Angkor is the largest temple/religious complex in the world covering over 400 square kilometers and comprising 246 individual temples that date back as far as the 10th Century. Angkor Wat is the largest temple in that complex and is the largest religious monument in the world according to the always trustworthy Wikipedia.
We entered the complex from the East, passing by one small complex--at least it seems small now after seeing Angkor Wat. It was overgrown, collapsing in spots, and very eroded, but impressive nonetheless.
We walked another couple hundred meters and arrived at the northeast corner of the complex. Kean was very informative as our guide and he discussed the 720 meter carved Hindu story that rings the entire main level of the building.
We spent the next two hours, approximately, walking throughout the massive complex. Small shrines were set up at points with people selling incense sticks—that was a little inappropriate and distracting, but we managed to avoid most of those. There were a few monks, but they were just visiting from other monasteries. The size of the complex is just amazing, though, and reminded me in size more of Carcassone in Southern France.
As we were leaving the main internal area, we started to see monkeys on top of the buildings, in the trees, and on the walls surrounding Angkor Wat. There was also a “temple dog” who seemed to enjoy chasing the monkeys in a game I can imagine that has gone one for quite some time.
We walked out to the west after spending some time with the monkeys—Dylan is a big fan of the monkeys—and were immediately greeted with the standard waves of hawkers selling water, T-shirts, scarves, mementoes, etc. Three bottles of cold water went for $1 after some haggling and since we’d already started to sweat profusely, that was good. Winston, of course, bought more souvenirs, and we had to go back and find Hansena and Dylan who were entertaining the monkeys.
We walked out to the west across the bridge that spans the moat to the local transpo scene with multitudes of tuk-tuks and small buses. I took some photos of a couple of Chinese women for them and we boarded our minibus for the next temple, Angkor Thom.
Here's a slide show from Angkor Wat showing all of those photos.