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!
I like the photos, especially the statues and the batiks. It reminds me the similar museum in my place, similar artifacts. The batiks really nice 🙂 and the photos speaks enough about the museum
Thank you. Yes, I think this place was special and I wish I would have gone here before visiting the temples.
Good stuff, blade…
I should say I’ve looked at all your posts so far, though I did not comment on all the Angkor Wat posts. Must be an incredible place, despite the tourists. The place with the trees growing in the ruins looked fantasmagical, if that’s a word, and it probably isn’t. Places like that to me are the unique places that when you are there, you feel what the Hawaiians call “mana”. Mana is a hard word to define, but generally means a power coming from spirituality — of a place, or a person or thing. I know that when I’m in Kauai, certain places on the north shore where the ocean waves hit certain beaches as the sun sets, or I hike up to a hilltop and feel the Pacific trade winds in my face as I look out over the ocean — I feel the mana of the place. I get it, feel it mostly when I am on islands, sometime in the mountains. To me, it is almost a primordial, timeless feeling of energy — and it gives a feeling of peace as well, at least to me. Stay safe and keep the stories coming…
Excellent post Tom. I can’t add too much more then what you’ve said. I love to explore – both nature and places like this, which in fact, combine nature with ancient history. Athens, Italy, Nepal, etc., provide me with similar curiousity and energy. Oh, yes you’re right about hiking a trail or being on a beach. There is something so peaceful and spiritual about doing such activities, where I feel energized and sated or fulfilled. Mana is a perfect word too for this feeling.
I think in our modern world, we’ve become alienated from the earth to a great extent, and from our own history, wherever we may come from. When you are at a place like Angkor Wat, or on an island experiencing 2000 mile storm waves crashing onto an island beach in endless succession, you don’t have the “noise” or the intrusions of the modern world interrupting your experience of the place. So, you can feel the history of it, of the people that came before you that were there in that place, you experience the power of the earth so that you are free to recognize that you really are a part of the earth, not an outsider looking in. These places and experiences allow you to connect with the energy of the place and moment. I know it when I feel it — unfortunately it happens too seldom for me…
Your comment above segues partially with a post I am not going to enjoy writing/documenting . . . The Killing Fields, which I visited the day before yesterday. I am still numb from the experience Tom. I also visited the infamous Tuol Sleng Prison, where this house of horrors was used to torture and eventually execute prisoners. Unbelievable cruelty was visited upon Cambodians by other Cambodians, who had no choice but to carry out these atrocities or they themselves would be killed. At both places they did not waste bullets on their victims, but normally used common garden tools to maim and kill them. However, you name the method of killing, sans a gun shot to the head, then it was probably used at both places. Sickening, especially when you consider the juxtaposition of how kind and polite the Cambodian people are that I am meeting. In short, in my own miniscule way – the story of the Killing Fields needs to be repeated over and over again, so that it hopefully does not ever occur again. Hard to articulate what I saw and felt at both sites, but I am glad I visited both.
Hey Steve, how’ve you been brother. I see that you’re back on the road. We visited Angkor on our last RTW and loved it. I saw you name pop up on our Munich river surfers post, and thought I’d make contact. Are you on another RTW or just doing Cambodia? ~James
Hi James . . . Yes, I loved the “river surfer” post. I was in Vietnam for 3 months earlier this year and wanted to return to SE Asia. Right now, I really have no plan, except to stay in Cambodia for another week or so, then I am off to Laos. After that, dunno . . . Except, I am not returning to the States until January 20th. Consequently, I have a return to Vietnam planned, as well as hitting some new countries (Indonesia is the only definite). By the by, any tips you have on Laos, I am all ears. Good to hear from you . . . Steve 🙂
That sounds like a nice trip Steve. We thought about Vietnam on our last trip, but didn’t manage to make it, but it’s on the list. We spent a month traveling (by train) from one end of Java to the other, and it was a nice trip. The only place we visited in Laos was Luang Prabang, and we absolutely loved it. It’s a small city (or a large village really) and a wonderful place to chill. We wrote a few posts (search our blog “Luang Prabang” and you’ll find them all). If you can, definitely visit LP. With all the Buddhist temples and French Colonial architecture, it’s truly unique. Have a fun trip. ~James
OMG! You read my mind (or, maybe my friend’s mind – who also mentioned this place). I have only heard good things about Luang Prabang. So yes, I am definitely going there – even more certain after your affirmation of this place. If you go to Vietnam, there is a comparable place to Luang Prabang, called Hoi An. I think you two would love it. Actually, I fell in love with Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh city is a bustling metropolis, with little or no pollution and the restaurants are the best in SE Asia in my opinion. Similarly, the seaside resorts of Vung Tau and Mui Ne shouldn’t be missed.
Wow! I am so glad you stopped by and mentioned Luang Prabang, as I wasn’t really certain where in Laos I would visit. Your endorsement, along with my friend’s has clinched it – I am off to LP next! Thank you very much . . . Steve 🙂
Dennis LAW said:
Angkor Wat is really good, I would like to visit someday. Nice
Hey there Dennis! Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Yes, I think you would enjoy visiting Angkor Wat. Say hi to Jennifer for me. Take care my friend . . . Steve