Taken on: 7th October, 2011. Copyright: All Rights Reserved - See krismcconkey's page of Flickr

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Cambodia's Angkor is, quite simply, one of the most splendid attractions in all of Southeast Asia. Long considered "lost", the ruins of Angkor were never really lost to the Khmers, who have used the monuments as religious sites throughout their history.

The myth of "The Lost Ruins of Angkor" is more suited to an Angelina Jolie film than the history books. The story more or less begins with their being "rediscovered" by Western explorers in the 19th century, beginning with the French botanist Henri Mahout who stumbled across Angkor Wat in 1860. Few remember though that Mahout was led to the site by a Khmer guide and that when he arrived, he found a flourishing Buddhist monastery within the temple grounds.

During the Khmer Rouge period, the ruins were largely left to their own devices.Like most Khmers, even Pol Pot was unable to shake the power of the site, saying in 1977, "If our people can make Angkor, they can make anything."

Never lost, lost then ... Read our complete Angkor travel guide

More images

Main Angkor temples at dawn Angkor Dawn Ta Phrom Apsara Apsara Bas Relief Hidden Apsara at Ta Phrom 365.359/ Pre Rup 365.358/ Boys at Preah Khan 365.357/ Ta Phrom 365.353/ The Bayon 365.342/ Khmer Boy “Just the Two of Us” - Beng Mealea Temple, Angkor Wat, Cambodia Cambodia:  The Land of Smiles! Angkor Wat silhouette on worn environmental signboard | Stung Treng Province, Cambodia buttocks 365.273/ Pre Rup 365.272/ Artist at Bayon 365.271/ Prasat Banteay Kdei 365.205/ Guardian Lion, Pre Rup 365.203/ Couple at Bayon 365.202/ Angkor Wat Lotus Pond 365.201/ Apsara at Preah Khan 365.200/ Ta Prohm 365.199/ Artist's Hands 365.198/ Asuras at the North Gate 365.197/ Dancing Apsaras at Banteay Kdei 365.196/ Ruins of Banteay Srei 365.195/ Elephant Ride at Bayon 365.194/ Portrait at Banteay Kdei 365.192/ Ta Prohm Gopura 365.191/ Apsara at Ta Som 365.189/ Young Artist at Preah Khan Ruins of Angkor Apsaras of Angkor _DSC5833, rs Bat Chum The Bayon - Angkor Wat - Cambodia Phnom Penh- Cambodia 1960's habitation block - Phnom Penh - Cambodia Phnom Penh- Cambodia The Central Market - Phnom Penh- Cambodia Phnom Penh- Cambodia Siem Reap - Cambodia Siem Reap - Cambodia Siem Reap - Cambodia Siem Reap - Cambodia Wat Preah Prohm - Siem Reap - Cambodia Wat Preah Prohm - Siem Reap - Cambodia Siem Reap - Cambodia Wet Market - Siem Reap - Cambodia Wet Market - Siem Reap - Cambodia