The temples of Ankor...a "mental"photo
 
 
by Trinh Nguyen, a young vietnamese-american tourist, who prefers to write rather than take photos
 
   
  I have traveled a great distance across the world to see Angkor Wat. I have finally made it to Siem Reap to see it. It is nothing that I had imagined.  
   
  It is much more, and unutterably magical.  
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  Angkor Wat is only a small jewel in the mystical world of the Ancient Temples of Angkor. The creation of Angkor is built on a combination of sophisticated architecture, emotions, mysticism, and the relationship between the ruler and a divinity. More importantly, it is built with the intentions of connecting daily realities with cosmic mountains, rivers, the sun, and the spirit of trees, birds and its ecological life.  
   
  There are so many magnificent temples that still stand. Some of them go back as far as 893 AD. I have walked through the blistering sun to see Ta Prohm, Bakong, Banteay Srei (the "Citadel of Women," a temple believed to be built by women), Lolei, Preah Ko, and the Bayon.  
   
  I have climbed the temple of Du Phnom Bakheng to see the sunset from afar, and have seen the sunrise right at Angkor Wat. Each corner tower of Angkor Wat receives the sun's reflection differently, having various meanings. It is at sunrise and sunset that you feel its potent charm.  
   
  Angkor is a place of divinity, love and ancient cultures that is so dreamlike. And, as I ride through the pathway on my Tuk Tuk, a motobike (the temples are massive) to the temples, I am in archways shaped by magnificent trees. I can even hear the leaves being disturbed by the gentle wind, and see the monkeys claiming territory to their trunks. The smell that surrounds the temples is refreshing, fueling my energy to discover more. It is quite powerful, yet so sensuous. It is like being voluntarily captive and seduced in a moment in time.  
   
  There are scriptures, sculptures and monuments within temples that date back as far as the 12th and 13th centuries, and all tell a tale. You can see it, feel and take part in it. The telling of the tale is very spiritual. I have never seen anything so sophisticated and intelligent. It is no doubt the Khmer ancient culture exceeds our modern concept of civilization, particularly through the Angkorian Empire.  
     
 
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