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Angkor Wat breathes life

September 12, 2008

Sometimes when you visit historical sites like temples, they seem quite dead. If it weren’t for the tourist din and silent steps, there is very little in the way of life. But not so for Angkor Wat. Being a major drawcard for tourists, life has been breathed into it over time through the local folk residing there.

Outside the temple grounds, touts and small vendors have sprung up as far as the naked semi blind eye can see. Although they are kept at a safe distance from tourists, their calls are not: “Hey hey lady lady lady laddddeeeeee!!!!!”

Inside the temple grounds, it’s a very different form of life. You can sense a semi-carnival atmosphere to the place. I don’t mean loud music and entertainers, but locals who use the place as a “hang out”. What I found attracting was how many of these locals inside the temple grounds, differed in attitude. They seemed more casual with a tendancy to ignore the camera happy tourists. Their faces showed it all: they were here long before the first tourist arrived and they will be here until their frail lives end.

The temple grounds are a magnet for children. And why not? A big old eery place with countless nooks and cranies to explore, what an adventure! If only I had something of this magnitude to play in when I was young.

Some of the kids are brave enough to engage with tourists; others are content to sit quietly and observe.

taken by Cate

taken by Cate

taken by Cate

taken by Cate

Angkor Wat seems to be an attraction of another kind:

taken by Cate

taken by Cate

I don’t know how this wedding party stood up to the heat in their outifts. Their clothes so white and squeaky clean. Wonder if they use Persil.

If you plan on spending a good part of the day at Angkor Wat, take a picnic, plenty of water, and an umbrella (for shade or rain).

Caffeinated Traveller

One Comment
  1. MonnyQ permalink
    September 14, 2008 9:59 pm

    Great advice… We certainly also agree with your previous post that getting to Angkor Wat in time for the sunrise is absolutely spectacular and the best time before the hundreds of ‘temple’ raiders

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