As promised, today we will start our visit to the national jewel of Cambodia - Angkor.
You will surely not be surprised that Angkor is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The entire Angkor complex is really huge (40,100 ha) and all parts of it are fascinating. Therefore, I have decided to split my story into a couple of posts. Today I will take you to Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm.
In my opinion, the best view of Angkor Wat can be seen from a hill near by, called Phnom Bakheng.
Phnom Bakheng is actually a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, built in 9th century. But do not be fooled - this crowd is not here to worship the Cosmic Dancer.
They all came here to admire the sunset over Angkor Wat. And the mist as well (at least today).
Angkor Wat also used to be a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu. Nowadays it is a Buddhist temple. It was built in the 12th century at, what was at that time, the capital of the Khmer (i.e., Cambodian) Empire.
Here you can see it in a larger perspective.
As in all popular touristic spots you need to be careful, otherwise people will literally walk on you! Queues are everywhere.
Even on the stairs!
But it is really worth to climb on this tower to see the buildings from the top.
Now let's walk a bit along the corridors.
They are decorated with many sculptures that are really well preserved.
Here you can get an idea of the length of these corridors. And the incredible amount of work necessary to decorate them.
Look! A married couple! It seems that the site is popular not only amoung tourists. Though I have a feeling this dress is not really a traditional Khmer wedding outfit.
Just next to Angkor Wat lies Ta Prohm. It used to be a monastery and a university. Nowadays it is best known for being the place where the movie Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie was shot.
Today it has unfortunately surrender to the powers of the Mother Earth. Or more particularly to the power of Tetrameles nudiflora.
Even though some part of the buildings seem to still stand strong ...
... others have fallen down.
No surprise when you realise the walls need to bear some extra weight.
Here you can assess the height of the tree - compare it to the heigth of a human!
The green colour is onmipresent, even on the reliefs.
Let's leave Ta Prohm to its silent guards and move now to the old city of Angkor Thom. We're going to see more of these faces there.