Siem Reap, Cambodia. [May 2014]
If I had to (unjustly) distill the beauty of Angkor Wat down to one word, it would be: Mysterious.
Perhaps it is the dramatic effect of the Cambodian sun, at 5AM in the morning, transforming the serene temple silhouette into a psychedelic festival of colors.
Or maybe it is the haunting aloofness of Bang Mealea, 37 miles off the beaten tourist path, that grants the chance encounter with the Enlightened Ones as they look over these ancient ruins.
Or possibly it is the local people you encounter in a brief glimpse into this Buddhist country, fully at peace with the world around them – and with themselves.
Or it might be because beauty here is found in every form, everywhere – from millennia old statues that imitate life, to picturesque brick settings that imitate art.
Whatever it is, Angkor’s mystique holds a grip on my heart, beating and calling me to someday return, wishful that the magic has not faded with time
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead —his eyes are closed. The insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear, has also given rise to religion. To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.” -Albert Einstein