As many of you may already know, the star attraction of Cambodia is the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat.
Angkor Wat means “City of Temples”. You could spend days wandering the 400 square kilometers of this former Khmer empire, which is also the largest Hindu temple complex in the world.
This place is a visual feast of intricately carved Buddhas, elephants, apsaras (celestial spirits), naga (sacred cobras), lions, garudas, and stories.
Each ruin has a story.
Ta Kao, an incredibly high temple, was never completed because it was struck by lightning.
Baphuon is still being reconstructed after being taken apart piece by piece for study, as if it were the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle.
Bayon near Angkor Thom is a massive temple with thousands of Buddha faces carved into every surface so you feel like you are being watched by millions of eyes.
The warrior carvings in the Terrace of the Leper King look like they were carved yesterday, not centuries ago.
Ta Prohm was used in the filming of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and you can see how nature trumps civilization over time.
Currently, the official and agreed upon seven wonders of the modern world* are:
Chichen Itza, Mexico
Christ the Redeemer, Brazil
The Great Wall of China
Machu Picchu, Peru
The Roman Colosseum, Italy
The Taj Mahal, India
Many amazing world heritage sites are laying claim to being #8 on this list, including Angkor Wat.
I will have to tell the others to start competing over being #9. Angkor Wat is the 8th wonder of the world in my books.
*Note: The Pyramids are the last remaining wonder of the ancient world.
What do you think is the 8th wonder of the world?