When I thought of taking a trip to Cambodia, I was already satisfied with the idea of seeing majestic temples as it is popular for that. Little did I know that the temples would be just part of why I would fall in love with her.
HISTORY AND CULTURE
One cannot pass up the opportunity to see the temples.
Ankor Wat is colossal. It was great to experience being in it but seeing it from a distance while the sun rises was a major treat.
My magical experience was in Bayon, though. There was just something about seeing the ruins that mesmerised me, almost to the point of tears. I have no idea where that wave of emotions came from but now I understand when people cry upon seeing these kinds of structures.
Banteay Srei is unique from all other temples as it is made of red sandstone filled with beautiful, intricate carvings.
Ta Prohm, on the other hand, got its popularity from being used as a location to shoot the film Tomb Raider. What sets this temple apart from the rest is how Silk-cotton and Banyan trees tower everywhere while their snake-like roots spill over and coil around the different parts of the temple - such a breathtaking natural work of art.
Amid all the grandeur and rich history of these magnificent temples, however, are establishments with some heavy history too. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Cheung Ek Killing Field will tell you about how it was under the rule of the Khmer Rouge. It's truly disheartening but I think that visiting these places are essential to have a deeper understanding about this country. Please set aside some time to visit these two museums.
FUN AND ADVENTURE
Apart from the temples, adventures abound whether it be riding a boat going through the fishing village on Tonle Sap Lake, zip-lining from tree to tree c/o Flight of the GIbbon (we literally saw a gibbon swinging around!), riding the bamboo train, exploring the nightlife, or simply eating bugs. YES, BUGS! *insert spider emoji here*
For those of you who are interested in exploring the Kingdom of Cambodia the way I did, I took the Cambodian Traveller tour from Intrepid.
Photos courtesy of Miko Olfindo and Don Tabuena.
You may also want to get in touch with JB, our tour guide , who now handles his own agency. Apart from being a tour guide, there's something more about this guy. Having only learned english when he was already 17, he felt like he could have had better opportunities if only he had learned earlier. With this and other hopes and goals, he put up this foundation (JB Foundation) that funds this school so kids may learn english and some computer skills. Check out a video I made about him and his special advocacy below.