Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

In August of 2012 we visited Angkor Wat Archaeological Park in northwestern Cambodia. The park consists of 99,000 wooded acres and was home to the Khmer population from the 9th to the 15th century. These people lived in a forest, yet they built their homes with quarried, hand polished, non-combustible sandstone. We visited Angkor Wat, Bayon and Banteay temples. There is many more structures and sites here but we could not visit everything in one day. I‘d like to return and spend more time here.

The first slide below is the 492 acre Angkor Wat site from the air. You can stop the slide show by placing your mouse over it and/or click on one of the circles above to view a particular slide. The temples and buildings were constructed between the years 1113 and 1150 using sandstone from a quarry 25 miles northeast of the temple. They accessed the quarry by modifying an existing waterway. Barges, cross canal construction and elephants were utilized to transport the massive blocks to the construction sites. Lifting and placement was accomplished with wooden poles, pulleys, rope and elephants.

Angkor Wat, Bayon & Banteay Temples
  • Angkor WattThe temple grounds from a helicopter.
Angkor Watt1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

A critical design criteria, referred to as ‘water level buffering’, has kept the soil under the temple at a moisture content that allows the temple to flex without cracking or sinking. Engineers used the massive weight of the Temple, soil percolation rates, water table depth, moat elevation and distance data to place the moat. The moat measures 3360' by 2631' inside, 623 feet wide and 15 to 60 feet deep. Engineers maintain that the design has successfully preserved the massive structure.

A mixed team of archeologists, American, Australian and French, have recently confirmed, June 2012, the finding of another city, Mount Kulen, that is 350 years older than Angkor Wat. Mount Kulen is 29 miles NE of Angkor Wat. Very nearly one million people per year visit Angkor Wat Archaeological Park. A bus load of visitors arrived every 20 - 30 minutes.

Angkor Wat and the city of Siem Reap are located in northwest Cambodia, 200 miles east of Bangkok, Thailand. Both countries have very good highway access to this site.

This was my first vacation experience outside of the USA. I seriously enjoyed visiting Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and China. Missing it terribly, I met people and played tennis on hotel courts in Laos.

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