The Temples of Angkor: a virtual tour of “The lost kingdoms of the Khmer empire”

I was interested in checking out some locations where Google Earth has used their cameras to explore a local “wonder.” I found a listing for Angkor, Cambodia, where “thousand-year-old temples lie hidden in the jungle, and ancient cities and roads trace a path to the lost kingdoms of the Khmer empire.” Five temple sites were listed: Banteay Srei; Beng Mealea; Angkor Wat; Angkor Thom, and Ta Prohm.

A cameraman trekking a site.

The “camera visit” through these sites is superb. In some cases, the person bearing the camera actually went off the tour path to climb through the debris, which gives the viewer a thorough visual of the ruins.

If you enjoy antiquities and want to spend some time “climbing” and walking about in these beautiful locations, click on the Angkor, Cambodia link above and it will take you to the web page where you can access all of the listed temple locations and participate in a full tour of each site. Take your time as it’s really fun to meander and get a good look at these ancient attractions.

Below are photos I clipped from the tours to show how beautiful these sites are, and to show, as well, how accessible they are for a virtual visit. Many of the photos include the arrows you use to direct yourself around a site.

BANTEAY SREI: this is the smallest site.

This is a single temple with a couple of outlying small buildings.
Notice the beautiful carvings on the lintels. As you walk around (via the camera) you can take your time to get a good look at this artwork.

BENG MEALEA

Beng Mealea is difficult to see from the air because of tree coverage; however, the walk around is full of rich images.
The cameraman literally climbs right over these fallen blocks to access the ruins, giving you a real sense of the site.
There are walkways around segments of the ruins.
You pass other people visiting the site.
The walls are constructed of huge blocks, which attests to the determination of the builders.
The layout is expansive, so the tour covers a lot of area.
The old walls are full of character–worn and fallen and encrusted in vegetation on some segments.

ANGKOR WAT: this is a large site

As you take the tour, clicking on the circled crosses will pull you rapidly to specific areas of interest in the ruins. If you just follow the arrows, it’s slower but you’ll see more and feel more as if you’re really there!
The view inside part of the building/wall that is the entrance to the temple grounds.
View of the wall that serves as the entrance to the temple grounds.
One of the associated buildings on the temple grounds.
Another building along the path to the main temple structure.
Interior of one of the associated buildings.
The main temple building.
Interior of part of the temple.


ANGKOR THOM

This temple is just north of Angkor Wat.

Front of the temple.
Interior where columns still stand, although walls are missing.
Note carvings on the columns.
Some interiors remain.
Bas relief.
Intricate bas relief.
Beautiful bas relief.

TA PROHM: this site is under conservation repair

This is a beautiful site. The ruins are intricate and the vegetation overgrowing the area is majestic.
Rails are up where some supportive repairs are being made.
Walkways under construction.
The tree growing over this structure is awesome!
Some walls are being restored.
An eye-catching structure.
Another amazing carving.
The vegetation has been destructive.
Even in ruins, the structures are impressive.
A contemplative vacation spot.

These temples are fascinating. The tours are thorough and you’ll get an excellent visit of sights you might otherwise never have a chance to see. If you’re looking for in-house diversion and an interesting way to pass some time, take a trip to Cambodia.

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