An Angkor Wat Halloween

October 31st, 2009
It is the only breeze. Humid and hotter than ever, the wind faintly blows by with enough gusto that the dragonflies buzzing about seem to catch a free ticket to ride. I breathe a sigh of relief as I look down at the treacherously steep set of stairs beneath me. I made it to the top of one of the wonders of the world! You may have seen photos, coffee table books, and documentary specials, but to see and feel and touch it first hand was the ultimate experience. The morning sun beats down mercilessly as I try to find solace under the brim of my loud-Japanese-tourist-looking hat. Sweat still drips off my brow but I am more enamored by the view because 360 degrees as far as the eye can see stands the remnants of the 13th century Khmer empire. I imagine what life would be like for one of the 750,000 inhabitants in the capital of the ancient world. It takes us a good 10 minutes drive by tuk-tuk between each temple in the 400 square mile expanse of lush green vegetation, imagine what it was like to walk to your neighbors house back then, it must have taken days! After a quick rest, its time to head to the most impressive and highly anticipated temple (at least for me)–the Tomb Raider/National Geographic Temple–aka Ta Phrom. Where nature runs wild, like an child’s unruly locks of hair, many of the trees tangled roots are now the support and foundation of the temples themselves. I know its an American holiday, but a trip to Cambodia would not be complete without trying my best Lara Croft impression on Halloween!

Temples of Bayon

Ta Phrom Temple