Angkor Wat and Cambodian people
Posted Date: 7/5/20139:23 AM


My last night here in Siem Reap before flying out to Bang Kok tomorrow – it’s been all that I could have hoped for in a short visit, one that I luckily was able to squeeze in at the last minute! Goes to show you that as much as you want to plan the itinerary in advance, it’s always good to have some space for places you didn’t quite think of.

Spent the morning and afternoon seeing Angkor Wat (the largest religious building in the world, and one of the Wonders of the World…for good reason), and some of the temples of Angkor Thom, one of the largest of the Khmer cities and likely its capital until the 17th century.
The size of the temple complexes and surrounding moats, the bas reliefs and the ability to be so close to everything were all incredible. Really–a magnificent cultural legacy and heritage of this country and of Southeast Asia.
I was glad to also head down an unmarked red-clay road in Angkor Thom as well, which eventually led me through some countryside and life among the local Cambodians not directly tied to the economy related to temple visits.
I’ve never seen a smile, a wave and a head nod returned so warmly and from among so many people I’ve never met. With me pedaling along with my rented bike with the too-low-seat (legs bowed in classic this-bike-is-too-small-for-me fashion), I was warmed by all the ‘hellos!’ and smiles, from particularly the local children. Such a good side journey.

Note about the weather: It seems I’ve been remiss in my lack of commenting on the weather–though it doesn’t mean that I’ve lost my feel for it! I’m not sure if I’m getting acclimatized, but it seems the weather in Cambodia these past few days has actually been quite bearable. Yes, intense sun in the afternoons…with it radiating in some temples with its particular build of stone, but also plenty of periods of some cooling wind, and always respite in the shadows cast by temples and trees. Had a particularly nice thirty minutes this early afternoon caught in a pretty steady rain storm, taking modest shelter squatting under a magnificent, root twined tree– watched from across the road by those assembled under other shelter provided by the Buddhist temple across the way. Cooling water on sweaty skin in the shadow of the Bayon temple (with its many faces) under a memorable tree? There’s a Buddha like moment for you…

Source: by James from http://jamesliou.com
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