as we reached siem reap, not only did my craving for more grilled rat increase, it also felt like the 'main event' of our time in cambodia was approaching - the Angkor temples. history and cultural significance aside, there's not a lot i can say about the Angkor area other than it is simply spectacular - words can't even describe the sheer size and magnificence of these structures.
we were lucky enough to have two full days here, which included a warm sunset on top of the Pre Rup temple, and a sunrise the next morning in front of Angkor Wat itself. it took me about half an hour to jostle my way to a spot at the front, but it was worth it in the end... Read More
as we headed west out of phnom penh towards the small town of battambang (about 100km from the thai border), the dusty, pothole-ridden back streets of the city turned into a super-green expanse of countryside. it didn't matter that our bus was playing video clips of cambodian pop music ( google 'khmer rap boyz') or that the driver didn't lay off the horn for the entire 5 hour trip - nothing could draw your attention from the view out the window. Read More
'3 years, 8 months, 20 days'.
speak to any Cambodian about the Khmer Rouge and at some point you will hear these words spoken with both anger and sadness. it's a period they would rather forget - a period of mass genocide, repression, and disregard for human life - but it seems like it will forever be a part of the Cambodian identity.
and so it was during our first day on a recent trip to Cambodia that we saw the mass graves of The Killing Fields, stood in the torture rooms of the S-21 school-turned-prison (blood stains still visible and the smell of ammonia filling the rooms), and heard the harrowing stories of the regime. not a usual start to a holiday, but certainly gave us a solid reference point for the next two weeks we would be spending in the country.... Read More