This is probably one of the moments I was expecting the most in South-East Asia, the visit of the temples of Angkor, in Cambodia...
My first surprise was to realise that there was actually more than the famous Angkor Wat, as indeed in those times, every king of the Khmer empire (9th to 15th centuries) wanted to build (well not him personally I presume but his slaves) his own temple to "his" glory. So instead of building a big temple and increasing its size year after year, Cambodia is now left with about a thousand temples close to each other, some now not bigger than a pile of stones but others being able to contain up to a million of people back in those times, the most famous being indeed Angkor Wat as it is one of the only one which has never been abandoned to the nature (but which is also not the biggest of all temples, by far).
When deciding what and when to visit, the most interesting entry pass is the 3 days one for about 40$. And I can guaranty you, by the end of the third day, you will definitely have enough of seeing stones everywhere, no matter if those are nice stones belonging to nice temples, by the end of the third day, a stone is a stone! And the other inconvenient is when trying to take pictures, it is very very hard not to have another tourist on it. If one wants to take amazing pictures of Angkor, one must learn patience... :-)
And I could write a lot about the temples of Angkor but the best is probably to show you this selection of pictures I took, with a bit of explanation underneath. If you want to have more information about Angkor, I could refer you to the wikipedia article (in English) or this one (in French).
Map of the main Angkor temples
The first thing that each tourist does is to witness the sun rising behind Angkor Wat, which was first a Hindu, then subsequently a Buddhist, temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world
Unfortunately it can become quite crowded....
A little prayer to Buddha inside Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat is also decorated with thousands of "Devatas" which have now been nicely restored
Angkor Wat surrounded by the dense forest
the pathway leading to Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat with the sunset light
Monks visiting Angkor Wat
No idea who is this woman but the picture looks nice, inside the corridors of Angkor Wat
A lion and myself...
The Bayon is a well-known and richly decorated Khmer temple at Angkor in Cambodia. Built in the late 12th or early 13th century as the official state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII, the Bayon stands at the centre of Jayavarman's capital, Angkor Thom.
That temple has also been decorated with at least 216 faces of the former king himself...
East Mebon temple
The Ta Prohm temple, among the trees, like most of the other temples were found before being restored
Still Ta Prohm and you can actually see how the trees are so tightly integrated to the structures now
Ta Prohm was also used in the movie Tomb Raider and unlike some scenes taken from other temples, the scenes of Ta Prohm were quite faithful to the temple's actual appearance
The Ta Som temple
The third eastern gopura, with strangler fig, still in Ta Som