in the moment. I thank him. It was a moment for him and in turn a quiet moment for me.
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Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Finally catching a quiet breath at Banteay Srei temple when the other tourists left, I saw this image make itself. The visual eye contact from the statue looked right through the frame to my eyes creating an intimate thought process.
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Outside the Elephant Terrace
Stationing their wares under one of the trees shade, across the elephant terrace, they found comfort from the beating sun.
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Breaking the mold
This break in the carving creates an illusion that this one sculpture is alive and looking right at you. At least from this angle.
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A Moment in Angkor
After an attempt to watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat that was thwarted by rain, we caught a glimpse of these saffron and marigold colored robes. This monk was making his morning pilgrimage to the temple and is representative of a population who pay daily visits to the ancient temples.
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The faces of Angkor Wat
So many faces are found in the Angkor Wat complex, this one shows the contrasting stone used in so many places.
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Unlikely Art - Cambodian Collage
In Cambodia there is beauty and art not just around the increasingly well-trod Angkor Wat, but also in the remote temples and difficult-to-get-to ruins that are still partially hidden among under encroaching jungle. Splendid buddhas in full view; hidden carvings behind stone pillars; the colors and texture of crumbling walls built a thousand years ago; the dappling by lichen and mould on walls that have witnessed the best and worst of humanity; ornate carvings encouraging the search for enlightenment; architecture that inspires; or simply the light filtering through windows and vines casting glorious shadows on ancient structures.
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thristy?
We have what you want! Even as late as the end of November, we found the days quite hot in Siem Reap. This drink stand located to the side of the Angkor Wat UNESCO World Heritage site offered a place to sit and relax with a drink before continue on in the Cambodian heat. While there, don't miss the other incredible temple sites of Angkor Thom (Bayon) and Ta Prahm (film location for Laura Croft Tomb Raiders) and one of the loveliest Banteay Srei (a bit further out of town but worth the ride/drive.)
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Sunrise at Angkor Wat
Although sunrise has become a tourist zoo, the view is still unimaginably stunning. Sneak away to one of the quieter temples afterwards-- my favorite was Bayon.
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Sunrise Over an Ancient Kingdom
One of the highlights of Angkor Wat is getting there for the sunrise and seeing the the temple appear in double over the mirror pond. Our hotel set us up with a tuk-tuk driver for our 5 days in Siem Riep and he made sure we did not miss a thing, including the sunrise. The sunrise is very popular, so I recommend an early start in order to stake out some real estate at the edge of the pond. Additionally, I would come back after sunrise and explore other nearby ruins alone while everyone else crowds into the temple. When you come back in the heat of the day, you can walk the long art covered walls of Angkor's halls in the cool shade.
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Great Mountain Bike tour for a good cause.
Here's the best way to see Angkor. First, do a tour with a licensed guide, you can not do this alone and get as much out of it, there are very few signs, and you need a guide (and a guide and a car for the day is cheap, really.) Second day, head out with the amazing German volunteers from KKO, a wonderful group that runs backroad mountain bike tours around Angkor as a ways of raising money for their efforts in helping Cambodians. So yes, you get to ride the moat at Angkor Thom, be alone in temples, cruise through rice paddies AND it's for a good cause.
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Secrets of Cambodia
Get up early and you'll find enchantment in Cambodia. Later on its too hot to walk or bike around so be a local and rest in the shade. I've been here 5 weeks and I noticed that I just extended my visa. This country has stolen my heart. Angkor Wat is right down the road, Phnom Penh, Kep, Kampot and Otres Beach were all highlights of this trip. I travel 100% of the time so when I find something I love I tell every one. My favorite moment of Cambodia was riding my bike on Christmas Eve morning at 4:30AM to Ta Prohm, the temple in Angkor Wat with the trees growing out of the stones. I was the only one there. The birds sounded ethereal as they cawed to one another, the jungle whispered with the leaves of the mighty trees rustling over my head and the golden light radiated from the sun as it rose in the branches. And there in front of me was the temple with the gigantic tree growing out of it - no one was there except for the 2 new friends I made that morning from Canada. We all shot photos and jumped over the rope barricade to embrace this wonderful monument. I'll never forget that Christmas Eve. BTW my next issue of Vagabond, my online magazine on the iTunes store features Cambodia if you want to take a look. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vagabond-photography-travel/id567692642?mt=8
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Angkor Wat sunrise
Although my sunrise trip to Angkor Wat was fairly disappointing, this was only due to the lack of a colourful sunrise. Admittedly, your alarm clock going off at 4am is never going to be an enjoyable experience, but getting into a tuk tuk when it's still dark and heading in the same direction as all the other tuk tuks is actually fun! Tip - take a torch with you as it's still pitch black when you arrive and you have to clamber over various stones and steps to get to a prime sunrise spot. Also, don't be afraid to elbow your way to the front - everyone else does and if you want THE Angkor Wat photo, then you need to be tough! Having never seen Angkor Wat in the flesh before, there was something pretty amazing about glimpsing it for the first time as the sun comes up. It was just unfortunate that on the morning I was there, the sky simply turned from black to yellow and then blue...none of the beautiful pinks or purples I was so desperate for! I will be back Angkor Wat, you won't defeat me!
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Dramatic Angkor Wat
I don't know if I've ever been to a more photogenic place than Angkor Wat, and I'm a very amateur photographer. The astounding and complex combination of engineering, aesthetics, design, and abundance of resources and labor left me wondering: Has the human race really come that far since then? Or not?
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Adorned Shiva
Spiritual places remain spiritual. This Hindu statue of Shiva resides in an Angkor Wat hallway, now used by Buddhists. The place oozes a quiet, timeless otherworldliness, even amid the throngs of tourists.
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Touring the Wats (Temples)
The villagers have the most beautiful way of describing this tree growing over, through, and around the wat -- "The jungle has taken it back," they said. It sure did, and it sure is, and I sure am glad I got there before it completely has.
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Endless Hallways
Cambodia is one of the friendliest places I have been and the temples around Angkor are all amazing. Spend days getting lost among the ruins! Do yourself a favor and avoid the tourist trap... most people will go to Angkor temple first thing in the morning for the sunrise, while you might get a great picture you will also get caught in a crowd of hundreds, instead choose another temple and you will have it all to yourself for the first hour or so of the morning. Unbeatable!
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Sunrise at Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat is the largest Hindu temple in the world. This Cambodian treasure is a major tourist attraction, so if you want to avoid crowds, this might not be the place for you. It's an awe-inspiring place, though, and is full of intricate, ancient architecture. Sunrise is perhaps the most impressive time to visit this temple. The sun rises behind the main temple, creating a beautiful silhouette that is mirrored in the adjacent pond. Despite the crowds, this truly is a magnificent place that is worth a stop if you are in the area. This particular photo was shot on an early December morning and required me to get into the pond to avoid having hundreds of heads in my picture. If you're wanting an exceptional photo, it pays to show up very early.
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Sunrise at Angkor Wat
Sunrise at Angkor Wat is one of the classic "do"s in Siem Reap. If you are lucky enough, you will get this beautiful view, and more lucky enough, get a better view with the lake in front with less visiting tourists.
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Sunrise at Angkor Wat
Sunrise at Angkor Wat is one of the classic "do"s in Siem Reap. If you are lucky enough, you will get this beautiful view, and more lucky enough, get a better view with the lake in front with less visiting tourists.
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Sunset in Angkor Wat
Sunset in Angkor Wat is usually amazing evening without the ancient temples in the background.
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Sunset in Angkor Wat
Sunset in Angkor Wat is usually amazing evening without the ancient temples in the background.
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Angkor What?
Of all the temples to choose from of the great smorgasbord around Siem Reap, Cambodia, the jumping off point for Angkor Wat, I am so glad I chose Ta Prohm, or what is now commonly called in the local parlance, 'The Angelina Temple' as the first temple I visited. Not because of it's fame as one of the exotic locations for the film 'Lara Croft: Tomb Raider' in 2000, but because it is really the most incredible of all the temples at Angkor, hugely atmospheric with its background ambiance of flocks of circling wild parrots, ancient crumbling walls and...and then there are the trees. So much time has passed that these trees, giant banyan and kapok trees, are reclaiming the temple with limbs that are more like animal flesh than plant life, so much so that they appear animate, and it's as if you are not on the set of a movie about the search for a sacred talisman but transported to the set of a science fiction movie, a cross between Day of the Trifids and something very alien that came from the pen of HR Giger.
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The Amazing Carved Goddesses of Angkor Wat
Resplendent, smiling, wreathed in writhing snakes and adorned with skulls and talismans, the amazing carved goddesses gaze down from the ancient walls of the replica of the universe that is Angkor Wat. I loved Aspara, goddess of the clouds and waters, and was surprised to see the remnants of brightly-coloured paint, only lasting this long probably because they used mineral colours, the greens of malachite, the blues of lapis lazuli, cinnabar reds and yellow from mango leaves. These walls must have been astounding when the colours were all fully present, and Angkor must have been like a giant gleaming jewel.
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Banteay Srei
Of course, when anyone asks me what to do in Siem Reap there’s no way to avoid recommending a visit to Angkor Wat. Perhaps the most magnificent temple structure in the world, it’s really a must-see place and shouldn’t be missed. I always make sure I stress the importance of visiting other less-visited temples in the region too, however. Banteay Srei is a place I always put at the top of the list for any friend asking my advice. I would have to say it’s my favorite temple in Cambodia – it’s not the biggest, it’s not the most lavish, it’s not the oldest…but it really has a charm I can’t ignore. Built from red sandstone, in places the temple seems like it was fashioned from one big rock rather than built piece by piece. The intricate carvings are wonderfully preserved, and the layout of the complex isn’t daunting or troublesome to navigate – it just exudes an irrepressible magnetism and I always pay a visit here whenever I’m in Siem Reap.
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Meditating or contemplating at Angkor Wat
The monks sitting and contemplating this very majestic Buddhist temple in Cambodia just made it all come together. It summed up the entire experience for us.
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Cololourful ancient beauty
Angkor Wat - the most famous and mystic sight of South East Asia. It changes it's face with every time of the day... The sunrise-face is beautiful and dressed up with stunning colours, but it's impossible to get a single date with... Every tourist who visits Cambodia wants to be at Angkor War for sunrise. If you want to meet the beauty in a more private environment, get there in the late afternoon when the sun is about to set... ---
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Carefree Monk!
The beauty of this picture lies within the serenity and peace it represents among the masses of tourists out and about and exploring the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This young monk has a mischievous grin on his face as though he is up to no good! His smile brought a smile to my face and made my day.
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History, mystery, great food and friendly people
Angkor is one of the most important archeological sites in South-East Asia, it is also one of the largest archeological sites in the world. It was literally lost to the world after the Khmer society moved to a new city in the 1600's and the jungle took it back, covering the temples with earth, vine and tree. When the English came into Cambodia kicking out the Thai in the 1800's these temples were rediscovered and the first phase of unearthing and restoring this magnificent city began. Covering more than 400 Km, the Angkor archeological park contains the remains of the two capitals of the Khmer Empire from the 9th to 15th century. UNESCO has set up a wide ranging program to safeguard this symbolic site which has many different countries aiding in the rebuilding efforts. Angkor was an exceptional civilization with several urban plans and huge reservoirs showcasing the heightened intelligence and technology of this civilization. The architecture and layout also showcase the high level of social order. Angkor is a World Heritage Site for its cultural, religious and symbolic values as well as containing architectural, archeological and artistic significance. All that is left of this super power are the rich heritage of structures in brick and stone as no written records of this civilization have ever been found. There are dozens of temples within Angkor city, the most notable being Angkor Wat, Bayon temple and the tomb raider temple made famous by the 1990's blockbuster.
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