Cambodia in Pictures

I was in Cambodia in September 2016. What I saw there is etched in memories. It has every thing you could ask from a travel destination : Culture in the form of various dance forms, ancient architecture in the form of famed Angkor temples, religion where I could see the impact of Hinduism and how it left its mark on Buddhism in Cambodia , nature in the form beautiful beaches and jungles that you could trek through, dark history in the form of holocaust of pol pot regime which is so recent and yet the country is at peace, food which is influenced by their neighboring Thai cuisine, village life that is untouched ,tropical fruits that would blow your mind away and relaxation through amazing spa and massages.

Top 5 experiences in Cambodia:

  1. Temples in Angkor archaeological park are a treat
  2. Knowing up close about the pol pot regime holocaust
  3. Enjoying the sea ( Sihanoukville is a good option)
  4. Go to country side and spend some time with villagers ( there are many sustainable tourist agencies which arrange the tours )
  5. Amazing food ( Soup , noodles, fish amok in banana leaf  and my favorite are the fruits especially the mangosteens )

Best time to visit they say is November to May which is the dry season. But I personally found September and October very good, because the rainy season is tapering off and the air is very clear with lush green terrain. The rains are at fixed times during the day, which you can easily plan around.

Below is a virtual trip through Cambodia in pictures. Let me apologize by saying that I have started with the gruesome story of Cambodian genocide ; but I sincerely believe , you should know about it and understand the cruelty that was involved and the resilience of people to overcome it.

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Pol pot regimes massacres : Pretty recent and sad holocaust ( 1975-79). Can you believe that 2 million died during the genocide. A whopping 25% of population wiped off!!!  There are many museums and holocaust killing fields that you should visit, as it will open your eyes on how cruel man can be.
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He is a holocaust survivor at S21/ Toul Sleng genocide prison. A must visit to know about the cruelty on how prisoners were treated during pol pot regime. Can you believe it that this prison currently gets visitors who were survivors and  also the soldiers of pol pot who participated in the genocide. Can you imagine being around the people who may have killed your family? I found it intriguing how people could move on and forgive!!!
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The famed Bayon temple in Angkor : If I could get some alone time here avoiding the  mass of tourists , I would have spent at-least 3 hours in just this temple. the perfection of sculptures and the details in the carvings are just out of the world!!!
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One of the 216 gigantic faces in Bayon temple, Angkor. People do confuse them with Buddha’s face , but they are representations of Jayavarman VII, the king who built the temple. The reason why Angkor has so many temples is that each king in Cambodia undertook projects to create as many temples and find ways to leave their mark in history. And in doing so they creating carvings and statues dedicated to themselves.

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Ta Prohm in Angkor. Tomb Raiser was shot here, if you have seen the movie. The best thing about the temple as you can see ,is that a lot of banyan trees have taken control of the temple

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This gives an idea about how nature can engulf human structures if left to the wild. This adds to the mystique of Angkor
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Mythical Naga, the seven headed serpent protector of Buddha which also has mentions in Mahabharata; stands guard at the access of the famed Angkor temple

 

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Ta Som in Angkor; just love the equilibrium between natural and man made structures
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One of the many colorful Buddhist temples in Cambodia.
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Cambodia has so many of Buddha statues in various mudras… This is the Sleeping Buddha
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Another Buddha temple. Many of the old Hindu temples were converted in to Buddhist temples
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Its amazing how most Buddhist temples in Cambodia have stories of Ramayana painted across its walls!!! Hinduism was very much prevalent in Cambodia.
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Another proof of Hinduism being at peace with Buddhism
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Such statues in temples represent either guards of the temple or characters from Ramayana or Mahabharata
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Palaces in Phnom Penh : Exquisite architecture with a plethora of colors and is the actual royal residence of King of Cambodia
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Village life in Cambodia. Here the farmer after his days hard work is crossing the river to go home along with his bulls that helped him till the soil
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Waterfall during a trek I did 
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Amazing coastal beauty of Cambodia. Scuba diving and Snorkeling is highly recommended. Make sure you have a strong stomach as the tides during the boat ride can be quite moving ( literally )
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Nightlife in Seam Reap was amazing … we did a bit of pub hopping and clubbing. 
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Traditional dances galore : the movements are very graceful and the dresses are colorful. It has a hypnotizing effect on you.
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Local transport: it was amazing that people were happy to be transported around on the back of a truck
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Crickets and grasshoppers to be fed to birds and a little later you will see that they could be eaten by homo sapiens too. Yummy!!! 🙂
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Bird cages where feeding is done. In a random park. Oh the sound of the chirping of birds was deafening. Obviously they were excited about food!!!
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Markets are very colorful. Cambodia is famous for their local sausages and spices. Markets are a treat for mouth watering local delicacies.
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Food for humans .. believe it or not .. crickets, worms, scorpions you name it are fried and eaten.. lot of proteins!!! During the pol pot regime they say there was a famine and people turned to insects as an important source of proteins. Guess they just loved it because they still persist!!!
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Exotic tropical fruits in Cambodia. I would eat just fruits most evenings as they were the most amazing fruits I have ever eaten : Mangoes, lychees, mangoes, rambutan, longan , jackfruit and my absolute new favorite : mangosteen. Absolute must to try!!!
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Local alcohol .. !!! Try it if you are not repulsed by the tarantulas in them. Felt like Vodka to me. |Its made from fermented rice.

 

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7 thoughts on “Cambodia in Pictures

  1. Nice one!! Well described the characteristics of the place. Pics are awesome👍. Would have been helpful if there was mention of the must visit places and best time to visit.

    Like

  2. Hi randheer it’s amazing to see your travel article …Travelled 25 countries that’s wow..
    You have captured really best click of Cambodia I really liked your blog keep it up!!!

    Like

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