Elroy Christenson



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Angkor Wat, Cambodia


"Angkor Wat at Sunrise, Cambodia" ©2001 Elroy Christenson

Flying from Vietnam to Cambodia was not without its tensions but the arrival at Angkor Wat for an afternoon sunset and an early sunrise made it worth every moment. The monument was constructed in the early 12th century. Angkor Wat was built as a temple and monument to promote the power of the king, Suryavarman II, as the hindu god, Vishnu. The city that supported it may have had a population of one million making it one of the largest cities in Asia at the time. The wealth also brought numerous invasions in particular from the Cham of the south, now Vietnam. It was adopted after years of being abandoned as a Buddhist shrine and still contains a Buddhist monastery on the grounds. It remains one of the largest religious sites in the world and still is an important symbol of Khmer culture. In fact the profile of Angkor Wat is on the new Cambodian flag.

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updated by Elroy Christenson 9/02/12