Photographer Davidlohr Bueso sheds a different light on the ancient temples of Angkor.

The beauty of Angkor’s temples has brought tourists to Cambodia for years, and stacks of photos have come out of the visits. But as with any wonder, whether man-made or natural, there is always possibility for a different view – one that sets the object, and the people of the place, in a new light.

The photos below seem to capture the essence of the energy and spirit contained within the carvings, and people, of Angkor.


Angkor temples, Cambodia

Fishing time. Angkor temples, Cambodia.



In nearly every temple there are figures of Buddha, and many worshipers offer homage at these sites.


North Gate Entrance

The North Gate entrance to Angkor Thom.



Angkor Wat is surrounded by a moat 190 mtrs wide, which provided both defense and water supplies to the city.



This hill, perfect for sunset views, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva. It was built at the end of the 9th century, during the reign of King Yasovarman. Unfortunately, it is quite hard to get a good picture due to the massive amount of tourists that gather each evening to see the sun go down.


Phnom Bakheng

Before Angkor Wat - the most famous of the temples - was built, Phnom Bakheng was the main place of worship in the Angkor region.


Mount Meru

Phnom Bakheng is a symbolic representation of Mount Meru, home of the Hindu gods, a status emphasized by the temple’s location atop a steep hill.



The tourism around Angkor Wat feeds many families, from tuk tuk drivers to people selling water, and also takes care of the ruins. Most locals rely on foreigners to visit the temples.


Angkor Thom

Angkor Thom was the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire. It was established in the late 12th century by king Jayavarman VII.



Secrets in every corner: one of the many impressive corridors in Angkor Wat.


Elephants Terrace

This very social boy, like so many in Cambodia, wanted his picture taken. I found him wondering around the Elephants Terrace, near the Bayon, in the temples.


Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm is most famous for its impressive trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surrounding it. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Ta Prohm has been left in basically the same condition in which it was found, will little restoration.


Angkor temples