The archaeology insider’s guide to Angkor Wat

CNN Travel tells you how to explore Angkor, featuring insights from archaeologists working there. Disclosure – I am one of the archaeologists quoted, and I know the other two in the article as well.

The Bayon

Exploring Angkor: You’re doing it all wrong, say experts
CNN Travel, 06 February 2015

For the uninitiated, a visit to Cambodia’s famed archaeological wonder, Angkor, can be a bewildering ordeal.

Imagine this scenario:

You’ve dragged yourself out of bed at 4 a.m. to elbow through hundreds of other camera-clutching tourists angling for the perfect sunrise shot at Angkor Wat.

A couple hours later, you find yourself waiting in a line to get a photo in front of a section of the famed Ta Prohm — better known as the “Tomb Raider” temple, thanks to its appearance in the film — with its surreal trees that appear to be slowly consuming the stones with their ravenous gnarled roots.

Your Indiana Jones visions of yourself, the Cambodian jungle and a landscape of wild ruins have been shattered.

You end the day with little more than sore feet and a memory card full of similar-looking photos that’ll mean little to you in 10 years — long after the quick history lesson you pulled out of your guidebook has slipped away.

Pretty grim, but it’s a scenario repeated thousands of times a week.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Full story here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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