>Temple roaming at Angkor Wat

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Exploring the ancient ruins of Ta Phrom, I linger behind Dennis, Kim and Missi and wonder at the massive trees growing up from the ruined walls and pagodas where monks would meditate and pray so many hundreds of years ago. My mind reels with the image my imagination provides, trying to picture the grandeur of the place before it was left neglected by all except nature, who was only too happy to reclaim her own.

Ta Phrom temple, near Angkor Wat.

I happen across two monks in amber orange robes, peacefully walking the property. (Off-topic, and only relevant to those who wonder what Wikipedia is doing with its life: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Shades_of_orange) We talk about Cambodia, Canada, Buddhism, and other topics before parting. He asks me if I would like to visit him in the monastery in Siem Reap, something I have always hoped to do! Perhaps I will…but first I have to find my friends.

I begin to trek through the ruins, down dark passageways and out doors that may have been windows, through winding corridors covered with centuries old dust and moss covered stonework that composed the outer wall sometime in the distant past. I start to worry that I am lost, and pick up my pace. I am trapped several times in dark dead ends, filled with crumbled Buddha statues and other relics of the temple’s past piled haphazardly in corners. I finally emerge into the sunlight, feeling like I am in the middle of the set of an Indiana Jones movie, and see more signs of the jungle jealously reclaiming the temple. I am all alone until I finally spot some other tourists. I am not lost after all!

Bayon temple, with giant faces in all four cardinal directions on over 200 towers.

See?

Siem Reap was one of my favorite spots on this whole trek through southeast Asia, with $5 double rooms at the friendliest guesthouse I’ve seen, appropriately named Happy Guesthouse. Mr. T greets us, and before long we are good friends, going out for beers while he introduces me to all his clients and friends along the way. Even our tuk tuk drivers Hok and Tommy who show us around Angkor Wat are super friendly guys! This is one place I have to come back to visit!! (Yeah ok I say that a lot, but so far I’m following up pretty well!)

The group at Angkor Wat. Wonder of the World indeed!

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One response to “>Temple roaming at Angkor Wat

  1. >That big tree growing in the temple indeed reminds Indiana Jones movies (or Tomb Raider games). Imagine how cool it would be to be the first who discovers such a place after being abandoned for centuries!

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