This morning we woke up in an extravagant new hotel (a pleasant change from the less plush conditions we have had at our past few destinations) and had a filling breakfast to prepare for the temple marathon we had ahead of us. We visited the 4 main temples of the Angkor Temple Complex, starting with Angkor Wat.
Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world. Contrary to popular belief, our classmate Kale told us it is the largest man-made structure that is visible from space! Not even the Great Wall of China can be seen from space. Dedicated to the Hindu god, Vishnu, Angkor Wat is unusually oriented to the west, a direction typically associated with death in Hindu culture. Most other temples face the East. It is unknown today why exactly Angkor Wat strays from the norm.
After hours exploring Angkor Wat, it was time for lunch at the Blue Pumpkin. Many of us had a chance to order burgers and fries, which was a nice treat. After refueling, we saw Angkor Thom, the Terrace of the Lepper King, and finished our marathon by watching the sunset on Phnom Bakheng.
We ate a family dinner at an Italian restaurant last year's class said was their favorite. We turned in early in preparation for an especially early morning to watch the sun rise atop Phnom Bakheng. Check out tomorrow's blog to hear more on that!
Krista and Allison