Cambodia taught me a lot about history as well as religion and culture. Cambodia is home to many cities, the most famous being Siem Riep. Siem Riep is home to the temple complex Angkor Wat. The stereotype of Angkor Wat is that its just one big temple. But in fact it is a huge complex with over 200 temples or shrines. Angkor Wat was created as a Hindi temple but was then converted to a buddhist temple in the 12th century.
We flew into Cambodia from Thailand on Bangkok Air. I already posted about that interesting flight Click here to view that story. Our bags were thankfully found and delivered to us the next morning.
The first morning we were there we woke up late and relaxed till noon. We went to the national museum to get some general information about Buddhism and Angkor Wat. To get to the museum we went in a Tuk Tuk. Which for those of you who don’t know, Tuk Tuks are death traps on wheels. Some brilliant person decided that a cart should be attached to a motorcycle. I’m also terrified of these, even though there safer here then in India. There are two differences between Cambodian and Indian Tuk Tuks. The first being these Tuk Tuks were more secure to the motorcycles that carried them. The second being that unlike the streets of India the roads of Cambodia were mostly made of Motorcycles.
At noon we hired a half day tour guide and hit two temples. The first was overly crowded with Chinese tourists while the second was the temple used for scenes from tomb raider. Our tour guide actually met Angelina Jolie when she visited. The second temple we visited was much like those in Egypt. With adults and children selling things everywhere. Unfortunately you’re not supposed to give money to or buy things from children, because it encourages them to drop out of school. Seeing these children instills the idea of how lucky I am.
Photos from the first day
The second day we visited the pink palace. Which used to be home to some of the high officers of the time. For the second half of the day we went to the landmine museum. I did a post explaining the history of Cambodia Click here to read that post. We also visited some temple with a bunch of stairs on the way back to the hotel.
Finally the day had come, the day when we were to see Angkor Wat. We woke up early to get to the temple before it got to hot. We knew that it was going to be crowded no matter what time we went, so we worried about the humidity. The temple was incredible and beautiful. The day was overcast which kept the sun away. But made all pics with the temple in it blurry.
We toured the temple with a guide. We saw a lot of cool rooms and I was even blessed by a monk. One certain room that stuck out in my mind was this room called an echo room. You beat on your chest and it echoes throughout the entire chamber. Once we were done with the outer temple we went to the center. In the very center there were 3 towers. Were we got to climb to the top which turned out to be a bunch of terraces that overlooked the temple grounds.
On our last day in Cambodia we decided to stay at the hotel. We did this for two reasons: The first being we only had a 3 day ticket to Angkor Wat, the second being we were tired and needed to do school. So we did very little during the day but we went to the Cambodian circus. We stopped going to the American circus when I was 5, due to animal cruelty. We had heard great things about this circus and we really wanted to go, but our one fear was that they would alive animals. They did not and the show was absolutely incredible. If your ever in Cambodia I highly recommend it to view there website Click here.
Here are some videos from the circus.
Cambodia was eye-opening and beautiful. Although there are certain areas of Cambodia I wouldn’t recommend visiting I wouldn’t disregard the country because of these parts.
Next post will be about Vietnam and will be posted on the 25th. Until then safe travels everyone.