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Cambodia: Kingdom of Wonder

After a month away from Singapore, I came back yesterday to spend a few days here before departing for good. My first of three posts of my month long trip travelling in South East Asia is on Cambodia, the Kingdom of Wonder.

I spent the first leg of the trip (first two weeks) with Mariko, one of my friends from home. Our trip began in Bangkok (arrived by plane here from Hong Kong) where we took a bus to the Cambodian border and then onto Siam Riep.

flying on the Emirates A380 - the world's largest jet!

Siam Riep is quite a nice town with many restaurants serving up good food at cheap prices. The highlight of this place though was definitely Angkor Wat. The area is a huge temple complex with dozens of temples built in the 12th century for Suryavarman II. The temple has both Hindu and Buddhist history.

Some amazing pictures of the grounds below:

Mariko and I at the main temple of Angkor Wat

more ruins

there were alot of steep stairs to climb...

intricate carvings

 

Lastly, one of my favourite pictures:

Temple ruins at Angkor Wat

The temple complex is quite large so we spent two days touring the area. We also went trekking in the woods for about an hour to find a waterfall that had a thousand lingas as well:

Lingas in the river - a total of 1000 are in the river.

 

long trek for a waterfall and a bit disappointed with the size...

 

One interesting fact that we found out was that part of the temple complex appeared in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. I ended up buying the movie there to watch and it was pretty sweet to see the exact backgrounds and scenes filmed there. See below for some pictures of backgrounds from the movie:

Tree in Tomb Raider

Temple Ruins shown in Tomb Raider

 

The next leg of our Cambodia trip had us go to Battambang, a smaller town en route to Phnom Penh. What was initially supposed to be a 2 day trip with cooking school and some exploration of the surrounding area turned out to be a 1 day trip of getting in and out of town. Here’s why:

all alone on the streets of Battambang...

 

The final leg of Cambodia was in Phnom Penh, the capital of the country. Sights in the city included the Tuol Seng Genocide Museum, killing fields, and the Royal Palace.

Cambodia has a very interesting history that saw the genocide of over almost 2 million people. Reading about it and seeing some of the history behind it was quite sad and made me think of how lucky many of us are to not be suppressed under such torturous rule. Check more of the history here. Pictures shown below:

Memorial of Killing Field - 6000 skulls enclosed

Genocide Museum

 

and two more pictures from Phnom Penh:

Royal Palace in Cambodia

View from rooftop pizzeria in Phnom Penh

 

Food:

In Siam Reap, I ate a traditional dish that served up portions of Cambodian food. I do not remember the names of each dish but here’s a picture in case any of it looks familiar:

a variety of Cambodian dishes

 

Overall, it was great trip Cambodia. The temples of Angkor Wat are quite beautiful and the history of the Khmer Rouge rule was interesting to learn about.

Check out more pictures of Cambodia on Facebook:  (coming soon)

 

My next post: Vietnam!

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Categories: Exchange
  1. JK
    June 21, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Cool lookin’ ruins!

  2. Koko
    September 8, 2011 at 1:24 am

    you forgot to mention about the horrible battambang experience where the restaurant outsourced their shakes and your “chicken” was beef

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