Cambodia is known for its gorgeous natural beauty as well as its rich culture. It’s also known for its unimaginable tragedy of Khmer Rouge Genocide. I had the fortune to visit Cambodia in the spring of 2015. Here’s a collage of my photos and their short descriptions from that trip.
Faces up high on the towers.
A pano picture of dilapidated temple
Steep stairs are not for faint-hearted or physically fragile
Villagers travel between houses on little motorized dinghy
Choeung Ek: A heartbreaking place where almost 9000 bodies were found buried in mass graves. One of the best known sites of Khmer Rouge, in which millions innocent people were killed for a political cause. The genocide wiped out 25% of entire Cambodian population. The entire world stood still and watched this happen without intervention.
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum: used to be an extermination camp used by Khmer Rouge.
A pano of another temple
from inside the walls of Angkor Wat
Teenagers being rowdy in Ta Prohm temple
Drying fish on a bamboo platform
An enormous Banyan tree and its tortuous roots.
Interesting kid holding up a large snake while riding back on a dinghy. It turns out taking a picture of him required some money.
Top of Bakheng temple at sunrise
These kids are pretty expert navigators on this water.
Three towers on the top of temple platform.
Exploring the halls of old temples.
A giant wasp hive in Angkor Wat
Palaces of Phnom Penh, Cambodia
An enormous Banyan Tree took over the broke walls of Ta Prohm
Tonle Sap Lake Floating village
A baby monkey sharing a green mango with mom
More steep steps: it’s not a place to be distracted.
According to our boat captain, these people are often not registered with the government. They are in a sense truly free. Perhaps not quite the freedom we are looking for.
hmm… I don’t think it’s all a tan.
I became obsessed with photographing these Banyan trees
Men fixing up their boats.
An intricately carved face on a tower in a temple in Siem Reap.
This Banyan tree took hold of the entire temple and left the gate open to still allow people to pass through. But for how much longer?
Giant Banyan tree next to a dilapidated temple
As water level recede in the winter, fish is becoming more concentrated into smaller ponds. These fisherman are having decent catch, but will there be more fish to catch next year?
A tourist walking by many stacked gates. I stood back and snapped pictures as people file through in front of the gates.
A man picking up plastic bottles along the shore of Tonle Sap
One of many enormous face carvings in the temples of Siem Reap.
Sunset on Angkor Wat
A gate that marked one of the entrances to Angkor Wat. It’s is so narrow that two normal sedans side by side cannot go through at the same time. It becomes a real bottleneck at peak tourist hours.
Take your kid to work day.
A couple filtering for snails or fish in a pond
My friend, Danielle, looking up at me from the bottom of the stairs.
Entry way to Angkor Wat
An intricate tunnel/hall mostly exposed to sunlight by a caved in roof.
A Banyan tree so large that it is literally destroying the edifice under its roots.
One of many beautiful structures scattered in Siem Reap.
It’s important to have dry timber for the kitchen.
Women selling fruit to foreign tourists like me. They are pretty successful in this hot and humid weather. It’s only the spring. What is summer like here?
Monks touring Angkor Wat, too. Their bright orange outfit creates a beautiful contrast to the dilapidated gray architecture of the temples.
An artist’s rendition of fallen walls and overgrown vegetation in Angkor Wat
Sunrise over Bakheng temple where the crowd is thin and my viewpoint is high.
National Museum of Cambodia with beautiful architecture.
Ta Prohm temple is perhaps one of the most well known in Angkor Wat. In my mind, it became mainstream in the western world by Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider movie.
Sunrise on Angkor Wat
Fisherman looking for fish in a muddy pond.
Angkor Wat at sun rise
A buddha well decorated by worshipers
Human bones are still seen scattered on the ground in Choeung Ek. It is truly haunting to be there.
A fisherman expertly casting his net in Tonle Sap Lake
Looking down at Angkor Wat from Bakheng temple at sunrise
Tuol Sleng genocide museum: A former high school where approximate 20,000 were imprisoned, tortured and killed during Khmer Rouge.
Water kicked up from the rotory motor behind a dinghy.
These roots penetrate wall to ambitiously support the weight of the tree trunk. The wall will eventually collapse and bring the tree down with it.