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Siem Reap- Day 2

Visiting a country I generally fall into two categories; either I see it only as it is, in the moment, a modern nation lacking any complex or meaningful past, or, far more dangerously, simply a location that hosts a historical site, disregarding any modern achievements. Possibly this is merely a peculiarity of my thought or a regular perspective, regardless I think ending my visit to Cambodia by viewing the historical sites enabled me to contextualize my experience and the nation far better. Visiting the three major temples of the ancient city of Angkor I was struck by the grandeur, the intricacy, the stark beauty of a temple, a statue, such reverence for something greater carved in stone. Carved by the hands of thousands, carried on the backs of tens of thousands remembered by millions. But standing there, staring at a foreign ancient kingdom I realized that this is not a site in isolation, an empire with no connection to the present but rather a history with a legacy that has shaped the modern nation on which ground I stood.