Many stone figures and faces had a certain stoicism that seemed undiminished by time, as if the artist knew his work would be met by the faces of a future age.
Good luck getting a decent shot without at least a couple of people creeping into the frame.
More weathered and worn than Angkor Wat, Bayon was less impressive in its scale and grandeur but no less awe-inspiring.
Battle scenes — spear-and-bow-wielding warriors, elephant riders, chariots — were a popular motif.
When exploring millennia-old ruins, sometimes it’s best to just have a seat and take it all in.
At Bayon, just a short tuk-tuk ride up the road from Angkor Wat, the crowds were smaller but the complex’s layout was more confined: it was a little challenging navigating the worn, stacked stone without unwittingly winding up in someone’s photograph. We lingered for a little while, admiring giant stone faces that were absent from Angkor Wat, then traveled on into the mid-day heat.
The moon was still well above the horizon when we arrived at Angkor Wat, the largest of the Khmer temple complexes.
Ancient script preserved in stone. Roughly translated: “Dinner is served in the mess hall promptly at 6 p.m. Stragglers will be tossed in the tiger pits.”
Revelers await the rising sun at Angkor Wat. Even though we arrived early, there were still hundreds of people already waiting to explore the massive ruins.
Siem Reap is home to the ruins of the seat of the Khmer empire, which once ruled much of Southeast Asia. Angkor Wat is the largest and most popular of the crumbling temple complexes, some of which have undergone intensive restoration. Other smaller complexes have been allowed to exist in their natural states: collapsed and covered in jungle growth.