Angkor Wat. Siem Reap, Cambodia, February 2011.

Angkor and again

  Cambodia and Thailand - February 2011

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 


Angkor Wat It is the most famous temple, the largest, the most visited. It has even become a national symbol: its towers adorn the Cambodian flag. 

Optical illusion

But Angkor Wat is not my favorite temple. In fact, it is mostly beautiful from afar, in the perspective of the huge causeway of the entrance, where its five towers seem to form only three.

By the way, it's not a coincidence that everyone takes their pictures in the same place. Just in front of a poor little pond, a remnant of the old ponds, located on the left side. If we frame it well, we have the illusion that the temple is reflected in a lake. Hey, hey...

It is almost necessary to take one's turn, on the edge of the pond, among all the other tourists, to make "the" photo.

I did the same as everyone else. A little disappointed, though, to have pretty green tarps (from the work in progress) in front.

General view of Angkor Wat. Siem Reap, Cambodia, February 2011.
General view of Angkor Wat. Siem Reap, Cambodia, February 2011.

In the heart of the city of Khmer kings

Angor Wat (the word "wat" or "vat" means "temple") is immense. It is the largest of the city of Angkor, former capital of the Khmer kings of Cambodia.

Built in the 12th century, it was then converted into a Buddhist monastery. It is now a Unesco World Heritage Site. The tourist influx is equal to its fame, of course. To enjoy it serenely, it is better to get up early and come at first light rather than at the end of the day, as we did.

But the light is beautiful in the late afternoon. And there are a lot of funny scenes to observe on the big pavement of the entrance.

Photo souvenir at the entrance of Angkor Wat. Siem Reap, Cambodia, February 2011.
Souvenir photo at the entrance of Angkor Wat. Siem Reap, Cambodia, February 2011.
Beware of the heat of the sun! Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia, February 2011.
Beware of the heat of the sun! Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia, February 2011.

Inside, we appreciate the half-light and the refreshing breath of air that sneaks in through the window pillars.

I prefer the elegant sculptures of the apsaras, the celestial dancers, with their hairstyles worthy of modern mangas and their enchanting smiles, to the interminable mythological fresco that runs around the gallery, like a stone comic strip.

Angkor Wat. Siem Reap, Cambodia, February 2011.

Apsaras (celestial dancers) in Angkor Wat. Siem Reap, Cambodia, February 2011.

Apsara (celestial dancer) in Angkor Wat. Siem Reap, Cambodia, February 2011.

I am happy to have seen Angkor Wat again. But there again, I shuddered to discover a tourist crowd much denser than I imagined... I'm preparing a small special series on the subject!

😉

  Cambodia and Thailand - February 2011

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  1. Ah, les bâches vertes… tu ne peux pas imaginer comme j’étais dégoûté en les découvrant…

    Let's just say it'll give me an excuse to go back to 🙂.

  2. Congratulations for this series of photos. 🙂 My favorite, the Buddha statue and its yellow canopy; is that the right word among Buddhists? Would have liked to see it from the front as well!
    What the hell with tourists! You're part of it too, so... the site is so splendid, so many beauties to see! 😉

  3. @Will: Je n’aime pas trop retoucher mes photos, en général, j’évite de “tricher” avec la réalité… Je me contente de recadrer, de travailler un peu les contrastes, la lumière, mais c’est tout. Les bâches vertes resteront là… 😉

    @Ysbilia: Tu la verras aussi de face, la statue, quand je serai rentrée, j’ai d’autres photos…
    Quant aux touristes, hum, j’en fais certes partie, mais quand ils débarquent ensemble, à plusieurs dizaines de groupes, le plus souvent nippons, sur le même site, ça fait peur. J’ai une jolie série d’images sur le sujet… 🙄

    @Fabrice: Oui, vu que je viens d’y passer quelques jours… Tiens-toi prêt, d’autres billets sur les vieilles pierres khmères arrivent bientôt !!! 😀

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