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