Cambodia // Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor //

Angkor Wat

However many times you’ve seen it on film or in photographs, nothing prepares you for the majesty of ANGKOR WAT. Dominated by five majestic, corncob towers, this masterpiece of Khmer architecture, consecrated in about 1150 to Vishnu, is thought to have taken around thirty years to complete. Stunning from a distance, as you approach its intricacy becomes apparent, with every surfaced covered in fine detail. If time allows, it’s worth visiting at different times of day to see how the colours of the stone change with the light.

Experts have long debated whether Angkor Wat was built for worship or for funerary purposes, given that the site is approached from the west and the gallery of bas-reliefs is designed to be viewed anticlockwise, both of which are associated with death. Nowadays, it’s generally accepted that it was used by the king for worship during his lifetime, and became his mausoleum following his death.