Tag Archives: Angkor Wat

Temple of a Thousand Faces

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A novel which centers around Angkor Wat, Prince Jayavarman VII’s forced exile and his eventual return to Angkor as King. John Shors did a wonderful job in recreating life as the Khmers might have experienced it, within and around Angkor Wat, which already existed as a magnificent and worshipped structure then. His characters are humanly flawed – they fail, they succumb to their desires and ego, yet they also give in to the simple joys of life – being with family, waking up next to your loved ones everyday – all these facets come together to give light and depth to each character.

“Why did you come here? Why did you attack us?”
Asal had asked himself the same question. “The nature of men is to wage war,” he replied, and then offered her a flask of wine and bamboo tube, which she took. “Chams. Khmers. Siamese. We all fight.”
“Perhaps if you were women, if you created life, you wouldn’t be so quick to take it.”

Angkor Wat

As we made our way to Angkor Wat, bathed in the dim early-morning light, I thought: This is it. This is the reason why we came here in the first place – to experience the wondrous Temples of Angkor. Angkor Wat.

Waking up at 4AM and leaving the hotel at 5AM was totally worth it. Though we did not get the ideal sunrise, we managed to beat the crowds which started coming in hoards after 8AM.

I loved the freshness of the early morning air, the slanted sun’s rays through the ancient pillars, and just the general feeling of mystery and secrecy, while walking around the temple grounds, admiring stories and sights from long ago, hidden within the temple walls. If only all the temples we visited had remained like that – quiet and pensive, without tourists spoiling the atmosphere with camera clicks (ok I’m guilty of that too), extravagant poses, and louder-than-necessary voices.

I miss you, Angkor Wat, and if there was a reason why I’d want to visit Siem Reap again, it would be YOU!