Saturday, November 24, 2007
One of Asia's most famous tourist destinations are the Temples of Angkor based just outside of Siem Reap. It's a huge site with loads of old Hindu temples built by various guys from about the 10th to the 12th century, the gem of which is Angkor Wat, boasting the title of "largest religious site in the world". Sadly they have all been neglected for ages and sacked by the lovely regime of the Khmer Rouge lead by Pol Pot. He sounded like a really nice fellow. It's only recently that many of the temples have gone under serious conservation efforts, as Cambodia wakes up and realises their cultural and economical worth.
Angkor Thom had 216 on these massive faces carved into it, apparently resembling King Suryavarman II the fellow who had them built, just so he could keep a good eye on his minions.
Some of the temples had been taken over by the surrounding jungle and gave a great Indian Jones vibe. Tomb Raider 2 was shot here I've been told. Great.
Naturally, such a magical and magnificent place draws an unfathomable number of tourists every day, the place being hoarded from the beautiful sunrise to beautiful sunset. So like most cracking places I've been, the herds of people took something away from the experience, but I was one of them, so who am I to judge?