At the top of this crumbling ruin at a temple several km from Angkor Wat was this overgrown hole. Hot and moist vegetation seeped down into the lower chamber.
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The apsaras sprung from the churned milk of the Rig Veda and entertain the gods and fallen heroes with their dancing winsome ways. Every apsara is in a slightly different pose as thousands of them stare outwards from the ruins in and around Angkor Wat. Each figure is almost a millennia old, and they still maintain the fine craftsmanship through the tropical growth and the jungle heat.
I’ve never sweat as much in my life as I did while exploring the remote parts of Cambodia. This temple was about an hour by sketchy motorbike outside of Siem Reap. There was absolutely no shade anywhere, since the only parts of the temple that remained standing offered no cover at all!
It was a beautiful late morning in Angkor Wat in the jungles of Cambodia. I sat by the lake and drank Vietnamese coffee for 3 hours, watching the sunrise with a finger on my wired shutter release… occasionally stirring around to wipe the dew off the lens.
I was in a remote area of Angkor Wat by myself, or so I thought. For whatever reason, there was absolutely nobody around and I was searching parts of the old abandoned temple entirely by myself. I came through a passage to find these three monks resting on the stairs.
I spent a very long time in and around the temple with a monk friend I had made. We walked all around while I gave him the third degree on Cambodia and the Khmer Empire.
This is part of a new textures tutorial I have going upÂ later this week!
These are the golden heads of Suryavarman II in Angkor Thom in Cambodia. His face is all over every tower in every direction. I can only imagine a similar temple with Hillary’s grizzled visage staring out in every direction…
We call him "Survivorman" among my friends because we play a lot of Civilization IV and the Khmers are one of the races that always comes up. We have trouble saying his real name, so now we just default to the Discovery Channel guy.
And yes… I know this picture is BUSY, but that’s okay when you wanna get busy with this sorta thing.
This is one of the remote temples in the jungles around Angkor Wat. It remained buried in the jungle for several hundred years before it was rediscovered by Englishmen drinking tea and probably saying, “Blimey!”
It took many more hours of sweaty hacking through the jungles of Cambodia to find this place, but it was well worth it. The temple was in worse condition than most of the others around Angkor Wat… although there was still plenty of great stuff to explore.