In Cambodia you start to realize that happiness is in the simple things that surround you. The only thing you need to do is start to see it. Not knowing what to expect was the best way to arrive. Food, spices, traffic, population, heat, noise, culture, all my senses were sharpened.
The temples of Angkor Wat are beyond impressive. Dedicated to various Buddhist gods, I could easily spend days examining them. Around the temple complex I’ve seen young monks dressed in bright orange clothes, children playing, elephants, monkeys and tourist. Every temple tells its own story. My favorite is the Bayon known as the ‘face temple’ located in the heart of Angkor Thom. Unlike Angkor Wat, which looks impressive from all angles, Bayon from afar looks like a pile of rubble until I entered the temple and made my way to the third level. Then its magic became apparent, 216 smiling, serene faces started to look at me.
Angkor is Cambodia’s most important and largest temple complex, more than 1,000 temples have been discovered to date. For many travelers, this is the main reason for coming to Cambodia. Being closest to Angkor, the city of Siem Reap has become an inevitable tourist destination. As the main base for temple exploration, it offers a lot of amenities. It’s crowded with people in the evening and I didn’t have to go beyond Pub Street for a good time.
One day I set off to floating villages. This place totally changed my way of thinking about how people live. The locals spend almost all of their time on the water. Floating schools, shops, markets and houses. Despite poverty and everything their country has suffered, Cambodia’s real treasure is its people, an unbelievably happy people. To be perfectly honest, I left a piece of my heart in Cambodia.
TIP: Make friends with the locals. Ask them what they like to do in their part of the world. Eat the traditional delicacies and street food. Take the bus. Learn a foreign language. Be spontaneous.
I hope you like this little photo diary I put together to share my time adventuring through Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. Let me know if you have visited Cambodia and how did you like it. If anyone has any feedback I’d be so appreciative to receive your comments and questions below.