Three miles north of Siem Reap lies the Cambodian temple, Angkor Wat.The grounds cover over 248 miles of Cambodian land, making it the largest religious structure in the world. The monument was named a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1992 and attracts more than two million visitors each year. Naturally, during my trip to Southeast Asia, I had to see what all the fuss was about.
Although not officially, many people consider Angkor Wat a wonder of the world. The temple sits in the center of Angkor Archaeological Park and has been a coveted place of worship since the 12th century.
Angkor was the capital of the Khmer Empire from the 9th to 15th centuries. These photos are from the main temple of Angkor Wat, but the grounds are also home to the Bayon Temple at Angkor Thom. The Bayon Temple became more recognizable after being used as a filming location in 2001 for “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.”
Walking through the temple grounds was overwhelming. At first glance, Angkor Wat is a massive stone structure, but as you walk through its hallways, you’ll notice intricate carvings and sculptures throughout.
These warriors are darker in color because of people touching them for good luck. The oil from tourists’ fingertips have caused the color to darken, making the lucky warriors stand out.
For reference, I’m six feet tall! Here’s me standing next to one of the gargantuan stone towers.
My time at Angkor Wat was peaceful and powerful. It comes as no surprise that millions of people flock to the temple each year. Have you ever found yourself getting lost in the ancient grounds?