Tag Archives: Angkor

Heroes of the Modern World

Recently I came across a few things online, all at different times and somehow about different things, but they seem to share a connection – a connection that I find rather intriguing.

A few months ago I spent a few good hours watching and being memorized by the legacies of a few individuals whose lives left so much impact on the modern world. Italy gave the world Galileo Galilei, Britain gave us Isaac Newton, and Germany/Switzerland is home to the legendary Albert Einstein. Their lives were studied and made part of history lessons and lessons of many other disciplines of science. Their findings and work gave birth to limitless possibilities of the modern knowledge. It’s almost as intriguing to contemplate on the real size of the universe, as to think how the world would be if the theory of relativity of Einstein was never formulated, was never recorded, or was forever lost beyond Einstein’s generation.

In the documentary about Galileo Galilei, the life of his daughter and their relationship was rather important to the storyline and what was mentioned as uncertain about this relationship was how Galilei was to her daughter, his feeling and affection towards her. They were mostly separated and their communications was by exchanging letters, and the depiction of this father-daughter relationship was written up and told based on the letters that she wrote to him; not one single letter from Galilei to his daughter was retrieved. This got me to wonder – how would Galilei, Einstein and Newton otherwise be to the modern world if the records of their lives and their findings had never been retrieved? Of course, to us, they would have been just a nobody, just like millions of other human beings that have stepped on this Earth.

And here I am, among the people that live thousands of miles away, in Cambodia, a tropical country in Southeast Asia with more than 2000 years of history. Having marveled at Italy, Germany and Britain for giving these heroes, these geniuses, I felt somehow belittled by the question – who has this 2000+ year old civilizations produced for the world? not one?

Recently, I came across a few other things, through facebook, through other social media platforms, and through some random conversations I had with friends. Look at this:


Have you heard of Angkor Wat? It is one of a thousand ancient temples built far before Galieli was born, in Cambodia, by the Khmer Empire. And seems like its architect, sculptors, or engineers were aware of dinosaurs – species that went extinct 65 million years ago. Maybe this ain’t really a dinosaur? But what if it is? How did they come to know of such creatures, without internet, without airplanes, without today’s carbon dating technology? Maybe Cambodia was also home to great minds, to geniuses whose work could forever change the modern science. It’s not just this dinosaur thing; how such gigantic structure was completed in just 35 years, how a lot of things were designed semantical (or in a certain clever way) to the positions of the stars (in certain astronomical sense), and how the ancestors of this small, underdeveloped country were the architects of the largest city/civilization in the continent before the Industrial Revolution still have left today’s greatest minds baffled.

What if the lives, the learning, the glamour and the knowledge of the great minds behind all of this ancient mega-city had been as well recorded, and had found their ways to enrich the intellects of today? Maybe Cambodia did have some amazing legacies highly valuable for the modern knowledge.

Unfortunately, this will forever be just a what-if and a mystery. And civilizations like ones of Petra, the Pyramids of Gaza, the Mayan Pyramids and many more must have also been home to some of the greatest minds, architects, scientists, mathematicians, physicians…, whose legacies were unfortunately as well lost with times.

Human civilizations would have been very different; technologies to travel through space and time would already be part of life as we know it. By this century we might probably already know someone from Earth that had migrated to another planet or even another universe to call to.

By the way, here are a few videos that inspires this post.

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Angkor Park, where nature and ancient culture blend and create magic

What makes Angkor Wat so beautiful and a trip in Siem Reap so pleasant? The answer to this question can be viewed as something really subjective, but I’m going to try to make this more than just a subjective post. I’m going to do my very best to convince and take you onboard, or at least for you to see from my perspective the aspects behind such inexplicable beauty that attracts nothing but long minutes of memorized gasps from visitors.

The magic starts from the time ones reach the avenue that leads to the Angkor Park. With a few other bloggers on the same tuk-tuk as me, we were with our relaxed mind, breathing in the air that’s blessed by the beauty of tall, gigantic trees. They seem to be welcoming us to what might later strike our tourist experience big time (especially for those first-timers in this god-like place). Then, deeper into the park, where the space gets a little more open, a very amazing view awaits us – the Angkor Wat zone stands with a small forest surrounded by a lake. The trees on the island that popped up amidst the lake simply blend with its surroundings and create unimaginable beauty.

Continue reading Angkor Park, where nature and ancient culture blend and create magic

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A Brief Afternoon with Google

Google just finished and launched an amazing project – putting up Angkor onto Google Maps Street View. Today, one of the world’s biggest archaeological compounds is now available in such great detail for everyone’s immersive experience online. It’s for the world to explore and appreciate this monumental heritage better; it’s for Cambodian to know the wonder better. Everyone can now take a virtual adventure through the remnants of the Great Khmer civilizations, covering 100 major temples.


I had the privilege to join the brief launch in Phnom Penh, which followed the official launching summit in Siem Reap, and met a few amazing individuals behind this project. This brief experience was less about the introduction of the tools and the functionality on the net; it got me closer to the mission and the purpose behind this gigantic project. Continue reading A Brief Afternoon with Google

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