Two Days Completely Ruined

Machu Picchu, the great Pyramids of Egypt, The Parthenon. Somewhere at the top of the list of, “You gotta see it to believe it” are the ruins of the Angkorian Kingdom outside of Siem Reap, Cambodia.

For our visit, we had the monastic VIP treatment. Our monk friend, Sok Samnang, was our guide. Clad in bright orange robes and sporting a shaved head, he was a walking photo opp. At each temple we visited, hundreds of cameras flashed in front of us. We were the goofy westerners ruining some traveler’s perfect shot.

We spent two days, from the crack of dawn (4am) to sunset exploring numerous temples and sites. As tropical birds echoed in the morning mist we walked silently over a bridge with giant serpent heads peering down before us. We stood face to face with an ancient emperor at the Bayon. We studied the wall carvings of Ankgor Wat, illustrating the cataclysmic history of Rama, Shiva, Vishnu and a cast of incredible characters from Hindu and Bhuddist lore. We plunged into the jungle where the temple of Ta Prohm is being slowly reclaimed by the forest. The days ended atop ancient pyramids, talking about recent world events and watching the sunset over western Cambodia.

The sites at the 1000 year old ruins are beyond description. So put yourself in a time machine, scroll through the photos below, and imagine a native’s impression as he first sets eyes on this “Wonder of the World” in the middle of the Kingdom of Cambodia.