Friday, January 29, 2010
SCENES FROM ANGKOR WAT
Angkor Wat was built around 900 years ago when the country was Hindu. Thus the temple is dedicated to god Vishnu. Buddhism has since taken over (90% of Cambodian population) that the site today is a fusion of both religions. Vishnu, on the left, for example, is clothed in a buddhist robe, and of equal importance, is Buddha on the right, a more recent addition.
Angkor Wat means city temple, and is only a ten minute ride from the Raffles Hotel in Siem Reap. The first European observer was Antonio da Magdalena, a Portuguese monk, but was popularized by French explorer Henry Mahout in the mid 1800s. You can read the details by clicking on the link above.
How important is Angkor Wat? It is depicted on their national flag:
Frankly, I expected the experience to be overwhelming, with my first view as dramatic. It was okay and worth a visit, but less than spectacular. You might enjoy a few photos:
Some of my tour friends:
Eileen and Nicholas Lane of Pittsburg, PA.
Ray and Patricia Potts of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Claudia Taden of Santa Barbara, California
Shep and Carole Goldstein of Boston, Massachusetts, Patricia and Stephen Weiner of Piedmont, California in the background.
Lynda and Steve Fox of Saratoga, California.
Howard and Janice Kaplan of West Palm Beach, Florida.
David and Jean Mclaughlin of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Janice and Ron Kaplan of Aiken, South Carolina.
Resident of Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat approaching sunset.
Angkor Wat at sunset.
Chuck Olmsted at sunset. Note the reflection on the left balanced by Buddhist monk on the right.
The evening was culminated with an elaborate barbecue featuring booths for Indian, Mongolian, Khymer, and assorted other specialties
followed by native Cambodian dances.
Economic and oil info on the right.