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