Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Golden’ Angkor Wat likely due to natural phenomenon: ANA



‘Golden’ Angkor Wat likely due to natural phenomenon: ANA

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The ‘golden’ Angkor Wat photo taken on August 12. HONG SAM ATH VIA FACEBOOK

‘Golden’ Angkor Wat likely due to natural phenomenon: ANA

Pictures and video clips of the Angkor Wat temple, its spires seemingly coated in gold, have been shared tens of thousands of times on social media, prompting a sense of wonder among those who have seen them.

Hong Sam Ath, who took the pictures and video and posted them to his Facebook account, is a tourist agent for the Apsara National Authority (ANA). He said the images, which have been widely published by online media outlets, were captured from behind the temple.

“I shot them on August 12 at 6:03 in the morning,” he told The Post, adding that he could not explain the phenomenon as he was not an expert in science or archeology.

“I am just happy that I saw the golden temples with my own eyes and was able to share them on social media. I do not want to be famous – I just shared them on my personal account,” he said.

Regarding any mystical explanations, the ANA, which is tasked with managing the Angkor Archaeological Park, said it was likely a natural phenomenon.

ANA deputy director-general Long Kosal told the Post: “We have not discovered a scientific reason for the temple to appear gold at certain times, all we know is that when it happens, it is beautiful.”

As a tip for any tourists who would like to give themselves the best chance of witnessing the golden hue first-hand, he recommended checking the weather forecast ahead of a visit.

Kosal, who was recently called on to clear up some confusion about the use of tripods in the temple grounds, added: “Usually, this kind of bright light happens early in the morning, and late in the afternoon.”

He said he had witnessed a similar golden reflection one afternoon a few years ago.

Along with the plethora of heart reacts Sam Ath received on his post and many comments about the wonderous appearance of Angkor Wat, many people focused their attention on their faith and in admiration for their ancestors who were capable of building such incredible temples.

Regarding Khmer beliefs – from ancient times to the present – psychologist Hoeur Sethul said the builders of Angkor Wat clearly understood natural phenomenon and used their knowledge as the basis for their belief in the wonders of nature.

A day after posting the pictures of the golden temple, Sam Ath said it had returned to their regular appearance of ancient stone.

“After I posted the images, I noticed a number of tour guides and tourists watching the sunrise from behind the temple where I captured the images. That being said, most were still in front of the temple which is the common viewing spot. It is majestic, but the light is not as bright,” he said.

In addition to the rare spectacle of the golden appearance, the Angkor Wat complex has been enhanced to attract both local and international visitors, now that the Kingdom has reopened.

The outer perimeter of the temple has been planted with small and large trees to provide shade and beautify the grounds, while the inner perimeter of the temple features lush green meadows which serve as an all-natural luxurious carpet.

MOST VIEWED

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a

  • Textile industry minimum wage now $200

    The official minimum wage for workers in textile-related sectors including garment, footwear, and travel goods for 2023 was pegged at $198, with Prime Minister Hun Sen stepping in to add $2 to the total, making it $200 per month. The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training made the announcement