Angkor Wat

and surrounding areas

a series of photographs by Lee van Laer

  Located in Siem Reap, Cambodia, Angkor Wat is one of the world's largest temple complexes. The surrounding area has many thousands of related structures, representing one of the most densely populated lost civilizations in the world.  Having left few written records, and few reports from outside societies about their activities or culture, it has been left to later civilizations to interpret what they can from the ruins.

   The intention of this web site is to introduce readers to a visual impression of the area. Links are provided for those who want to read about it in more detail.


Ta Prohm and surrounding area
Ta Prohm, a complex temple-monastery, dates from the late 12th to early 13th centuries. The atmospheric ruins feature huge trees growing over ther remains of temples. It was left this way to evoke what Angkor looked like when it was "first" discovered in the 19th century, before restoration began.
Water buffalo-a common sight-grazing with egrets in attendence, early morning, on the way to Ta Prohm.
A slightly unstable wall enclosing the area.
Piles of unsorted architectural rubble confront the visitor from the beginning.
A platform in a plaza, viewed from low on the ground
Massive trees dominate the ruins.
As elsewhere, extraordinary bas-reliefs are encountered.
Distinctive naga imagery, in which the serpent appears to be spitting out a backbone.
One of the oddest carvings in all of Angkor: a beast that clearly represents a stegosaurus, complete with back plates and horns. Dinosaur fossils are known from the area; it appears the Angkor culture well understood the anatomical implications of the fossils they found.
This one is not so easy to classify....
repairs under way
an altar
Ants at work on an ancient statue...
Garuda statue


an incidental web space

created and supervised by Lee van Laer