A Day in the Ruins of Angkor

This mini-documentary deals with our trip during the Khmer New Year to the ruins of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom – the last two capitals of the great Monument Building Period of the Khmer Empire. Although it would eventually become a Buddhist realm, the civilization of the Khmer during the start of this period was largely Hindu. Even today, Cambodia’s Theravada Buddhism is a mix of Hindu, animistic and Buddhist rituals and concepts. They certainly don’t consider themselves Hindu, but Cambodians have long-since fused these belief systems into their culture.

The Khmer people are one of the older ethnic groups in the region, much older than the empire they founded. Not unlike other ethnic groups in Southeast Asia they were heavily influenced by Indian culture, in particular the Tamil influence of the Chola Dynasty that flourished in eastern and southeastern India. So these early Cambodians adopted Hinduism as their religion long before they built Angkor Wat.

Our excursion to these vast ruins was conducted on the second day of the Khmer New Year celebration – a celebration that lasts for three days. These former capitals of the Khmer Empire are too extensive to be fully covered in a single day. However, we were able to go to the three most iconic locations and show them to you. Angkor Wat lies about 7km from the town of Siem Reap and Angkor Thom is roughly 3 kilometers from Angkor Wat.

It was really a lot of fun putting this together, though it was hard work. As with our previous mini-doc on the first Angkorian capital (Hariharalaya), it was a long and very hot day. This made filming and moving about even more difficult, but it was truly a great experience. We are very happy to share these monumental wonders of architecture and engineering with all of you!

For more information on these incredible ruins, don’t forget to read our posts on Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom.

License to Coffee (Licencia para café)

During the Khmer New Year celebrations we began our freshman attempt filming with our iPad camera. We began our recording at the ruins of the Temples of Angkor.

Here we are at the main entrance of Angkor Wat. Dawn broke ten minutes earlier. We are going to one of the reflecting pools (the Lotus Pond) to watch the sun rising. We briefly met one of the guys who will inevitably stop you to at the sandstone causeway entrance inviting you to his stall for breakfast.

Durante las celebraciones del año nuevo jemer empezamos a hacer nuestros pinitos con la cámara del iPad. Empezamos a grabar en las ruinas de los templos de Angkor.

Aquí estamos en la entrada principal del Templo de Angkor Wat. Hace diez minutos que ha empezado a amanecer. Nos dirigimos a uno de los dos estanques de lotus para terminar de ver salir el sol. Nos encontramos con uno de los muchachos que saldrá a tu paso para que vayas a su chiringuito a desayunar.