Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Temples of Angkor


It was a hot summer evening in the 626.  Coming back from yet another day at The Dungeon and little would I know that the spark for transformation lies buried underneath multiple strata on discount coupons and pre-approved credit cards.  I slowly open the narrow black door and quickly put my hand inside to avoid the avalanche of junk.  Disaster averted. 
I immediately see it, my monthly dose of escapism to quench the yearning for adventure that lies squashed at the bottom of my soul by the weight of expectations and the unwavering commitment to a lost cause.  I fill up the recycling bin next to the mailboxes with the unwanted propaganda.  I grab the envelope and whatever bills there are from the late adopters to paperless transactions.  As I make my way up to #15, I rip the envelope to reveal the cover of the July 2009 issue of National Geographic magazine. 
All my senses but one are momentarily suspended; my vision is fixed on the image.  My entire being is transfixed by the image.  An orange-robed monk at the alcove, roots melting over stone, all wrapped in the bright yellow frame that I can only dream to one day border one of my own snapshots. As my mind returns from the stupor I make out the one word on the cover: Angkor.  One word stimulates one thought to transverse the sea of gray:

I.  Must.  Go.


Almost 2 years later I did.  

This is what I saw:



Sunrise over Angkor Wat



Suryavarman's Army
Angkor Wat



BebitAngkor
Angkor Wat




East Side
Angkor Wat
(The only western facing Angkorian Temple)



Vishnu Devotion
Angkor Wat




The Many Faces of Jayavarman VII
Prasat Bayon
Angkor Thom



Prasat Bayon
Angkor Thom



Buddha Devotion
Prasat Bayon
Angkor Thom



Stoned
Prasat Bayon
Angkor Thom



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Prasat Bayon
Angkor Thom



"Look!  A Melting Tree"
Prasat Bayon
Angkor Thom



Rubble Devotion
Preah Palilay
Angkor Thom



Man vs. Nature
Preah Palilay
Angkor Thom



Roots
Ta Prohm
Art Direction: Bebitacurry



More Bitacurry PSAs
Ta Prohm



Ceiba pentandra
Ta Prohm



Ceiba pentandra 2
Where is the monk?
Ta Prohm




Tetrameles nudiflora
Ta Prohm



Tetrameles bebiflora
Ta Prohm



Kids in a Candy Store
Ta Prohm



Inner Space
Banteay Kdei



Enlightened Smile
Banteay Kdei




Apsara Devata
Banteay Kdei



Future
Banteay Kdei



"El Cajón Camboyano"
Day 1 Driver




Day 2





Johnny Octane
Fuel for Day 2



South Gate Guardian
Angkor Thom



Holy Sword
Preah Khan



Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Preah Khan




Apsaras and Roots
Preah Khan



Monks, monks, monks
Preah Khan




The 3rd Eastern Gopura
Ta Som




The 3rd Eastern Gopura vs. Ficus religiosa
Ta Som



Stranglehold
Ta Som



Nature IS Winning
Ta Som




Shiva Lights the Way
Pre Rup




Mount Meru
Pre Rup



and the Four Continents
Pre Rup



Horse, Jockey and Carriage
Day 2 Drive
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4 comments:

  1. Wonderful Pictures! I loved this place more than anything else I have seen so far. Mystical! Was unable to leave Ta Prohm... Never felt so much compassion. Enjoy this unique place!

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  2. Angkor Wat es uno de los sitios que quiero ver antes de morir... me has dado un insider tour!!!

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  3. @Ole: Your enthusiasm about Angkor got more excited about going than I already was. Thanks my friend.
    @Bali: Tienes que venir. No hay foto que le haga justicia. Es un lugar mágico. Solo espero que mis fotos te den mas ganas y te hagan cometer una locura ;-) Un abrazo camarada!

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  4. Oh man, you made me go back there! Thanks Juanse!

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