Why do you think Angkor Wat should be on someone’s “bucket” list?

The ruins of Angkor Wat are surely amongst the most breathtaking buildings ever erected. From here, a thousand years ago, one of the world’s great empires ruled large portions of Southeast Asia, fought wars, and built temples—hundreds of temples, some of them so large it took 80,000 people to keep just one in running order. Eventually abandoned by the vagaries of history, the temple ruins have been back on the tourist map for the past decade. Despite the crowds the temples now attract, Angkor remains a show-stopping experience. Surrounded by jungle, the ancient Khmer monuments—exquisite and bombastic in turn—are magnificent architectural marvels rivaling any old structure in Europe. However, it is the interplay between nature and stone that gives Angkor its “Lost City” ambience, its sublime beauty. Visit in the rainy season and you will have corners of some of the ruins all to yourself.

—Tom Vater

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