A journey through cambodia

A Journey Through Cambodia

Cambodia. Known as The Heart of Darkness, it is one of the most heavily land mined countries in the world. With its history of genocide and war, it is not the first place that people think of traveling to when planning a vacation. However Cambodia is a country that has a lot to offer the adventurous traveler. Less crowded than Thailand, its neighbor to the west, it has everything a tourist could want.

Temples, beaches, jungle, culture and nightlife; it will keep you busy for weeks on end.

Entering Cambodia by bus from Thailand, you will instantly feel the difference between the two countries. The smooth paved tarmac from Bangkok gives way to bumpy dirt roads with giant potholes. You suddenly feel as though you are in the Wild West of South East Asia.

The rough ride is worth the bruises though. Once you arrive at Seam Reap to see the countries main attraction, Angkor Wat you will forget all about your suffering. Built in the 12 century by the Khmer Empire it has endured centuries of rain and war.

Mother nature has almost swallowed it up as trees and vegetation grow right through some of the temples floors and walls. Great efforts have been made in restoration over the years and many temples have been restored to their original grandeur. The Main Temple of Angkor Wat is in pristine condition and is a breathtaking sight to see. Its three main towers jut into the air as high as 66 meters (215 ft) from its 1 square km base.  The fascinating temple of Ta Prom has been left in its original state with vines and roots twisting through the complex as trees rise through its roof.

One can spend days exploring the temples of Angkor. 108 buildings cover 500 acres of land. You can hire a tuk tuk or rent a bicycle to move you through the grounds with ease and take you to the outer temples. Whether you walk up to the top of the main temple of Angkor Wat, take a hot air balloon ride over the ruins or sit high on Bakheng Hill to watch sunset over the complex, you will be mesmerized by its scope and beauty.

Once you have had your fill of temples, it is time to head to the country’s capitol Phnom Penh. Take a stroll along the waterfront of the Mekong River and check out the grand Royal Palace. Try some fried insects at the Central Market or head over to street 51 to party the night away at The Heart of Darkness Bar.

The most compelling and profoundly moving sight in Phnom Pen is the Toul Sleng Museum. Not for the faint of heart, this former school building is a reminder of just how cruel the human race can be. It was here that Pol Pot’s army held prisoners and tortured them until they gave names of family and friends who in turn were arrested. People were detained for the simple reason of being a scholar, a teacher, and a student. Anyone who posed a threat to the Khmer Rouge was rounded up and killed. 2 Million people were murdered during Pol Pots reign and the Toul Sleng museum documents this crime in great detail.

Many people were taken from Toul Sleng to the Killing Fields, 15 km outside of Phnom Penh. It was here that the worst atrocities of the time occurred. Men, women and children were lined up and murdered here by the thousands. A large monument housing the skulls of the victims stands in the centre of it all, honoring the people who gave their life.

It is a devastating place to visit, but as with everything in life, without the knowledge of history, we cannot learn from our past. As difficult as it is to see, it does an honor to the people to have their memory preserved and have their stories told.

The Killing Fields are situated on a beautiful sight. Farmland and forests surround the property and it is a gentle reminder when you hear children playing nearby, that life does go on.

After such an emotional ordeal, a good place to go and clear your mind is Sihanoukville. Cambodia’s beach town is chill and relaxing. Local children play in the warm water and girls walk by selling fruit and seafood. Take a snorkeling trip out to the islands or eat at one of the many restaurants. Its beautiful beaches are lined with grassy huts and lush vegetation.

After you have had your fill of sun and sand head to Kampot to cool down. This quiet town on the Kampong Bay River is a nice change of pace from the bustling Sihanoukville. Enjoy a Tiger Beer at one of the restaurants on the water, or walk through the quiet streets to see the colonial architecture.

You can book a day trip to Bokor Hill from Kampot. A former French Hill Station, it sits high in the Elephant Mountains overlooking the Bay of Thailand. It is an eerie feeling walking around the abandoned Casino, but you can imagine the grandeur that it once was. A guided walk through the jungle to the waterfall is an added adventure to the already harrowing truck ride up the mountain.

Visiting Cambodia is a magical travel. The people are friendly and welcoming, its temples are the best in the world and its beaches rival anywhere. Backpackers and tourists are quickly discovering this hidden gem and it is a bargain to travel through. For as little as $4 per night you can stay in a clean and comfortable room. Don’t waste time though; this unspoiled destination won’t last long.

  • Добавить ВКонтакте заметку об этой странице
  • Мой Мир
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LiveJournal
  • MySpace
  • FriendFeed
  • В закладки Google
  • Google Buzz
  • Яндекс.Закладки
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • БобрДобр
  • MisterWong.RU
  • Memori.ru
  • МоёМесто.ru
  • Сто закладок

Метки: , , , ,

Опубликовано 24 Feb 2009 в 10:11 am. Рубрика: A. Вы можете следить за ответами к этой записи через RSS.
Отзывы пока закрыты, но вы можете оставить трекбек со своего сайта.

Комментарии закрыты.