Walking around Angkor Wat and taking photos and photo ops took us half of the day. Come noon, we felt that we've covered all the important spots and taken enough pictures for posterity, we've decided to go back to the hotel and refresh ourselves. The Cambodian heat, coupled with all those walking, has sapped all our energies...and melted my make-up. After freshening up quickly, Cla thought it best to spend the midday heat productively yet being inside an air-conditioned building. Hence, the Angkor National Museum.
It was actually a brilliant move on our part. Not only did we get to spend the intense afternoon heat in comfort, but we got a better appreciation and, most importantly, understanding of the Angkor Wat (and the other temples we were planning to see later on). While my Lonely Planet guide book provided the 411, the Angkor National Museum provided the details, the purpose, the insight.
I highly recommend that you put this in your itinerary either before, mid, or after your visit to the temples. It doesn't really matter though. It is the knowledge gleaned that is important.
Oh, and get those audio guides so you get to breeze through the most important artifacts and the necessary info. At US$ 3 only, its worth it.
My favorite gallery is the 1,000 Buddha Images. Cameras are not allowed in this area so I lifted some pictures from the net (from authorized photographers, I presume) for your appreciation.
Photo courtesy of Travel Pod
Photo courtesy of Blind Eye Productions
Believe me that the photos did not capture the beauty and the serenity that one feels in this gallery. It was a truly magical, spiritual experience.
For more information on the Angkor National Museum, visit http://www.angkornationalmuseum.com/