Thursday, 4/24/14; Siem Reap, Cambodia
The highlight today was a visit to the three great temples: Ankgor Thom, Bayon, Ta Prom and Angkor Wat built by kings in the 12th century. Google Cambodian Temples and view the “Images Page” and the “Videos Page”. These images and videos are way better than the ones we took so please view them. They are magnificent!!!
It is Hades Hot here with relentless humidity. Wet bodies, -in and out of the shower(3x)! Climbing stairs, near mountain climbing over large stones, walking through corridors of incredibly lengthy base reliefs, revealing temple legends and mythologies is the only way to see the temples up close and personal. In my minds eye, I picture the processions, the prayer stances, the bowing, the incense lighting, and the hopeful wish fulfillment as they prayed and presented offerings to Buddha or Vishnu and other gods. The temples went through their share of change. These same temples were iconic symbols for both belief systems. As religious tide changed, symbols (chiseling sandstone) were also changed. dvc
I admit to being a slacker in my reporting. Denise has carried the burden the past 3 days. I have been a victim of pooped-outness and psychological trauma of having my camera breakdown.
Here are some thoughts on Cambodia.
The 3 faces of Cambodia can be experienced driving from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, about 220 miles.
The capital is full of energy with a seeming frantic desire to make up the losses from its tragic civil war of just 30 years ago. The farmers, peasants of the countryside, might be resistant to change.
Siem Reap, with Angkor Wat as the major attraction, is bristling with hope, tourist dollars and foreign investment. The money brings general improvements in the infrastructure, cleaner environment, and upscale hotels. However, adherence to rules for driving, i.e. who has the right of way, is still problematic.
I end with a positive view of Cambodia. It is poor and burdened with recent history to overcome but progress is evident and the people are gracious. I’m hopeful that they will do well. Angkor Wat is worth seeing but avoid or limit your stay in Phnom Penh at least for another 5 or 6 years.
(Video Clips have not uploaded, Sorry!)