Eastbourne Ashridge Circle|Founded 1947

Lecture Date: March 3, 2025

HENRI MOUHOT AND THE LOST TEMPLES OF ANGKOR WAT

Speaker: RAY HALE - Illustrated

A seasoned explorer and journalist tells the story of, arguably, the most iconic monuments in the full pantheon of mythical eastern culture.

“As the early morning mist began to clear and the burning sun filled the sky, I stood in awe of the sight before me: a temple surely to rival that of Solomon himself. The old men that sit and squat, their faces shaded and half-covered by their traditional bamboo hats, will tell you that the city was ‘built by angels’ or is ‘the work of giants.’

It is this air of mystery that surrounds the mythical city that has perpetuated the legends.

Archaeologists that flocked to the site in the 1860s to excavate these wondrous ruins, after Henri Mouhot brought it to the attention of the western world, simply could not comprehend that such magnificent buildings had been built by a civilisation now long gone. Today Angkor Wat remains a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

Ray is an explorer, journalist and lecturer who over the last 40 years has travelled extensively throughout South-East Asia. Whether it be in the jungles of Vietnam or the paddy fields of Cambodia, the rainforests of Borneo or the mountains of Papua New Guinea, he is committed to re-connecting people with the natural world and bringing the plight of the world’s ever-endangered species to the attention of the listener.