Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is synonymous with Cambodia.  At times, it is the only thing people are familiar with when it comes to the country.  This is for obvious reasons, given its architectural and engineering marvel, its holy aura, and endurance over nearly one thousand years.  Cambodia is certainly much more than Angkor Wat; however, once I was walking throughout the temples, I understood, I experienced why this area symbolizes the country and the Khmer people.

There are dozens of temples and shrines throughout Angkor Wat and within a short drive of the main network; I spent two days visiting the most notable temples.  I think saturation of beauty, like any intoxicant, has the tendency to make us drunk, causing our senses to be somewhat impaired.  I tried to walk through the grounds taking in all of Angkor Wat with a fresh perspective, but wound up feeling overwhelmed, exhausted.  I inevitably succumbed to “temple fatigue”, the phrase commonly known among travelers visiting Angkor Wat.  This was a reminder for me to slow down and try to absorb the sights, sounds, smells, and aura of the surroundings without making the visit a chore and the temples a set of tasks there to check off.  As always in travel, there was much I did not see.  The common refrain “next time, next time” hangs in the air like smoke from a smoldering fire.  I do not know if there will be a next time.  But I do know about this time and for this time, I am thankful.

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