Angkor Wat: An Architectural Masterpiece

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat in Cambodia

Visiting Angkor Wat was a once-in-lifetime and an exciting experience for me and my family back in December 2007. It never occurred to me that I would be able to set foot in Cambodia. But it was truly a blessing that was so unexpected. My sister who was then living in Phnom Penh invited us to visit there. What an opportunity it was!

Angkor Wat
During my college days, my professor in History of Architecture talked about Angkor Wat, a great architectural masterpiece. I never dreamed I could visit and see it!

We visited several tourist spots in Cambodia but the highlight of our vacation was our visit to the world-famous Angkor Wat, an ancient 12th century Buddhist temple, one among several other temples within a huge man-made (square or rectangular?) land mass (“island”) surrounded by a huge moat (like a wide river) isolating it to the rest of the world. It took us the whole day (about 6 hours maybe) by bus to go there from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap up north of Cambodia where Angkor Wat is located.

Angkor Wat: First Heard About it in Architecture Class

During my college days as a student of Architecture at the University of Santo Tomas – College of Architecture & Fine Arts, it was my first time to hear about Angkor Wat when my professor in my History of Architecture class told us about this great architectural masterpiece. It was considered an architectural wonder like the construction of the pyramids and the Mayan temples. My interest to see it was even heightened when I read in the Reader’s Digest (maybe during the 80s) that it was one of those wonders that was already forgotten (during the communist regime) but was “rediscovered” again.

Angkor Wat: World Heritage Site

Angkor Wat
Our tourist guide led us first to the backside of Angkor Wat —not the usual route for tourists. We had a better time away from the thousands of tourists. The tourist guide was really great.

It felt so good for me to actually see it myself (with my family who are all art lovers) and not just listen to my professor talk about it. I marveled at its huge size, how it was professionally crafted and constructed. It was so amazing to actually see the details of it all. Truly an amazing piece of architecture! I couldn’t fully describe it all in words. Our tourist guide was so well-informed and he helped us understand a lot about the place and the structure. Angkor Wat is considered by UNESCO as a “world heritage site.” What a great vacation it was!

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