As usual, I am a bit late in posting about my adventures in South East Asia. Currently, I am in Vietnam and on November 1st, I will be in Jakarta, Indonesia. However, prior to visiting Vietnam, I spent a week (late September, 2014) in Luang Prabang, Laos. Why did I go there? The primary reason was to chill out, as quite a few freinds – whom already had visited Luang Prabang – told me I would really enjoy the small town atmosphere, as well as the outdoor activities, which this area has in abundance. Quite a change from Phnom Penh, where I had been. Continue reading
Even though I have been in Vietnam for awhile, I still haven’t completed my posts about Cambodia and Laos. Which points to the fact, that maintaining this blog is hard to do, especially when you have someone (me) overseeing it who is undisciplined about setting aside time to do it. Ha. I wasn’t always this way. Prior to retiring early in 2006, I was the poster boy for “Workaholics Anonymous.” Umm, that guy has disappeared. Yeah, occasionally I can focus and go on a tear, but it all depends on the project I am working on. It also helps (not) that I have been sick with a low grade fever and sore throat. Consequently, I might as well do something productive with my time. With that being said, let me get back to what this post is supposed to be about, namely Cambodia. Continue reading
The term “killing fields” refers to a number of sites in Cambodia, where large numbers of people were tortured, killed and then buried by the Communist Khmer Rouge regime. I visited one such killing field named Choeung Ek in Phnom Penh. Cambodian journalist, Dith Pran, coined the term “killing fields.” The Khmer Rouge were in power from 1975 to 1979, immediately following the Cambodian civil war (1970-1975). Pol Pot, sometimes referred to as “Cambodia’s Hitler” was responsible for this mass genocide. However, he was never brought to justice – either dying from heart failure or suicide, i.e., no one knows for sure because he was cremated before an autopsy could be performed.
Visiting the Angkor National Museum is something I should have done first versus going to the actual Angkor Wat temple complex. Why? Simply for the reason I would have known or been educated on what I was looking at. Instead, I did it ass backwards. No worries, as I am up to speed after visiting this fascinating and informative museum.
Some people have called the Angor Wat temple complex one of the seven wonders of the world. In my opinion, I would agree. I have not seen anything like it during my travels around the world. It is singularly unique. This post on Phnom Bakheng and Ta Prohm illustrates what I am talking about, especially true regarding my visit to Ta Prohm. Continue reading
Angor Wat is so large that I have decided to break my posts into 3 parts. This is the second part of my visit to Angor Wat. By the way, I have seen two spellings for these temples, “Angkor” and “Angor.” The former is probably the one which most people are familiar with and/or is the proper spelling, but I really don’t know for sure. Since I used “Angor” in my previous post, I’ll continue to do so in this one. So to recap, I started off at Angor Wat, which is the largest religious temple in the world, with a volume of stone equaling that of the Cheops pyramid in Egypt. Wow! It is unlike all the other Khmer temples due primarily to the fact that it faces West and 12th century Hinduism inspires it (architecture). The symetrical towers and other buildings were conceived by Suyavarman II, and it took approximately 30 years to complete. Most scholars believe it was built as a funeral temple for the king. It has been occupied continuously by monks since its construction. Of all the temples, it is probably the best preserved.
One of my best traits is the ability to go all day, with boundless energy. It sort of reminds me of Shasta, who recently passed away. She would chase a ball or a stick until the person throwing it would get tired. However, Shasta would also collapse upon returning home from the park, hike, or whatever activity we were doing. Same deal with me. When I am done, I shut down. I’m out. So, this bit of information segues with my sunrise visit of Angor Wat. In other words, I had a blast at this mysterious site – exploring each temple with enthusiasm, curiousity, awe, and unbelievable gratefulness that I was able to see such a beautiful historical landmark . . . Upon returning to my hotel room later that day, like Shasta – I collapsed and slept the rest of the day and night. Continue reading
A very short post about my flight from Denver to Siem Reap (via Seattle and Seoul, Korea). Not too much to tell, except all flights were on time and very comfortable, especially the Seoul, Korea to Siem Reap, Cambodia leg. The jet was half empty (even though it may not look like it in the photo above) and I had an entire row to lay down and sleep. Which I did, for almost 3.5 hours of the 4 hour flight. Nice. Continue reading