Cambodia and Thailand - February 2011
Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!