I first became really aware of Angkor Wat when I was much younger and saw the movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Remember that movie? While the movie was a passing blip on my radar, Angkor Wat and Cambodia hung around. Angkor Wat is a place that still contains it's own mysteries and inspires dreams. António da Madalena, a Portuguese monk who visited Angkor Wat in 1586 tried to capture his experience of the place and said it "is of such extraordinary construction that it is not possible to describe it with a pen, particularly since it is like no other building in the world. It has towers and decoration and all the refinements which the human genius can conceive of."
The French explorer Henri Mouhot wrote of it:
"One of these temples—a rival to that of Solomon, and erected by some ancient Michelangelo—might take an honourable place beside our most beautiful buildings. It is grander than anything left to us by Greece or Rome, and presents a sad contrast to the state of barbarism in which the nation is now plunged."
So much history and beauty in one spot is just about irresistible to me.
To see so much beauty survive so much strife and struggle throughout history is amazing. I'm ready to go. Are you? Do you have a place you'd really like to visit?