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Pool and fountain surrounded by galleries.

Pool and fountain surrounded by galleries.

Visiting the Angkor National Museum is something I should have done first versus going to the actual Angkor Wat temple complex. Why? Simply for the reason I would have known or been educated on what I was looking at. Instead, I did it ass backwards. No worries, as I am up to speed after visiting this fascinating and informative museum.

For the first hour of my visit through this large, 20,000-square-metre building, I didn’t spot another soul. The museum opened in November 2007, and its non-museum “mall like” feel contrasts with the thousands-year-old artefacts contained within it. As I alluded to above, a visit is a comfortable, air-con alternative to visiting the temples themselves, and a nice educational supplement to the history of Angkor if you visit the park without a tour guide. It’s composed of eight separate galleries, all connected by a vaulted corridor with a series of fountains. After an explanatory film screening called Story Behind The Legend, you’re pointed toward the galleries:

Most of my photos do not have captions. Enjoy!
Me.

Me.

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A naga is a deity that takes its form from the snake. You find it frequently in the Buddhist and Hindu religion.

A naga is a deity that takes its form from the snake. You will find it frequently in the Buddhist and Hindu religions.

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This is called a "Batik" painting. The painting is done on cloth in stages, i.e., first an outline, then each individual color is added. I wanted to buy one in the gift shop, but they were over $100.

This is called a “Batik” painting. The painting is done on cloth in stages, i.e., first an outline, then each individual color is added. I wanted to buy one in the gift shop, but they were over $100.

Here are the various stages of painting a Batik.

Here are the various stages of painting a Batik.

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Cambodian king.

Model showing the main Ankgor Wat temple site.

Model showing the main Ankgor Wat temple site.

Another beautiful batik painting.

Another beautiful batik painting.

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Animals play a huge role in the Hindu and Buddhist religions.

Animals play a role in the Hindu and Buddhist religions.

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The Naga description.

The Naga description.

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The lion.

The lion.

Sanskrit messages on stupas.

Sanskrit messages on stupas.

Stupas with Sanskrit messages, e.g., laws, decrees, etc.

Stupas with Sanskrit messages, e.g., laws, decrees, etc.

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