Story Index:

Ao final
07/13/2014

Son in the sky
07/12/2014

Recife
06/27/2014

Impressions of Brazil
06/25/2014

Vida Dura
06/23/2014

Hawaii Fishing News - May 2013
05/01/2013

Un lugar para mi
09/09/2011

Crossed the border
08/18/2011

Quiero mas tiempo!
07/31/2011

Perched above Medellin
07/23/2011

Yay for a shower!
07/19/2011

New coast for me!
07/15/2011

The ocean calls
07/09/2011

Thick rain, freight train
06/26/2011

Tierra Dura
06/26/2011

Time to dry
06/24/2011

The next quarter century - on we go!
06/18/2011

Rolling with it
06/09/2011

Viviendo la vida
04/27/2011

You live and you learn: Adventures in Bureaucracy
04/12/2011

Snippets of Life - Part 4: La vida hermosa
04/08/2011

Snippets of Life: Part 3 - Las flores y los pájaros de Mindo
04/07/2011

Snippets of Life: Part 2 - An afternoon in Colonial Quito
03/30/2011

Snippets of Life: Part 1 - Fútbol en Argentina
03/27/2011

La diferencia principal entre Ecuador y Thailand
02/12/2011

Mi misíon por cada día
02/05/2011

Me gusta mi linea de trabajo!
01/28/2011

Mi primer fin de semana en Ecuador
01/18/2011

First off, let's catch up: Where's Whitney?
01/13/2011

Day BA
02/24/2009

What a year! 2008 in Review...
12/29/2008

Southeast Asia Superlatives (and not-so-Superlatives)
12/12/2008

One week in Cambodia
12/03/2008

Waterfalls, cliffs, and caves of beautiful Laos
11/09/2008

Beautiful, happy northern Thailand
10/31/2008

One amazing month on Koh Tao
10/24/2008

Daily mission on the islands: Enjoy life!
09/14/2008

Bangkok, Thailand
09/13/2008

Last week in France
09/05/2008

August 08 in Europe
08/24/2008

Failed Cape Melville
07/13/2008

Day trip to Bowen
06/25/2008

Part 3: Volleyball playoffs
06/15/2008

Part 2: Ultimate camping
06/15/2008

Part 1 of... many: FOLK FESTIVAL!
06/15/2008

My weekend of great vistas
06/02/2008

A glorious weekend on Magnetic Island
05/27/2008

Ugh. I'm exhausted.
05/02/2008

New Zealand... ROCKS!!!
04/30/2008

It's been awhile...
04/23/2008

Sushi night at the house
04/07/2008

Thanks for all the letters and mail!
04/01/2008

I finally got to dive the Great Barrier Reef!
03/31/2008

Blues Fest - Byron Bay
03/26/2008

The little things I realize I miss
03/18/2008

Bouldering trip
03/17/2008

Beach volleyball!
03/14/2008

I'M GOING TO THE BLUES FEST!!
03/11/2008

So many new animals!
03/08/2008

time for school
03/06/2008

Whitney saw a wallaby!!
03/02/2008

Pictures for my stories
03/02/2008

Just some observations
02/28/2008

Mailing address
02/27/2008

Rain in the tropics
02/25/2008

Townsville!
02/25/2008

We're finally in Australia!
02/23/2008

The Last Supper
02/16/2008
One week in Cambodia

Kampuchea! Nik and I spent a little over a week in Cambodia, in the bustling capital city of Phnom Penh and the cheery town of Siem Reap, home of Angkor Wat. Although our time in Cambodia was short, we were able to get a wonderful glimpse at the personality and energy of the country and its people. It was a week that fell right in line with the splendor of the rest of our journey through the southeast thus far. And now for an unorganized smattering of commentary on aspects of that week...


Monkey on a street corner in Phnom Penh

People

The people of Cambodia are some of my favorite people of Southeast Asia. It's amazing because the tumultuous history of the Khmer people can still be felt and seen in the streets, the buildings, and the population, yet these people were some of the smiliest, friendliest, most genuine and gentle people I have ever encountered.

It was only about 30 years ago that the country endured the regime of the Khmer Rouge, a period of bloodshed, starvation, and genocide. Also, due to US efforts in the 1970's to flush out the Viet Cong, Cambodia is one of the most heavily mined countries in the world, and de-limbed mine victims are a common sight in the streets of the cities. Physical and sociological stuggles are undeniably present within the Khmer people, but they come with smiles and easy laughter that light them up as an incredibly resilient nation.


Some of the smiley children of Siem Reap

Hashing in Phnom Penh

During our few days in the capital city, we were able to catch the weekly gathering of Phnom Penh's Hash House Harriers for another fun run-and-drink-beer event. We met up with the impressively large P2H3 and went off for a run through the countryside at the edge of the city, along dirt trails, past run-down bungalows, and through rice fields, garbage dumps, and ankle-deep mud pits. We joined the crew for a few post-hashing beers, but retired home early due to the Death Muffin that had lodged itself, sponge-style, in Nik's stomach earlier in the day.


Trash hash

Angkor Wat and the Temples of Angkor

In a large area north of the town of Siem Reap lies the ruins of dozens of old temples, many over a thousand years old. These Buddhist and Hindu temples stretch across tens of kilometers and are at various stages of ruin. Reconstruction and preservation projects at many of the locations allow visitors to get a glimpse of the original splendor of the temples. Other temples lie in an eternal pile of rubble, consumed by the forest, giving them an excitingly Tomb Raider-esque feel.


Bayon at Angkor Thom

Nik and I explored the land of ruins by bicycle from sun-up to sun-down, trying to fathom what these places were like in their days of glory, and what it would've been like to re-discover these temples hundreds of years later, after they'd been swallowed up by the forest. The grand Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom are magnificant and well worthy of the mass tourist attention they garner. However, I found that I enjoyed the smaller, less trafficked temples more, as I got a better sense of what the place was like prior to 21st century tourism. Also, it was easier to pretend that I was Lara Croft, discovering an ancient hidden secret : )


Ta Prohm, my favorite of the temples we saw, consumed by the jungle!

So while our travels through Cambodia only lasted a bit over a week, we were able to get a wonderful glimpse of the country, it's people, the history, and the culture. Survey says: we like.

Cambodia photo slideshow: https://s470.photobucket.com/albums/rr68/GoodellsRule/Cambodia/?albumview=slideshow

Posted by Whitney 12/03/2008, revised 12/05/2008 by Whitney
FreeStyle Journal 19.03.21
©2003-2011 by Dan Goodell

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