What you can see in Angkor Wat

What you can see in Angkor Wat by looking inside. The "City of Temples", the largest temple in the world. The outer wall of the temple is 1024 by 802 meters and 4.5 meters high and a moat 190 meters wide. I wanted to see this wonder of the Khmer Empire, the ancient capital with a population of 1 million, the beautiful temples and the result of art and engineering genius – the vast expanses of water and multipurpose facilities: defensive, dry season reservoirs and flood prevention. And it finally did, albeit for a very short time.

We got up at 4:15am and it wasn't long before we headed to Angkor Wat. For the first time in my life, I have an entry ticket with my photo, in color. Buying a ticket is personal, you turn your nose up for a photo and that's it. In the photos, we look exactly like Cambodians, even our noses look flattened. Well, it's still for face control at the temples, not a photo model contest. A one-day ticket is $37 and a 3-day ticket is $72. 37 is a number associated with Buddha.

Annually, Angkor is visited by 4 million people. Oh, I hope the visitors on our day are not among the earliest and most numerous. Vain hopes, in the darkness I hear hundreds of feet hurrying to Angkor Wat to enjoy the sunrise of the main temple. I look forward to catching a glimpse of the sunrise over the beautiful temple towers reflected in the vast expanse of water. I poke my way here and there, struggling to capture reflections and the changing sky. Natural light show. I could stand and contemplate for a long time, but it is good to see the main temple at Angkor Wat before the Chinese wake up. Bookmark and Share

Cambodia Angkor Wat photogallery

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There is already a queue, they only let about 100 people at a time. The stairs leading to the temple are very narrow, with a 70-degree incline, and seem almost vertical. The goal is to face the gods both on the way up and on the way down. It's majestic, it looks unspoiled. How did they manage to build it in the early 12th century? 3000 people a day for 37 years have created a masterpiece dedicated to Vishnu.

Later, it was converted into a Buddhist temple. Khmer architecture is unique and their art amazing. The towers resemble lotus buds and are in honor of the mountain god Meru. How many hours does one need to look at the bas-relief, as if the endlessly long battle scene and the Hindu epics "Ramayana" and "Mahabharata", galleries on different levels. Or to look at nearly 2,000 apsaras, each one with a different dress, ornaments, diadem or pose.

We slip through the West Country, which seems almost deserted, but only briefly. After only minutes I see at least 3-4 large Chinese groups ready to storm the temple and I understand the guide's joke. We go to the ancient capital of the mighty Khmer Empire - Angkor Thom, "The Great City". And Ankor Tom was surrounded by a moat, 8 m high walls, each more than 3 km long, forming a square. Good thing it was lost and forgotten in the jungles for centuries, it has survived to this day. They mention a different number of temples – from more than 100 to 1000 in an area of 200 km2.

The guidebook says about 30 temples relatively easily accessible. The door through which we enter is impressive. I can't wait for the Bayon Temple, with 54 towers with over 200 enigmatic faces of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara Buddha. Wherever you move, the Buddha's face follows you benevolently. And strangely, among so many stony faces staring at me, I don't feel dismantled, but supported. Then there is the famous "Elephant Terrace" from which the Khmer kings watched the ceremonies in the huge square in front.

I really liked the Ta Prohm temple - still not restored, embraced by the powerful roots of trees, an ancient temple built in the late 12th and early 13th century by King Jayavarman VII. Exquisite stone carving, greenish patina of time, heaped piles of stones darkened by the centuries and the creeping roots.

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