Saturday, August 12, 2017

New experiences in Cambodia

My past few days in Cambodia have been a whirlwind of culture, history, food, and experiences. This country has quickly risen toward the top of my favorites list. It’s by no means a modern country and far from rich, but the people and the culture are just insatiable.

I spent the past three days based out of the small city of Siem Reap. The hub of tourism for Cambodia. While the city itsself is pretty typical, what lies just outside the city limits is what brings the crowds. 

The famed Angkor Wat temples, along with several other temple complexes are the must see attraction of Cambodia. These temples have both Buddhist and Hindu roots and are over a thousand years old. In fact, they were lost piles of rubble for many years until restoration funds were provided by the French beginning in 1912. There is still much restoration to be completed, however I really enjoyed seeing them in their current state. It was easy to imagine the history the temples have survived because you could still see the wear and tear on the temples.  There were even still bullets in some places from the Khmer Rouge. 

Below are some photos from the different temples we visited. 

More evidence of the Khmer Rouge. During their reign religion was forbidden and the heads of statues were cut off. 

Sunrise at Angkor Wat 

Loved how the jungle was taking back this temple

Like I said, though, my favorite part of Cambodia is the people and the culture. After temple hopping for two days we made our way out to a floating village. The village doesn’t actually float, but everything is built on stilts because the area floods during the rainy season. In fact, even the road to get to the town floods, meaning we had to take a boat just to get there. The small remote village was a wonderful glance into everyday Cambodian rural life. The town itself has only had power for two years. These people know how to live off the land. 

There was a small section of the town that was not flooded where we had the opportunity to get out and walk around. 

Primary school on stilts!

At one point I spotted a makeshift English school full of kids. Of course I worked my way in to chat with some of them. Their English was great. Of course their personalities immediatly showed and it was clear that kids are kids wherever you are. I shared with them some photos of where I come from and of course had to show them Woofgang. It was truly a hilight of the trip for me. 

We are now headed to our final city in Cambodia: Battambang. Tomorrow we head to Thailand. While I’m extremely excited to finally visit Thailand, I have to say it’s kind of sad to say goodbye to Cambodia. I can not recommend this country enough for touring if you are looking for a place of foreign culture where you can connect with amazing people. Western amenities are extremely limited, but isn’t that how it should be when you fly to the other side of the world?

Next time you hear from me I will be in Thailand 🇹🇭 😁

1 comment:

  1. That school is so cool! Wow! Very different from back home. The temples look like they are out of a movie!