When it comes to planning our travel destinations, we’ve learned a couple of things about ourselves. First, if we talk about a place long enough, we eventually make a visit. And second, we can never predict where our inspiration will originate.
We still remember the very first time we heard of Angkor Wat. We’d just sold our old row house in the “Fan Neighborhood” of Richmond, Virginia, and were chatting with the buyers, a young couple who loved to travel. They revealed that, before moving in, they were heading to Angkor Wat.
Terri said, “Angkor what?”
“Not what … it’s wat. You know … a temple … a wat!” they said.
Nope. We’d lived in Sudan and England, traveled extensively, but we’d never heard of a wat. So we vowed that we would learn about Angkor Wat and go there. And as we said, when we set our minds to something … we eventually do it!
Located in northwestern Cambodia, just a few miles north of Siem Reap, the Angkor Archaeological Park has to be one of the most extensive temple complexes in the world. It was the capital of the Khmer dynasty and omnipotent kings ruled a widespread empire from the 9th to 15th centuries.
Every traveler has their “maybe someday” list and for years, Angkor was near the top of ours. A trip to Cambodia takes planning, and Siem Reap isn’t one of those “just drop by” destinations. So for a long time, we opted to travel to other spots that were a bit easier to get to. But on our last RTW, we were determined to pay a visit to a couple of our top choices that were too-long-on-the-list. Petra was one, and Angkor was the other.
Angkor is fabulous and we loved it. The history, temples and monuments are unique in the world, and in our next few posts we’ll share a bit of what we saw as well as a few visit-planning tips.
Whether you call it a top ten, bucket, or must-see list, Angkor needs to be on it. And we hope that our posts nudges everyone into a visit.
James & Terri
6. Sam Garza via Wikimedia Commons