Cambodia: Khmer Rouge History & Angkor Wat

We arrived in Phnom Penh in the evening. We were staying near the Central Market, and Jan-Henk decided to take an evening stroll to check out the river boulevard, which is supposed to be very nice. However, he never made it so far. In the middle of a street, he was attacked by a group of 6 Cambodians who were after his belongings. Fortunately, he noticed them just in time to fight them off when they jumped him (yay 5 muai thai lessons). Thank god those people are so small compared to Europeans! Anyway, after that we decided to only move during daylight hours, as this city is very dangerous at night.

The next day, we took a tuk-tuk to the Killing fields near the capital. This was very impressive and depressive. Everywhere you could see holes that indicated massgraves, that had sunken in over time. Also many bones and pieces of clothing were sticking out of the ground, you really had to pay attention to avoid them. There was an eery monument that had over 10,000 people’s bones in them, as a reminder of the lives lost. Very impressive indeed. From there, we went back to the city to visit the war museum. There were many buildings with torture devices and places visible.

The memorial monument for the dead at the Killing Fields consists of over 10,000 bones

The next day, we took a day bus towards Siem Reap, a journey which shouldn’t take more than 5 hours… Unless you’re in a late bus that stops everywhere to pick up anyone, and then never exceeds 40 km an hour. We even made a 40 minute stop in the middle of nowhere beside a chicken house. We still have no idea what the bus driver did in those 40 minutes… After 10 hours full of death stares to the driver, we finally arrived in Siem Reap. What a difference in comparison to the rest of the country! Here, no dirt roads or danger, but a developing city!

The next few days, we hired bicycles to discover Angkor Wat. What a beautiful place it is! So many temples places so close together; each day we saw more breathtaking views.

Angkor Wat temple!
Angkor Wat temple!
In front of Angkor Wat
In front of Angkor Wat
Bayon temple, which has faces everywhere!
Bayon temple, which has faces everywhere!
A close-up
A close-up
Not all at Angkor Wat is beautiful. The poverty is clear here where locals fish in a polluted dried out pond.
Not all at Angkor Wat is beautiful. The poverty is clear here where locals fish in a polluted dried out pond.

Playing with lianas is especially fun with such a view!
At Ta Prohm, the famous tree root temple
The first time we noticed that the sun has a halo sometimes here in Asia!
Close-up of the wall surrounding Angkor Tom
Discovering small temples via dangerous ant-riddled tree roots is always responsible!

Ta Prohm
On top of the Baphuon at Angkor Tom

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