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Archive for the ‘Angkor Wat’ Category

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I finally have photos up from Angkor Wat, and I just discovered that I can caption them with Picasa. So from now on, all of you will have witty, informative captioning to keep you company as you scroll through my photo albums.

I know, I’m excited too.

Anyway, Angkor Wat was amazing (miles ahead of Ayutthaya). I spent three very warm days there with my parents and a local guide, and I managed to take even more pictures than I took in Ayutthaya (not all of them are up on the web, just my 199 favorites).

If you ever go to Angkor Wat, make sure you have a guide. The temples are very impressive on their own, but after a while they will all start to blend together unless you have a steady stream of fun facts from your guide to keep you going.

A few of my favorites:

– The large, grassy area we are standing in was once used as a stadium for elephant-fighting (like cock-fighting, I suppose, but with elephants);

– This carving shows two teams of people (the good people and the bad people) playing tug-of-war with a giant snake;

– These holes are bullet-holes from the Cambodian civil war…

After all, you wouldn’t want to leave Siem Reap without hearing the story of the husband who enlisted the help of an army of monkey soldiers to reclaim his wife, who was stolen from him by a wicked king.

That tale, as well as the famous game of snake tug-of-war, is carved on the temple walls. But without our trusty guide, I’d still be wondering if those were really monkeys carved in the middle of all those war scenes (in many of the wall carvings, the good guys are aided by monkey soldiers, who were about twice the size of human soldiers if the carvings are to scale).

And I would never have guessed that the lake near the entrance was built for the king as a swimming pool, and that the one in front of Angkor Wat was actually a giant moat to protect the temple.

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