An Afternoon at Angkor Wat

Tourists walk toward Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

During my maiden (and solo) visit to Angkor Wat, I glimpsed the majestic Cambodian structure at sunrise. Seeing the inky sky gradually awaken over the site and then illuminate it with a shrimp-colored hue was a magical experience. But in the years since, I’d read that the sunrise experience had lost some of its luster, due to massive crowds.

Returning a few years later, Shawn and I decided to arrive at a more gentlemanly hour — well after sunset. Still, we traveled via Siem Reap’s red clay roads, on the back of a bumpy tuktuk.

Built in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat is thought to be the world’s largest religious building – initially Hindu and now Buddhist. Its sandstone walls have weathered harsh tropical sunshine and war with grace.

In lieu of more text, I shall let the beautiful temple show herself off via the images that follow.

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All rights reserved.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and a co-founder of Eloquence. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta, as well as Heidelberg, Germany. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Though they are currently nomadic, they look forward to establishing a European home someday. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

23 thoughts on “An Afternoon at Angkor Wat

    1. Ashleypaige, that’s kind of you to say – thank you, or as they say in Cambodia (Khmer), “Awkun.” It’s quite easy to become shutter happy at Angkor, so I’ll be posting another batch of pics from Angkor’s other more atmospheric sites in the coming days.

    1. Zen and Genki, thank you for the compliment! The Angkorian temples are the perfect backdrop with their dark stone walls, aren’t they? I enjoyed seeing the splash of color with a monk’s robe, colorful costumes, or flora such as the striking water lilies.

  1. Just stunning! You’ve captured more than the essence of the place. I swear I could sense a soul emerging in your photos! Well done doesn’t begin to describe what you captured! – Renee

    1. Thank you so much, Renee! I’m guessing that Angkor Wat is on your family’s wish list of spots to see in Asia? It’s such an extraordinary place; I would love to spend a few days in the area exploring all the magnificent temples.

      1. Angkor is of course magnificent, but so was our experience in Cambodia’s Takeo province (a spot I’d highly recommend if you’re looking to get off the beaten path too). We stayed at a homestay there, taught English, learned how to thresh rice, and mingled with the locals for a week. What memories!

    1. Certainly, it’s a region deserving of many days to explore it! I’ve heard that some of the outlying temples, such as Banteay Srei, are especially worthwhile. Thanks for dropping by and I look forward to learning more of your travels!

      1. Banteay Srei is just gorgeous – like a jewell box, really. The stone is such a deep rusty red, and the carving intricate and almost domestic in scale … I loved it. :)

      2. Do you have any images posted on your site? How long did you tour the Angkorian sites in all?

        We were just saying yesterday how we really miss Cambodia. Perhaps we can make it back soon and see some of the more remote temples!

      3. Unfortunately, although I started writing about that trip, I got sidetracked writing about my life here in Sri Lanka and haven’t continued with it :(

        I was silly – only scheduling four days (2 halves, 3 full) in Siem Reap – and as you know, you need pretty well a full day for Angkor Wat itself, the same for the Bayon. I had a half day out at Banteay Srei which felt hurried – though I did get lots of shots, I felt most of my time was behind the lens, instead of looking through my own eyes at the carvings. It’s small, and very beautiful.

        I came across a blog the other day with the most fantastic photos of a couple of the ‘outer’ temples – i’ll send you the link if I can find it!

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