May 2009. Angkor, Cambodia.
The temples of Angkor have been aging in the accelerating speed. When I first visited them in 2003 the place looked very different than during my second visit six years later. Back then there were hardly any scaffoldings there keeping the temples in one piece. Ta Prohm, also known as Jungle Temple and famous for huge trees growing through it, is in a shocking state. It seems like the only thing left out of this amazing temple is the pile of rubble. Some renovation works are carried out at different locations, but it seems like the government waited way too long with them. Mind blowing Bayon temple – known for its huge stone faces of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara – also seems to have deteriorated during those six years. But it’s still the most impressive one, I think. Even the towers of iconic Angkor Wat are surrounded by scaffolding, and the access to those towers no longer open to the visitors.
What a shame.
But what can one expect when only 10% of money from entry tickets (which are not cheap) goes to renovation. What happens with the rest of the money? Apparently the rest goes to the ministry of finance and the company managing the complex.
So if you haven’t had a chance to see amazing city of Angkor yet, make an effort and go to Cambodia to see it with your own eyes, before it is too late.