Apsara carving in one of the towers of Angkor Wat

[August 2011, Angkor Wat, Cambodia]
The breathtaking splendor of the Angkor temple complex is ineffable.
A thousand snapshots couldn’t do the actual scenery any justice.

At every corner, on every stone carving at every ruin there is a reminder of the amazing potential and power of human capability. Although some of the oldest ruins are said to date back over a thousand years, the dedication, care and commitment of the regal builders and craftsmen of the Khmer Empire is sensed and celebrated in every detail as if each was a brand new monument. The sheer scale and beauty of the craftsmanship serves as a slap-in-the-face reminder of the creative potential of humankind – capabilities and possibilities that everyone of us holds. Angkor offers a glimpse at what could be achieved if and when we try.

This knowingness of potential seems set in the DNA of the Khmer people of today. Within every person we encountered, be it the hotel manager or a street stall-keeper, we noticed a high degree of dedication to perfection that was partnered with an inner peace and calmness – a sort of egoless pride and richness of spirit that has absolutely nothing to do with actual wealth or status.

Still relatively uncorrupted by materialism and capitalism, life in the town of Siem Reap is so simple. There is a deep sense of heritage, nostalgia and hospitality at a depth that could only be produced by a people with a genuine and true understanding and appreciation of life.


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