So it’s true. Thrones of tourists (yours truly included) descend upon this ancient Khmer Hindu temple each day.
Arriving on a tuk tuk, I was immediately herded along to the entrance, past the children chorusing “buy a postcard from me” and the ladies at the street stalls shouting “cold water ‘mam?” into Cambodia’s most recognisable structure – Angkor Wat.
In my mind, I was dreading an experience where I’ll just be pushed along never getting a moment’s peace with this UNESCO site among the many others that were with me; however surprisingly, the structure was so large that I was able to find myself a corner to sit and admire this wonderful temple.
The entire Angkor complex symbolises Cambodian Khmer history. Temples in and around the area are a mixture of Buddhist and Hindu styles, which illustrates the movement of these two religions in Cambodia.
After Angkor Wat, we were taken to Angkor Thom temple complex, where the spires are covered in smiling faces.
This is when I noticed the way these temples have been built have some familiarity about them, that I’ve seen this before – at Machu Picchu. Large boulders were carved to fit against each other, just like the Incas did with their structures.
Then I wondered, how much of the world do we actually know? How much of each of these ancient civilisations have we still got to learn? Could it be that those who built Angkor had some relations or associations with the Incas of South America?
The compound was so large, and I wanted to see everything that it took us a couple of hours to walk about it. We returned to the hotel exhausted but satisfied, feeling honoured to have been able to visit such magnificent structures even if it meant we had to share it with thousands of other tourists.
Wat a day.