Cambodia sits in Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, between Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos
The area Total: 181,035 sq. km land: 176,515 sq. km
It borders: Laos 555 km, Thailand 817 km and Vietnam 1,158 km and the coastline: 443 km
Climate: tropical; rainy, monsoon season (May to November); dry season (December to April); little seasonal temperature variation
Natural resources: oil and gas, timber, gemstones, iron ore, manganese, phosphates, hydro power potential, arable land
And now let’s visit the world Heritage Temple of Angkor complex, it is one of the world’s great sight.
Most people like to visit to learn about the history.
Meaning and features of the iconic temple, Angkor Wat, before that once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Angkor Wat –is the earthly representation of Mt Meru, the Mt Olympus of the Hindu faith and the abode of ancient gods.
The Cambodian god-kings of old each strove to better their ancestors’ structures in size.
Scale and symmetry, culminating in what is believed to be the world’s largest religious building.
The temple is the heart and soul of Cambodia and a source of fierce national pride.
Unlike the other Angkor monuments, it was never abandoned to the elements and has been in virtually continuous use since it was built.
Symbolically, west is the direction of death, which once led number of scholars to conclude that Angkor Wat must have existed primarily as a tomb.
This idea was supported by the fact that the magnificent bas-reliefs of the temple were designed to be viewed in an anticlockwise direction.
A practice that has precedents in ancient Hindu funerary rites. Vishnu, however, is also frequently associated with the west.
And it is now commonly accepted that Angkor Wat most likely served as a temple and as a mausoleum.
Visitors to Angkor Wat are struck by its imposing grandeur and, at close quarters, the fascinating decorative flourishes.
Stretching around the outside of the central temple complex is a 800m-long series of intricate and astonishing bas-reliefs.
Carving depicting historical events and stories from mythology
Angkor Wat is famous for having more than 3000 beguiling apsaras (heavenly nymphs) carved into its walls.
Each of them is unique, and there are 37 different hairstyles for budding stylists to check out.
Many of these exquisite apsaras were damaged during efforts to clean the temples with chemicals during the 1980s.
But they are being restored by the teams with the German Apsara Conservation Project.
Bat urine and droppings also degrade the restored carvings over time.
Eleanor Mannikka explains in her book Angkor Wat: Time, Space and Kingship that the spatial dimensions of Angkor Wat parallel the lengths of the four ages (Yoga) of classical Hindu thought.
Thus, the visitor to Angkor Wat who walks the causeway to the main entrance and through the courtyards to the final main tower.
Which once contained a statue of Vishnu, is metaphorically traveling back to the first age of the creation of the universe.
Like the other temple-mountains of Angkor, Angkor Wat also replicates the spatial universe in miniature.
The central tower is Mt Meru, and the surrounding smaller peaks, bounded in turn by continents (the lower courtyards) and the oceans (the moat).
The seven-headed nag (mythical serpent) becomes a symbolic rainbow bridge for man to reach the abode of the gods.
While Suryavarman II may have planned Angkor Wat as his funerary temple or mausoleum, he was never buried there as he died in battle during a failed expedition to subdue the Dai Viet (Vietnamese).
The rectangular outer wall has a gate on each side, but the main entrance wide porch richly decorated with carvings and sculptures is on the western side.
There is a statue of Vishnu, hewn from a single block of sandstone, located in the right-hand tower.
Vishnu’s eight arms hold a mace, a spear, a disc, a conch and other items.
The central temple complex consists of three stories, each made of laterite, which enclose a square surrounded by intricately interlinked galleries.
The Gallery of a Thousand Buddha’s used to house hundreds of Buddha images before the war. But many of these were removed or stolen, leaving just the handful we see today.
The corners of the second and third stories are marked by towers, each topped with symbolic lotus-bud towers.
Upper level the stairs to the upper level are immensely steep. Because reaching the kingdom of the gods was no easy task.
Also, known as Bakan Sanctuary, the upper level of Angkor Wat is open to a limited number per day with a queuing system.
What is the Temple etiquette as the temples of Angkor represent a sacred religious site to the Khmer people, visitors are asked to dress modestly.
It is not possible to visit the highest level of Angkor Wat without upper arms covered and shorts to the knees.
Local authorities have recently released visitor ‘code of conduct’ guidelines and a video (YouTube.com) to encourage appropriate dress, as well as reminding tourists not to touch or sit on the ancient structures.
To pay attention to restricted areas, and to be respectful of monks.
Let’s visit the world Heritage Temple of Angkor complex.
It is one of the world’s great sight, most people like to visit.
Learn about the history, meaning and features of the iconic temple, Angkor Wat, before that once-in-a-lifetime trip.