Sunday, September 16, 2012

Charming Cambodia - Part 1

Cambodia - a dream destination. Mostly known for its magnificent Angkor Wat temple structure and its brutal Khmer Rouge, Cambodia is a country of extremes - the richness of its architectural wonders vs. the simplicity of its poor people, the warm and humble locals vs. the harsh and bloody regime of Pol Pot,  the culture and traditions of the natives vs. the French colonization. Throughout its history, Cambodia has gone through highs and lows. About a thousand years ago, the mighty Khmer empire was a major power in the region and stretched to include parts of modern day Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. Today, however, the country is one of the smallest in South East Asia.

The Angkor Wat is the main purpose of most people's visit to the country and it's quite obvious why. The temple was built by the Hindu king Suryavarman II of India in the 12th century and was later expanded by his successor. As Hindus, the site was of particular importance to me and my mother and along with David, we planned a 5 day trip to Cambodia. We spent most of our time in Siem Reap, Angkor Wat and the surrounding areas before taking a private car to the capital, Phnom Penh.

Siem Reap itself is a beautiful little city - clean and easy to get around. As it is the gateway to the temples, it is very touristy and so hotels and restaurants are well established. There is a lovely night bazaar where all kinds of souvenirs and fruits are sold. But the best part of it was the inexpensive massages that were just ubiquitous! I mean, USD $2.00 for a 30 minute foot massage! You wouldn't find that anywhere else in the world! And it was good and the service was great! As you can see, we had a great time exploring Siem Reap by night:


Watch this video to have a glimpse of the country:



I'll write about Angkor Wat in more detail in the next post!

1 comments:

Dather said...

Magic place and magic people...

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