Finally, I had my chance to visit one of the world’s most fascinating Ancient Cities: Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom.
These ancient sites were built as a place of worship to God by the rulers of Khmer between 12 to 13th century. King Suryavarman II, a Hindu, built the Great Angkor Wat to worship Lord Shiva and Vishu. King Jayavarman VII dedicated Bayon, Preah Khan, Ta Prohm, Banteay Kdei and other temples to Buddha.
Angkor Wat and Thom were at its prime with abundance of wealth and food, with it’s amazingly brilliant engineering marvel in plantation and water irrigation system, until it was attacked and defeated by the Siamese Army from today Thailand. The defeated King together with his subjects left their beloved temples behind and then most of its glory eaten by the jungles of Cambodia, until its rediscovery by French explorers in the 19th century.
From then on, massive restoration works being carried out on these ruins by countries like France, Japan, Germany, India and South Korea. Angkor Wat and it’s surrounding temples declared as “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO in 1992 and this opened up to large tourist flow annually regardless whether it’s dry or wet season (Cambodia has two main season, each 6 months apart). It is truly a wonderful site to behold and glad that rebuilding efforts are being taken. To me, all of this looks like “The World’s Largest Jigsaw Puzzle”.
I got into a one day guided tour around Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat with an entrance fee of $20. As time is limited during arranged tours, my family and I were taken to visit the main attractions: Angkor Wat, Bayon Temple, Elephant Terrace (ancient stadium), Ta Prohm and Bankheng Hill (cancelled due to rain). Please enjoy the pictures I have lined up freshly for you from Siem Reap.