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.
Top of Bakheng temple at sunrise
Human bones are still seen scattered on the ground in Choeung Ek. It is truly haunting to be there.
A pano of another temple
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.
An intricate tunnel/hall mostly exposed to sunlight by a caved in roof.
Tuol Sleng genocide museum: A former high school where approximate 20,000 were imprisoned, tortured and killed during Khmer Rouge.
A couple filtering for snails or fish in a pond
Three towers on the top of temple platform.
Men fixing up their boats.
One of many beautiful structures scattered in Siem Reap.
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.
Sunrise over Bakheng temple where the crowd is thin and my viewpoint is high.
Water kicked up from the rotory motor behind a dinghy.
Sunset on Angkor Wat
National Museum of Cambodia with beautiful architecture.
A tourist walking by many stacked gates. I stood back and snapped pictures as people file through in front of the gates.
A Banyan tree so large that it is literally destroying the edifice under its roots.
Steep stairs are not for faint-hearted or physically fragile
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.
One of many enormous face carvings in the temples of Siem Reap.
A buddha well decorated by worshipers
Angkor Wat at sun rise
It’s important to have dry timber for the kitchen.
Looking down at Angkor Wat from Bakheng temple at sunrise
An artist’s rendition of fallen walls and overgrown vegetation in Angkor Wat
Teenagers being rowdy in Ta Prohm temple
A man picking up plastic bottles along the shore of Tonle Sap
More steep steps: it’s not a place to be distracted.
An enormous Banyan tree and its tortuous roots.
A pano picture of dilapidated temple
Fisherman looking for fish in a muddy pond.
Entry way to Angkor Wat
I became obsessed with photographing these Banyan trees
A fisherman expertly casting his net in Tonle Sap Lake
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.
Faces up high on the towers.
A giant wasp hive in Angkor Wat
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?
Sunrise on Angkor Wat
A baby monkey sharing a green mango with mom
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum: used to be an extermination camp used by Khmer Rouge.
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?
Take your kid to work day.
Exploring the halls of old temples.
My friend, Danielle, looking up at me from the bottom of the stairs.
from inside the walls of Angkor Wat
Drying fish on a bamboo platform
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.
An intricately carved face on a tower in a temple in Siem Reap.
hmm… I don’t think it’s all a tan.
Giant Banyan tree next to a dilapidated temple
Tonle Sap Lake Floating village
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?
These kids are pretty expert navigators on this water.
Villagers travel between houses on little motorized dinghy
Interesting kid holding up a large snake while riding back on a dinghy. It turns out taking a picture of him required some money.
Palaces of Phnom Penh, Cambodia
An enormous Banyan Tree took over the broke walls of Ta Prohm