During the holidays, I decided to spend my break in Cambodia and I must say that I’m glad I did because it was certainly a trip I will never forget. I have always loved visiting different places because the excitement of stepping foot in an exotic and foreign land is such a great thrill. There was so much to see and so much to do in this country that the moment I got there I didn’t know where to start. Luckily I wasn’t alone and my friend was nice enough to suggest places where we could go. As I have said before, there is so much to see in the country, and considering we were in a place where we’ve never been before, we decided to make the most of the trip by visiting all the places we could go to. Since it was a once in a life time experience, at least for us, we decided to make the most of it.
The country of Cambodia has so much to offer, especially for us tourists. We had a great time visiting a lot of places, from the charming and picturesque city of Siem Reap, to the beautiful beach resort of Kampong Som. Everywhere we went, we were caught into a whirlwind of stunning architectural masterpieces and the equally breathtaking sights of nature that just seemed more beautiful and more radiant when it’s seen in a different world. All the places we went to were wonderful and we would revisit them if we could. But there was one place that not only caught my attention but, if I have to be honestly sentimental, my heart as well. True, we went and saw a lot of great places but visiting Angkor Wat was probably my favorite part of the whole trip. There was just something about this place that was indescribably wonderful.
Angkor Wat is an enormous complex found near the city of Siem Reap and a few hundred miles from the capital of Phnom Penh. According to what our guide told us, Angkor Wat was built in the early 12th century as a regal place of worship dedicated to honor and worship a Hindu deity. We have been told that Angkor Wat is the largest temple in Hinduism. Also, it is the largest religious monument in the world. Angkor Wat is the perfect example of Khmer architecture in the country of Cambodia. When we got there we had to travel by going across a boat and it wasn’t easy considering it was still filled with water, thank goodness none of us fell in it. It didn’t take too much time and before we knew it we were at the first gate house. We hadn’t gotten far yet and were already in awe at the exquisite architectural design.
The name of Angkor Wat can be translated to the “City of Temple” and we were told that the temple took a long thirty seven years to be completed and it was all done by hands. We were truly impressed by that information, especially after seeing the huge scale and judicious craftsmanship and architectural magnificence of the temple of Angkor Wat that have withstood and endured time and the elements for thousands and thousands of years.
Spending my Holidays in the artistically and historically fulfilling temples of Angkor Wat was an amazing delight and a truly wonderful and unforgettable experience. And I am pretty sure I wasn’t the only one who felt that way, I believe that every single one of us who was in that temple was amazed, taken over, and awestruck by the beauty, exquisiteness, enormity and magnitude of the temple’s architecture. What amazed us most about the temples of Angkor Wat was the pure quality of the craftsmanship that they personified. As we walked through the main Angkor Wat temple structure, we were all overwhelmed with a deceptive yet clear experience of beauty. There was just something about the absolute endurance of the architecture of the temple that really struck us. Angkor Wat was definitely a wonderful experience, not just for me but for my companions as well. I think there’s no other way to describe it except that it is out of this world.
The temple had three doorways. The middle one was reserved for royalty, like a king; the two doors surrounding it were especially for generals and other high officials while the doors located in the more outer are for regular citizens. Wasting no time, we went to explore the magnificent temple and were brought in a world of History and culture. Passing the gate house, we reached a raised walkway that was probably 5 km long. There were two libraries that bordered the walkway that really got my attention and I wanted to explore more of it but we needed to move on so I didn’t get the chance to. So we moved on and we went through a couple of ponds, after a while traveled up a stair case to the first level to find 4 beautiful ponds that perfectly represented the four elements, earth, water, air, and fire, in an artistic and beautiful way.
The temple was like a whole other world, there was something about it that gets to you. And I know I have said it before, but I will say it again, there is just so much to see. The temple of Angkor Wat has a beautiful architectural style that was greatly influenced by Indian schemes. In every turn, you’ll see something that will either surprise you or take your breath away. From the waterways and canals to the five central shrines, every turn is an adventure. We found a magnificent portico that reaches a quarter of a mile to touch the entrance of the main building, on the west part of the temple. While we were exploring more of the temple, we found ourselves in another fascinating part of the place. Going further into the magnificent temple of Angkor Wat, we reached the three galleries that were surrounded and encircled by a moat.
The first gallery we discovered had square pillars on its outer side and it has closed walls found on its inner side. Inside we noticed that the ceiling between the pillars were beautifully and skillfully decorated with lotus rosettes; we also noticed some charming pictures of dancing figures were decorated all over the gallery’s closed wall, the outside walls were decorated with beautiful staked windows, heavenly nymphs, and figures of dancing males on flouncing animals. After traveling through the first gallery we reached the second gallery by traveling through a raised platform surrounded by statues of lions on both sides. The inner walls of the second gallery were decorated with continuous narrative relief. After exploring the second gallery, we moved on to the third gallery which encloses the five shrines which were built on a tall terrace and intersected by balconies. The roof was decorated with the pattern of a snake’s body connected to a lion’s head.
Before going to Cambodia, we had heard a lot about the Angkor Wat temple and its beauty but we never truly understood how truly beautiful and wonderful it was until we saw the temple’s magnificence for ourselves. The history behind the temple was incredible enough when we were being told about the temple’s story, then we were completely blown away by the temple’s beautiful designs and amazing structure. The temple of Angkor Wat is truly and undeniably amazing and the whole place just gives an incredible ethereal and unearthly feel. The temple wasn’t just some spot to attract tourists; it was really an incredible and remarkable place. Angkor Wat is beyond beautiful; in fact, I think calling beautiful would be a complete understatement. One more thing we loved about the place was that it wasn’t only gorgeous but the fact that the people there were very nice and hospitable.
My experience in the temple of Angkor Wat is something that I know I will always remember.