This morning we visited Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. Angkor Wat translated from the Khmer language (Cambodia’s official language) as City Temple. This was a temple complex that was the largest religious structure in the world.
It was designed as a Hindu temple to serve King Suryavarman II. By the end of the 12th century it was considered a Buddhist site. It also was an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The five central towers symbolized the peaks of Mt. Meru which according to Hindu mythology was the dwelling place of gods.
The “mountain” was said to be surrounded by an ocean and the moat suggested the oceans were at the edge of the world according to Hindu mytholodgy.
Angkor Wat covered 400 acres. It marked the high point of Khmer architecture. You would even find Angkor War on the Cambodian flag.
Our clothing was soaked due to the temperature and humidity.
Angkor Wat was surrounded by heavy forests.
Our guide, Reth, grew up here and he told us stories about Angkor Wat being his playground during the period of unrest in Cambodia before it became a World Heritage Site in 1992.
After spending the morning at Angkor Wat, we went back to the hotel to clean up and have some lunch. Our lunch consisted of walking from our hotel to the 7-Eleven nearby and picked up a couple of snacks to eat in our room!
This afternoon we went to the market in town. Our guide told us pepper was very popular and of high quality. We bought some Cambodian peppercorns to bring home. We also found our Cambodian Christmas ornament for our International tree.
We had some extra time so we walked to the Red Piano where they had a drink called “Tomb Raider” named after Angelina Jolie. When she was here filming part of Tomb Raider she would come to the Red Piano and this was her cocktail.
After the market we had time to freshen up before going out to a lovely restaurant for dinner, Sokkhak River Restaurant. The staff was extremely helpful and careful with our food, especially those of us with dietary restrictions.
This afternoon we drove by Pub Street which was lined with restaurants and bars and was known as being the Nightlife spot. Below was a picture taken in the afternoon and another taken after dinner on our way to the hotel.
Tomorrow was a visit to Angkor Thom and a visit to a local school.