New 7 Wonders Profile-Angkor Wat, Cambodia

This is my first in a series of my 7 profiles on what I believe should be the new seven wonders of the world. As you may recall, I published a short list with some explanation of why I believe certain places should be wonders of the world when the final vote is announced in Lisbon this summer. In this entry, I will focus on one special place, Angkor Wat.

Unfortunately, I do not have any digital pictures of Angkor Wat because I was there before I had a digital camera and I do not have a scanner either, but you can see pictures of it here or do a search on your own.

Angkor Wat is the main temple in the massive temple complex built for a king in the 12th Century outside modern day Siem Reap. The largest and best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre — first Hindu, then Buddhist. The temple is the epitome of the high classical style of Khmer architecture prevalent throughout the complex. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country’s main attraction for visitors.

When you go to see the Angkor Temple complex, you leave very early in the morning, around 4:30am to get a prime location for the sunrise. As a result of the lighting behind the temple in the morning it looks amazing and eerie as it illuminates slowly with the rising sun. As the sun continues up, you are really able to grasp just how spectacular Angkor Wat is from afar. Finally, after you have satisfied your eyes with the sunrise, you can get started and head inside the temple.

Again, it is important to realize the Angkor Wat is just one temple in a huge, massive complex that would literally take days to see each one because of the distance and delicacy of some of the temples. Most people including myself, do a one day entry pass and see the main temples. However, Angkor Wat is by far the best preserved and most spectacular, not to mention the biggest.

Inside the temple you will find a vast expanse with fantastic carvings, tricky walks and almost hidden rooms along with many shrines that you can actually climb up. It is important to get there as early as possible because you want to avoid the crowds. The site is very popular with Japanese tour groups that charter flights direct from Japan and these huge groups can really slow things up with seemingly unending picture taking, at least that was my experience. However, even a slow moving tour group cannot stay you from being amazed at this complex. The symmetry of the walls and the carvings are amazing, and to think when they were actually done is even more amazing, kind of like a pyramids thought of “how could they do this back then”.

The reason I think that Angkor Wat should definitely one of the new seven wonders of the world is because it hits all of my criteria:

1. It has first site shock value, when you see Angkor Wat for the first time you are blown away by its size and magnificence. You are shocked by just how beautiful and well constructed it is. It inspires wonder and awe.

2. It has an amazing location. Siem Reap, Cambodia is not the easiest place in the world to get to, you have to make a big effort to reach it and the surrounding location is amazing and very fitting for the eerieness that surrounds Angkor Wat.

3. It has historical significance. This is a part of the world that is forgotten when it comes to ancient cultures and history but Angkor Wat signifies the depth of the intellect and creativity that the Khmer people had. It is their shining achievement and is right up there with anything ever constructed.

4. Finally, it has staying power. I was there in March 2004 and I am still amazed at how wonderful it was and I long to go back to see it again. I am excited because my friend Baumer (you may recognize from his awful guesses at the pictures of the day) is going this summer and he will take some pictures for me that I can post on this site.

When the vote comes down this summer, I am very confident that Angkor Wat will be right there with the new seven wonders of the world. In addition if you would like to read more about my trip to Cambodia, click here.

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  1. west coast eagles says

    Angkor Wat is an amazing place. I agree with you, it should certainly be a new wonder of the world

  2. Angkor Wat have to be one of the new 7 wonders because the world cannot find a wonderful temple with five towers like that !

  3. Certainly not as stunning Souden, I agree with you.

  4. Its sad not to see such a great, imazing & wonderful Angkor Wat as a new 7 wonders.

  5. I agree Umesh


  7. Chamnan Hay says

    I love ankor wat

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