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Focusing on the Angkor Temples: The Guide Book (3rd Edition) Flexibound – July 1, 2014
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This is the former edition. For the latest edition please search for "Petrotchenko 2017 edition", delivered by Amazon at 25.95 USD. No matter what the length of your stay will be, 2 to 3 days or even a week, one thing is certain, you want to make the most of your coming trip to Angkor. Born from a passion which motivated the author to visit and study the site about 50 times over the last two decades, this guide book has been specifically designed to help you achieve this goal. The temples are abundantly illustrated and documented: 780 pictures (by far a record) will show you, before you even start your reading, all the interesting sights you should not miss. And, thanks to a number of detailed floor plans indicating their exact location within the temples, you will be able to easily spot all these sights. An exclusive feature, a great time-saving tool and the guarantee that you will not pass by Angkor's hidden treasures without noticing them. Written in a clear, concise style, to make its content accessible to non-specialists, this revised edition incorporates the latest research on the subject and up-to-date information about the temples. An essential feature as the site keeps changing (several recent restorations, modified access points and circuits) and, consequently, one does not visit Angkor today the way it was done only some years ago. Our itineraries and useful tips, notably to avoid rush hours in the most frequented temples, will ensure that your visits take place in the best possible conditions. Fitting nicely in your backpack, this guide book will prove to be an invaluable travel companion.
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One of the first things I did to prepare for my trip was buy Focusing on the Angkor Temples by Michel Petrotchenko. This guide book, which focuses on more than 80 temples, explains in detail the history of the temples, with full color photos and best of all, tips on when to see each temple and what not to miss. Further, the author had helpful maps which showed which temples were close together. This helped me immensely in choosing which ones to pick and in what order. During my trip, I left my other guide book at the hotel and took this one around with me to the various temples.
The book also contains suggested itineraries suited to the length of your stay, and contains numerous helpful tips on diverse topics ranging from the best time of day to view various sites to the best staircase to use when climbing one of the (very steep) temples in order to avoid slipping. This sort of information is like gold to a "self-guiding" traveller.
There are a great many sites to visit at Angkor and this book has been essential while planning my trip to ensure I don't miss anything significant. The book is also compact enough that I will be taking it with me to use my guide around the temples. The author's passion for his subject has produced a superb guidebook and I can thoroughly recommend it to anyone considering travelling to the temples of Angkor.
I lived in neighbor Thailand for 15 years; I worked in Kampuchea many times and visited Angkor as far back as1969, after
reading Coed'es, Grosslier (and Prince Suphat Diskul) and other classic authors. it is very different today. The point is that any observation requires a 'mental frame' where to position what you are seeing. Most visitors do not have one prior to it (it takes lots of reading). Here comes Petrotchenko: HE GIVES THAT FRAME ...at one go, so that what you will be seeing, will make sense, and stops being a collection of awesome architecture, beautiful carvings, splendid lay out, etc...; in addition, he gives you images in full colour photos and a structured sites sequence:
A full, grandiose, civilization is re-born while reading this book. Thank you, Michel.