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My Unforgettable Trip to Siem Reap!

Elizabeth Dengenis, a student, visited Angkor while on a gap year from university.

All of WMF’s work is much needed, and their time and effort that goes into such detail is remarkable. They are certain to ensure accuracy and precision on everything they touch. Without their necessary conservation this incredible place would be lost forever. Its remarkable looking at the before and after pictures how much work went into the projects and continues to do so, and how much their work was required.

At the temple of Phnom Bakheng, conservation has been taking place for quite some time. They must take apart, clean, repair, rebuild, and finally help it all blend in. It is a huge undertaking that includes smaller brick structures and that large, main temple.

The main reason for this repair is erosion of the stones and water damage to the structure.

The team has also taken on the repair of the building’s stairs, which are extremely difficult and quite dangerous to climb.

At the huge temple of Angkor Wat their project is a major task; that required difficult engineering solutions for roof restoration. Water infiltration was causing damage to an important bas-relief of the Hindu creation myth, the Churning of the Sea of Milk. That project is finishing up, and workers are now helping APSARA replace a ceiling with a lovely carved wooden pattern in the same gallery. The pictures display gods and demons churning the sea to release the elixir of immortality.

At the Preah Khan temple complex they have been doing major conservation work as well, ensuring the survival of this important and major site at the Angkor archaeological park.

Everyone who worked there was so nice and always willing to help me out, I felt right at home. I can tell everyone certainly loves their jobs and are truly invested in them. They, beyond doubt, care about the projects and the site.

The WMF house that I so nicely was allowed to stay in was amazing! A total luxury compared to my other living arrangements. I had a door, a flushing toilet, an actual mattress with sheets (cotton!), AC, and hot water!!!!

The town was great it had a really nice park area along the river, great cafes to sit and read lots of little shops and market areas. Every where you go (like all of South East Asia) you are constantly being asked if you need a tuk-tuk or a massage which gets a bit annoying but they don’t hassle you too much and an easy getaway is very possible. The area could use some Christmas decorations of course, a few hotels I saw had some greenery, which was nice to see, and one of the fancy hotels and the super market had trees! They were my only glimpse at a Christmas tree this whole trip so it was a real treat to have a little reminder from home!

The whole area is very easy to navigate, I wandered around the city one day, didn’t get lost and managed to find my way back to the park. It is run by one of the neighboring hotels and it is really such a great addition to the town. Without it there wouldn’t be anywhere to just go and sit really, except in the temple complex.

The temple complex is HUGE I didn’t get a chance to see all of it because I was sick for a few days but what I did see what incredible. Truly a sight to behold! I don’t know if its on one of the wonders list but it should be considered.