Wednesday, November 09, 2005


We just spent a wonderful week exploring Cambodia, a destination that has been at the top of my list since my college anthropology classes. We began our trip in Siem Reap, the city nearest the magnificient Angkor Wat temple complex. We visited 3 temples: Ta Prohm (overgrown, not completely excavated, appeared in the Angelina Jolie movie "Tomb Raider"), Angkor Wat (the most famous temple, we visited at sunset and were enchanted by its beauty), and the Bayon (giant stone faces loom everywhere). We also took a sunset cruise on the giant Lake Ton Le Sap to see floating villages that actually move location according to the season!

We spent our final day in the country in the capitol city, Phnom Penh. We visited the Killing Fields, where the Khmer Rouge murdered thousands of victims. It is the site of the famous skull display as well as many mass graves, some as yet unexcavated. Ian and Emmerson then went on a city walk, while I visited the Tuol Sleng Museum. Tuol Sleng, otherwise known as S-21, is the security facility/prison where over 20,000 people were held prisoner, tortured, and murdered. One of the many horrifying realities of this place is the fact that it had been a school, so many of the cells and "interrogation rooms" had at one time been classrooms. The fact that this occurred during my lifetime is shocking.

After leaving Tuol Sleng, I toured the spectacular royal palace grounds, home to the beautiful silver pagoda. One of the structures seemed quite out of place, however, until I learned that the French-styled house was a gift from Napoleon!

Travelling with a baby was a new experience, but we were very happy with what a little traveller she turned out to be. She actually gave us the opportunity to talk with many people, as it seemed that everyone was interested in the little white baby touring the temples with her crazy American parents. Some of my favorite shots are of Emmerson interacting with monks from Cambodia and Korea. They were interested in her, while we were interested in them!

Here are the 127 Shutterfly photos: Cambodia 05

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm

Angkor Wat

Cambodian Monks

Korean Monks

The Bayon

Lake Ton Le Sap Sunset


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