The Angkor Wat is one of the largest religious monuments in the entire world. It spans more than 160 hectares of land and is composed of several structures. Built around the end of the 12th century, this was originally a Hindu Temple which was eventually transformed to a Buddhist Temple over time.
The grandeur, design, and overall aesthetic of Angkor Wat are overwhelming. And that’s exactly what I felt when I first laid my own eyes on this temple. Overwhelmed.
Keyboard to Actual Angkor Wat
Back when I just graduated, I was working as a content writer for a travel website. At the same time, I was doing freelance writing for different clients, and a number of them were about travel as well. Because of this, I wrote about different places and I was able to learn a lot of things. Especially in history which I really appreciated because this is one subject that I love.
One of the countries that stood out to me and stuck with me throughout my life was Cambodia. They have a rich culture and past filled with tragic events. There are a lot of museums and monuments today that honor their rich history, and none are as grand as the Angkor Wat.
I wrote about this place a number of times. Through research, I was able to read and write about the history of this place as well as some tips on how to get there and what to visit. Even on my keyboard and screen, the place felt so grand. I always dreamed about visiting Angkor Wat but said to myself that it was a farfetched idea. I barely even traveled out of Luzon back then let alone go to a foreign land to visit a vast temple.
In 2017 however, I was provided an opportunity. We were going on a business trip to Phnom Penh. But there was no direct flight from Manila to Cambodia’s capital. So we had to fly to Siem Reap and take a bus going to Phnom Penh. And as fate would have it, Angkor Wat is located in Siem Reap.
So I and a couple of my colleagues decided to take a flight three days before we have to be in Phnom Penh so we can spend at least a day in Siem Reap. We booked our flight and our hotel and off we went.
We got to Siem Reap in the middle of the night which was good. We got a good night’s sleep and the next morning, we hired a Tuk-Tuk for the day to take us all around Angkor Wat.
The Splendor of Angkor Wat
As mentioned, Angkor Wat is a huge place. It is comprised of several structures spanning 160 hectares. This is why you need a Tuk-Tuk for the duration of your stay there. At the same time, they offer passes for several days. We only bought a day’s pass and chose three specific temples to visit. The ones you cannot miss.
The most memorable of course is the main temple of Angkor Wat. Words cannot describe how beautiful it is. We arrived right at sunrise so we got a very special view of the temple as it came into the light.
My first thought was that it was so massive. I knew the measurements. I knew it took decades to build. Because I wrote about it. But seeing it right in front of you is a whole new perspective. It allowed me to appreciate just how beautiful Angkor Wat is just by being there.
Another thing I found while visiting the different structures is how detailed the murals were. Looking at a wall is like reading a comic book. It shows different characters representing different events of the past. It was so impressive.
Aliens of Angkor Wat
Because of the details and sophisticated way Angkor Wat was built, there are some people who hypothesized that this was built by aliens, or at least the technology to do it was lent to humans. I laugh at this notion.
Imagine spending your lifetime dedicating it to one thing. After 50 years you are able to complete it and you are very proud of it. Centuries later people do not believe you could have ever built it so they attribute it to beings from out of this world.
As fun as it may be to think that aliens helped build our history, I still prefer to think that people, with the right motivation and a little elbow grease, can achieve great things. Nothing is impossible if you keep working hard and stay focused. And for me, this is the same reason why the impossible dream of visiting the magnificent Angkor Wat, became a reality.