A place I would like to visit is Cambodia. Located in the heart mainland of
Southeast Asia and flanked by Vietnam in the east, Laos in the north, the Gulf
of Thailand in south and Thailand in west, it conjures
images of a glorious and mysterious past and rich in cultural heritages,
particularly the world's renowned ancient temple city called Angkor Wat temple.
Its magical image draws ever-increasingly tourists from all over the world. The
perfection, balance and sculpture of the temple makes it an architectural
Angkor Wat is actually a series of galleries, chambers and courtyards on
different levels linked by steep stairways. One can just stand on its high
terrace and picture its past grandeur, where ancient court life was rich and
Angkor, meaning 'capital' sprawls over 200 sq km and is studded with over
fifty ancient ruins. In the olden days, it was the administrative centre of the
Khmer empire, which existed in the fifteenth century, During that period, the
kings built temples and monuments to honour their gods and ancestors.
Besides Angkor Wat, there are larger temples. Most of them are surrounded by
moats and have common features such as galleries, halls, terraces, bathing pools
and enclosure walls. Carvings have been engraved
on walls while statues of Hindu deities and of Buddha stand guard in halls and
passageways. Reliefs, which are projections of sculptured forms, carved in
stone, are among the Khmers' greatest artistic achievements.
Another place of tourist interest is Bayon which sits at the centre of a
walled compound called Angkor Thom. Unlike Angkor Wat, which is classic and
grand, the Bayon temple is wild and erratic.
Its design is almost bizarre, with 54 towers, each topped with four gigantic
faces bearing smiles. They are believed to be the faces of one of the kings of
the Khmer empire.
Besides temples, there are other attractions. One of them is the Bokor
National Park, another one of the wave well-known tourist destinations in
Cambodia. This national park is home to several endangered species of tiger and
elephant. Its high altitude allows you to experience the awesome beauty of
Vietnamese and Cambodian coastal line.
Its Kompong Luong is also worth visiting and viewing. This floating village
is popular for its picturesque setup. With its colourful shops, restaurants,
vegetable shops, petrol stations all floating on the Great Lake, Kompong Luong
is indeed a great experience in itself.
Cambodia is famed for its Khmer heritage, temples and culture. It is a indeed
a strange mixture of old and new as well as of beauty and ruins everywhere.