Cambodia is a medium sized country in south-east Asia.   Its an area is 181,035 Km2 and the population reaches  a little more than 10 millions.
Until about a decade ago the country suffered a devastating civil war, the murderous regime of the Khmer-Rouge, that was followed by Vietnamese occupation.  This poor country, opened to international tourism only in the last few years,  offers one of the  greatest wonders of the  world – a UNESCO “World legacy site"-  the marvelous Khmer temple complex.   
 The Khmer dynasty ruled for about 600 years, between the 9th and the 15th  centuries.  Their kingdom spread over an area  of  what is now known as Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.   The Founder of the Dynasty – king Jayavarman and his descendants, built, in and around Angkor Thom, their capital,  hundreds of  gigantic  temples.    
As time passed the Khmer regime has decayed, the city and the temples were  neglected and the tropical  jungle  covered the  ruins. 
Angkor Thom was lost, forgotten and hardly known even to the local population.
The site came back from oblivion in the 19th century when Henry Mouhot, a French botanist investigated the area and discovered the remains of the temples hidden under the thick jungle vegetation. Excavation and restoration works started at the turn of the 20th century and are  still in process. Though only a fraction of the buildings have been restored, the splendor of the temples is breath taking. No less fascinating is the successful struggle of the wild jungle to re-capture the collapsing building .



Here is just a preliminary realization of the conflict between the trees to the buildings



Angkor Thom city remains



The gates of Angkor Thom - the ancient capital - are guarded by ferocious stone soldiers. Many of the buildings, including the 8 meter high city walls can still be  seen. In its climax, in the 12th century, Angkor Thom  was one of the biggest cities of the world, with nearly a million inhabitants


















Battles and victories descriptions on the angkor walls



We start our tour, just to get the idea of a Khmer temple, with– “Prasat Kravan” (The flowers temple









The eternal struggle between man made structure and the jungle. Many temples have been cleaned and restored, but some were left nearly un-touched, clearing only a narrow lane for visitors (e.g. “Beng Melea” the “Jungle temple”). Some others were partially cleaned and remnants of the rain forest can be seen entangled within the walls.  We are now on the way towards two such temples (Ta Prohm and Koker) situated about 140 km from the province capital Siem Reap. Most of the famous temples are in the vicinity of this town and it serves as a home base of all the excursions in the area.



Beng Melea” temple  -  The entrance clearly shows the struggle between  the nature and man made structures.