Mike Van Dyken
The Angkor temples were amazing to visit. Even though it was a very hot day I really enjoyed visiting these temples. It is incrditble the engineering skills and tools that would be nesseary in order to construct the many temples found in the Angkor complexe. The fact that much of these temples, built in the first millennium, are still standing today suggests that the people of Cambodia were far more technically advanced than many of their neighbors in Southeast Asia. To look at Cambodia today and think that it was once the power house of southeast Asia is hard ti believe. For much of our trip what I have seen has given me hope for the potential of the Cambodian people. Seeing what has been accomplished in the past adds to that hope.
My favorite temple that we visited was Ta Prohm. This is temple that our tour guide referred to as “Tomb Raider” (named after that action movie filmed there). This is also the temple that the was featured on the cover of the Spark some time ago. What impressed me most about this temple area was the growth of the jungle around the ruins. I am studying plant biology at calvin so seeing what the trees in this jungle were able to do was quite impressive. It was if the jungle had begun to swallow this temple. It was beautiful that a building made of naturally occurring materials can be slowly pulled back into the earth as if it were never there. It made me think about that the ruins of our civilization will look like, will they be beautifully covered with vines and trees or will they be rusty piles of iron and concrete?