Hehe, butt, I giggled and pointed to the engravings on the wall. Can’t believe I’m turning 21 in January. Like the Colosseum in Rome (too stunning by the way), Angkor holds a rich history. The purpose of our short getaway to Cambodia was to see Angkor Wat. Now, what’s Angkor wat? Why should everyone go? Why are people obsessed with it? Ok, now stop staring at the butt and focus on wats important.
Angkor is a UNESCO site for the cultural, historical and natural significance. It holds one of the important historical information about South East Asia. Angkor Archaeological Park is 400km2 that contains the gorgeous remains of the Khmer Empire. The popular temples (wat) include Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Bayon Temple.
Angkor was once the capital of Khmer Kingdom where the rulers reside. These temples were built from the 9th century to the 15th century. The temples hold the gorgeous Khmer architecture and cultural, religious and symbolic values. The architecture evolved from the Indian culture (India was once the largest economy in the world), and soon developed its own characteristics. This was the start of the Khmer art and architecture. (Shinta Mani designs its hotel according to the traditional Khmer culture, infused with the 21st century design.)
Throughout the Khmer history, the capital shifted from place to place. Angkor Wat was a funerary temple for King Suryavarman II to symbolize between the setting sun and death. In a society that has high power distance, state temples were erected in memory of royal ancestors. Preah Ko was built around 880, Ta Kev in 1000 and Baphuon in 1050. Since the capital moved to Phnom Penh after 1432, monks are taking care of it now.
Built in the past, constructing such incredible structures that stand with time is not easy. 1.5million cubic meters of sand and silt were used and thousands of people were in the project to build Angkor Wat. To support the heavy weight, sandstone blocks were taken 30km from Angkor Wat to build the base.
Angkor Wat was dedicated to Vishnu, the Hindu God. (Told you India was a super power economy in the past). However, as time goes and archeologists did more findings, the different people come up with different opinions. No one is right nor is anyone wrong. Nonetheless, we went with an open heart to be overwhelmed by the presence of such historical sites. To watch sunrise, to explore the city and to observe how nature is taking over Ta Prohm.
Cool stuff: Researchers have found a “lost” city called Mahendraparvata, that’s 25km north of Angkor Wat.
Trevellers is my way to change the world. Through my stories, tips and lessons learnt, I truly hope to inspire you to get out of your comfort zone, see the world and see who you truly are. Travel is more than just taking a selfie. Travel is an adventure, where you can truly become who you are, give you the time to reflect and grow to become the person you’ve always wanted to be.