The most frequent topic discussed while in Angkor Wat was what are the 7 wonders of the world & where are they located.
Here's my list (as far as I can remembered), not according to the encyclopedia nor that of the recognised 7 wonders of ancient world; but those that I learned when I was young. Not sure who told me or how the list was complied either. I don't particularly care but I remembered the fascination I had with them, ie. I must see them all!
Here's the list: 1. Great Wall of China - China. 2. Pyramid of Giza - Egypt. 3. Borobudur - Indonesia. 4. Taj Mahal - India. 5. Leaning Tower of Piza - Italy. 6. Eiffel Tower - France. 7. Angkor Wat - Cambodia.
Ok, so here I came... to Angkor Wat! That was in the past, way before the world unanimously elected the New 7 Wonders of the World on 7 July 2007.
Angkor Wat - the largest Hindu temple in the world! The main attraction for visiting Cambodia. Here is my first sunrise; well, at least where I successfully witnessed one. What can I say about Angkor Wat itself other than its beautiful landscape & reflection? The most gorgeous sunrise & the climb to the top of the temple where most will never ever forget it, especially if you are afraid of heights! For me, that's where the excitement began ;-)))
The Path To Enlightenment
Angkor Wat is a place where one usually hears more about it before the actual visit... somewhat like the Pyramids of Giza.
It is a historical trip for most part & trying to find enlightenment in a place crowded with tourists is an impossibility.
Yet, sometimes when the mind is ready, one will be greeted with a mystic force. Seek & you shall find... that's what the many devouts come here for.
As for me, it's the thrill of discovery rather than spiritual enlightenment.
What is it about sunrise & sunset that fascinated so many of us? Surprisingly, I was the only one on our tour who made it to Angkor Wat early in the morning! Yep, I went there all by myself. With the help of the hotel I stayed in, I managed to get a private car which cost me something like US$5 per hour early in the morning & that's about 5 am! It was pitch black when I reached the temple. Yes, remember to bring a torchlight. Otherwise, you will never be able to get there! I heard voices but I saw no one. There were no light... none whatsoever! But I was fascinated, it was like a journey into the unknown... really cool! Twilight zone, the black hole... call it whatever you like, it's an experience where I learned how hard it is to be blind!
I waited for almost half an hour before I started to take some pix. This is one adventure where I actually enjoyed being on my own.
The Angkor Guide There is much to be seen & to learn about this temple in Cambodia. Here's a site which is excellent for learning & preparing for your journey to this wonder of the world: TheAngkorGuide.com.
For those who wish to catch a glimpse of this amazing architecture, check out these documentaries by BBC & National Geographic:
Angkor Wat (or Angkor Vat) (Khmer: អង្គរវត្ត) is a temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia, built for the king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation—first Hindu, dedicated to the god Vishnu, then Buddhist. The temple is the epitome of the high classical style of Khmerarchitecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country's prime attraction for visitors.
Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple mountain and the later galleried temple, based on earlySouth Indian Hindu architecture, with key features such as the Jagati. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat and an outer wall 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of towers. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west; scholars are divided as to the significance of this. The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of the architecture, its extensive bas-reliefs and for the numerous devatas (guardian spirits) ...