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Beautiful Patterns, Common Threads


Cambodia, part 4

At its peak, the Angkor empire controlled a huge area that included much of today's Thailand, Lao, Myanmar (Burma), Vietnam and Malaysia. The city of Angkor Thom, capital of the empire, and the surrounding villages that kept alive its court and temples, held almost one million people. The main temple, Angkor Wat, is considered by many to be the most beautiful temple in the world; its volume is larger than the Great Pyramid in Egypt. Many other awe-inspiring buildings were constructed during the four hundred years of Angkor's prominence -- and, with many of them destroyed over time by invading armies and the encroaching jungle, what's left only gives a hint of the grandeur that was Angkor at its greatest.


Angkor Wat at Sunrise: The Most Beautiful Temple in theWorld

Some Pilgrims Have Their Hair Cut Off As an Offering of Thanks for Good Fortune to Vishnu, the Hindu God to Whom the Temple is Dedicated

Young Guides Like These Know All About the Temple Murals -- They Come Here Often on History Class Field Trips

Buddha Sculptures Illustrate the Mixed Buddhist and Hindu Heritage of Angkor

Bas-Relief Carvings of Celestial Dancers Called Apsaras Line the Outer and Inner Walls of the Third Tier of Angkor Wat

Some of the Apsara Carvings Show Us Popular Hair Styles and Jewelry of Their Times


At Its Height, Ta Prohm Monastery Housed 72,200 People Including 18 High Priests, 2740 Monks, 2202 Assistants, 615 Dancers and 66,625 Male and Female Laborers

Today, the Jungle Has Encroached on the Once-Great Temple

Archaeologists Have (Controversially--read news article) Decided to Leave Ta Prohm in Its Natural State, Creating an Eerie and Very Dramatic Setting

Visitors to Angkor Spend Days Wandering the Different Sites -- They Have to Eat, Right?

Cambodia, Part 6

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