The last stand
The Hindu, 17 February 2008
Here, I learn my first lesson about â€œremoteâ€ and â€œmysticalâ€ Angkor. For a place rediscovered only in the 1860s, protected by a thick belt of jungle, virtually cut off until 1998 due to a genocidal civil war, Angkor today lies on a road that is very well travelled. (â€œThe worldâ€™s most crowded offbeat destination,â€ someone joked a couple of days later.) I guess I should have realised this when I passed the string of hotels that led to my own on the way from the airport. Or even before, when I spotted the Icelandair jet parked on the tarmac.
So then, I am not the only one with the sunset idea. Hundreds of others have planned to catch the last rays from the temple on the hill and I join the cheery chattering swarm on the way up. I make a list of nationalities from appearances, accents, dress and behaviour: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Arab, American, Thai and the ubiquitous groups of Japanese.
Read the full story here.
– Bayon Reconsidered by V. Roveda, O. Cunin and C. Jacques
– Angkor Cities and Temples by C. Jaques
– Ancient Angkor (River Book Guides) by C. Jaques
– Angkor: The Serenity of Buddhism