Photos around Cambodia

united_kingdomThese photos (mostly taken from from the car) didn’t fit in any of the other albums of Cambodia.


romania_flagUrmatoarele poze (majoritatea facute din masina) nu si-au gasit locul in celelalte albume din Cambodgia, de aceea le-am grupat aici.

cambodia houses
The houses in Cambodia are very simple, made of wood, some have no walls. Their courtyard is the jungle with palm trees /
Casele in Cambodgia sunt simple, din lemn sau stuf, uneori fara pereti si pe picioare lungi de lemn. Curtea lor e jungla inconjuratoare

cambodia roadcambodia shop house cambodiacar cambodia

Cambodia landmine survivors/ Supravietuitori dupa explozii de mine
Cambodia landmine survivors/
Supravietuitori dupa explozii de mine

house in cambodia

you put your feet in this aquarium and the fish eat your dead skin / Iti pui picioarele in acvariu, iar pestii iti mananca pielea moarta de pe calcaie si degete. Pe acvariu scrie "va rugam hraniti pestii nostri infometati cu pielea dumneavoastra"
you put your feet in this aquarium and the fish eat your dead skin /
Iti pui picioarele in acvariu, iar pestii iti mananca pielea moarta de pe calcaie si degete. Pe acvariu scrie “va rugam hraniti pestii nostri infometati cu pielea dumneavoastra”
Family on motorbike Familie pe scuter
Family on motorbike
Familie pe scuter

house jungle cambodiaat bayoncall batman tuk tuk

this monkey stole a glove and played with it/ Aceasta maimuta a furat o manusa si s-a jucat cu ea
this monkey stole a glove and played with it/
Aceasta maimuta a furat o manusa si s-a jucat cu ea

houses in cambodiabike in car

Gasoline bottles/ Acesta nu e suc, sunt sticle cu gazolina!
Gasoline bottles/
Acesta nu e suc, sunt sticle cu gazolina!

Don’t miss:

Angkor Wat by day (Cambodia)

united_kingdomAngkor Wat appears on Cambodia’s national flag and is the most popular and the most visited temple in Cambodia. I’ve showed you the sunrise at Angkor Wat, but let’s enjoy it’s splendor during daylight as well.


romania_flagTemplul Angkor Wat apare pe steagul Cambodgiei si este cel mai popular si cel mai vizitat templu din Cambodgia. V-am aratat rasaritul la Angkor Wat, dar haideti sa il admiram si la lumina zilei!

angkor wat

angkor wat cambodia

monkey angkor

angkor wat siem reap

angkor wat tower

angkor wat statue

angkor wat buddha

angkor wat corridors

angkor wat interior

monk praying angkor wat

basrelief angkor

entrance angkor wat

angkor wat temple

columns angkor

window angkor

angkor wat hdr

angkor wat temple cambodia

columns windows angkor

angkor

Don’t miss:

Phnom Pehn, the capital of Cambodia

united_kingdomPhnom Pehn is the capital of Cambodia, a quite filthy and creepy city in my opinion, in which I did not feel safe, mainly because all of the bad stories I’ve heard about stealing, especially on the riverfront. Basically, I’ve never felt more paranoid in any other city I’ve ever visited in this world. 2 nights in Phnom Pehn were more than enough for visiting the city and see the most important parts (The Tuol Sleng Museum and the Killing Fields).

This is a tuk-tuk ride in Phnom Pehn:

Things to do and see in Phnom Pehn

  • The Tuol Sleng Museum and the Killing Fieldsthe most important and interesting thing to see, Phnom Pehn is worth visiting just for this!
  • The Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda (The Royal Palace is the residence of King Sihamoni. The Silver Pagoda has this name because its floor is covered in more than 5000 silver tiles (you can see them only next to the entrance, because the rest of the floor is covered by carpet).
  • The riverfront – kind of smells like urine as you walk there. I’ve seen European older men with young Asian girls and men staring at me from head to toes. There is also an aerobic session every evening – this was actually nice to see).
  • Wat Phnom – is built on the only hill in Phnom Pehn. Legend says that Madame Pehn discovered the pagoda built on this hill in 1373, in which there were 4 statues of Buddha.
  • Psar Thmei (the Central Market) – an art-deco building with a huge dome and good ventilation inside. They sell everything from jewelery to food and clothes.

As I said in the beginning, Phnom Pehn is a dusty and dirty city. I didn’t like it too much. The contempt grew even more when I saw the huge contrast between the Royal Palace (imposing, golden, big, fancy) and the rest of the city.

Interesting fact: there are no crossings for pedestrians and the drivers don’t really care that you are in the middle of the street trying to cross (so different than Belgium!)

The following photos are showing only the nice parts of the city in the most touristic areas, where we felt more safe to have the cameras around our necks.


romania_flag(Phnom Pehn e capitala Cambodgiei, un oras murdar si infiorator dupa pararea mea, in care nu m-am simtit in siguranta, mai ales datorita furturilor despre care am citit ca se intampla acolo, mai ales pe faleza. Practic, nu m-am simtit asa paranoica in niciun alt oras pe care l-am vizitat pana acum. Doua nopti in Phnom Pehn au fost mai mult decat suficiente sa vad orasul si sa vizitez esentialul – Muzeul Tuol Sleng si Campurile de Ucidere de la Choeung Ek).

De vazut in Phnom Pehn:

  • Muzeul Tuol Sleng si Campurile de Ucidere de la Choeung Ek
  • Palatul Regal si Pagoda de Argint – Regele Sihamoni locuieste in Palatul Regal, iar Pagoda de Argint – se numeste asa pentru ca are podeaua acoperita cu peste 5000 de bucati de argint, ce se pot vedea langa intrare, restul fiind acoperite cu covor.
  • Faleza – miros de urina te invaluie pe tot parcursul falezei; am vazut barbati europeni trecuti de prima tinerete (daca nu si de a doua) de mana cu tinere asiatice; alti barbati ma scanau din cap pana in picioare (brr); Ce mi-a placut a fost sesiunea de aerobic, ce are loc in fiecare seara (o sa vedeti in poze).
  • Templul Phnom – construit pe singurul deal din oras, a fost denumit dupa Doamna Phnom care a descoperit in acest loc o pagoda cu patru statui ale lui Buda.
  • Piata centrala – cladire art-deco cu un dom imens si aerisire foarte buna. Aici gasesti orice de la bijuterii pana la haine si mancare.

Cum am spus la inceput, Phnom Pehn e un oras plin de praf si murdar. Nu mi-a placut in mod deosebit, iar dispretul a crescut si mai mult cand am vazut marele contrast intre Palatul Regal (impunator, auriu, mare, ingrijit) si restul orasului.

O chestie intersanta: in Cambodia nu sunt treceri de pietoni. Ca sa traversezi trebuie sa o faci sperand ca nu vei fi calcat; soferilor putin le pasa ca tu esti in mijlocul strazii si vrei sa traversezi. Atat de diferit de Belgia!

Pozele urmatoare vor arata partile frumoase ale orasului Phnom Pehn din zonele turistice unde ne-am simtit mai in siguranta cu aparatele foto, dar tot eram cu ochii in patru.)

On the riverfront / Pe faleza.
On the riverfront / Pe faleza.
Bikes and motorbikes in Phnom Pehn
Bikes and motorbikes in Phnom Pehn
The riverfront / in fata Palatului Regal
The riverfront / in fata Palatului Regal
Aerobic session every evening on the riverfront in Phnom Pehn/ Aerobic in fiecare seara pe faleza
Aerobic session every evening on the riverfront in Phnom Pehn/ Aerobic in fiecare seara pe faleza
The courtyard of the Royal Palace / In curtea Palatului Regal
The courtyard of the Royal Palace / In curtea Palatului Regal
The courtyard of the Royal Palace
The courtyard of the Royal Palace
Idem
Idem
Architecture in Phnom Pehn
Architecture in Phnom Pehn
Royal Palace - view from the riverfront
Royal Palace – view from the riverfront
Take your shoes off when entering a Buddhist temple/ Trebuie sa te descalti la intrarea in templele budiste
Take your shoes off when entering a Buddhist temple/ Trebuie sa te descalti la intrarea in templele budiste
The Silver Pagoda
The Silver Pagoda
A nice view of Phnom Pehn
A nice view of Phnom Pehn
Entrance at Wat Phnom with Naga snake/ Scarile spre templul Phnom, cu sarpele Naga7 capete
Entrance at Wat Phnom with Naga snake/ Scarile spre templul Phnom, cu sarpele Naga7 capete
Buddha statue with money / Statuia lui Buda cu bani drept ofranda
Buddha statue with money / Statuia lui Buda cu bani drept ofranda
Man brought gifts to Wat Phnom / Barbatul acesta a adus cadou templului Phnom
Man brought gifts to Wat Phnom / Barbatul acesta a adus cadou templului Phnom
Wat Phnom/ Altarul templului Phnom
Wat Phnom/ Altarul templului Phnom
Wat Phnom
Wat Phnom
Psar Thmei - the central market with a huge dome / Piata centrala cu o cupola uriasa
Psar Thmei – the central market with a huge dome / Piata centrala cu o cupola uriasa
Central market
Central market
The dome at Psar Thmei / Piata centrala si domul urias. Aici gasesti bijuterii si multe alte produse.
The dome at Psar Thmei / Piata centrala si domul urias. Aici gasesti bijuterii si multe alte produse.
Jewelry and little Buddha  souvenirs at Psar Thmei
Jewelry and little Buddha souvenirs at Psar Thmei
A family on motorbike / O familie pe scuter
A family on motorbike / O familie pe scuter
A flower for your patience to stay till the end/ O floare pentru ca ai avut rabdare pana la sfarsit :)
A flower for your patience to stay till the end/ O floare pentru ca ai avut rabdare pana la sfarsit 🙂

Don’t miss:

As if life had no meaning: Cambodia’s story (Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and The Killing Fields)

I am not the biggest fan of Phnom Pehn, but there are two things that made Cambodia’s capital worth the trip: the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields at Choeung Ek.

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (the ex S-21 Prison)

united_kingdomIt’s located in Phnom Pehn and is easily reached by tuk-tuk. I went there ignorant and with no real knowledge about the atrocities committed in Cambodia between ’75-’79 and left the museum horrified, with tears in my eyes.

The short story: it all started on a beautiful spring day (17th of April 1975) when the Khmer Rouge (led by Pol Pot) collapsed Cambodia’s government. Having all the power, the Khmer Rouge forced all the people living in the city to leave their homes and move in miserable conditions to country side. Phnom Pehn became a ghost city. One school in the city was transformed into Prison S-21 (Security Office 21) and was surrounded by barbed wire and iron sheets. All 4 building of this school were used for detention, interrogation and torture of people suspected of connection with the former government, as well as professionals and intellectuals. Around 20 000 people were arrested in this Prison and then executed at the Choeung Ek killing site (the Killing Field). It all ended on 7th of January 1979 when the United Front for the National Salvation of Kampuchea (UFNSK) collapsed this regime. This former prison is now a museum of genocide crime.

(The Khmer Rouge = followers of the Communist Party in Cambodia)


romania_flagMuzeul Tuol Sleng, fosta inchisoare S-21, se afla in orasul Phnom Pehn si se ajunge in cateva minute cu tuk-tuk-ul. M-am dus acolo ignoranta si fara cunostinte despre atrocitatile comise in Cambodia intre ’75-’79 si am plecat trista, terifiata si cu lacrimi in ochi.

Povestea pe scurt: totul a inceput intr-o zi de primavara (17 apr ’75) cand Kmerii Rosii (condusi de Pol Pot) au rasturnat guvernul Cambodgian. Avand toata puterea, Kmerii Rosii au evacuat fortat toti locuitorii orasului, care si-au parasit casele si s-au mutat la tara in conditii mizerabile. Phnom Pehn a devenit un oras fantoma. Una din scolile din oras a fost transformata in Inchisoarea S-21 (Biroul Securitatii 21) si a fost incercuita de sarma ghimpata. Toate cele 4 cladiri ale scolii erau folosite pentru detentie, interogare si tortura a persoanelor suspectate de legaturi cu fostul guvern, cat si intelectuali si profesionisti. Unele sali de clasa au fost impartite in mici celule din caramida sau lemn pentru o singura persoana. Aproximativ 20 000 de oameni au fost arestati in aceasta Inchisoare, iar apoi ucisi la Choeung Ek (campurile de ucidere). Totul s-a sfarsit pe 7 ian ’79, cand Frontul Unit al Salvarii Nationale Kampuchea a daramat acest regim. Iar fosta inchisoare este acum Muzeul Genocidului Tuol Sleng.

In these rooms were detained cadres who were accused of leading the uprising against Pol Pot revolution. Their cages were furnished with a bed, blanket, cushion and mat. The iron bucket was to dispose their body waste. / Camera unde erau incarcerate cadrele acuzate de conducerea revoltei impotriva lui Pol Pot. In camera lor se gasea un pat cu saltea, perna si patura, Cutiile de metal erau pentru urina si materii fecale.In these rooms were detained cadres who were accused of leading the uprising against Pol Pot revolution. Their cages were furnished with a bed, blanket, cushion and mat. The iron bucket was to dispose their body waste. / Camera unde erau incarcerate cadrele acuzate de conducerea revoltei impotriva lui Pol Pot. In camera lor se gasea un pat cu saltea, perna si patura, Cutiile de metal erau pentru urina si materii fecale.

see previous photo for description / vezi descrierea pozei precedentesee previous photo for description / vezi descrierea pozei precedente

One of the 4 buildings of the school which was transformed in Prison / Una din cele 4 cladiri ale scolii transformate in inchisoare, acum Muzeul Tuol SlengOne of the 4 buildings of the school which was transformed in Prison
Una din cele 4 cladiri ale scolii transformate in inchisoare, acum Muzeul Tuol Sleng

Barbed wire / Sarma ghimpata de care va spuneam mai devremeThe buildings were covered in a fishnet barbed wire, preventing prisoners from comittin suicide by jumping down.
Cladirile erau acoperite in sarma ghimpata pentru a preveni sinuciderea prin aruncare de la etaj a prizonierilor

The buildings were covered in a fishnet barbed wire, preventing prisoners from comittin suicide by jumpung down. / Cladirile erau acoperite de sarma ghimpata pentru a preveni sinuciderea prin aruncare de la etaj a prizonierilor

This wooden pole was used by children for physical education, but was turned into interrogation and torture machine. The prisoners' hands were tied behind their back and was lifted upside down until he lost consciousness, then the interrogator dipped the prisoner's head into a barrel of filthy water (this shocked the victims, quickly regaining consciousness so that the torturer could continue their questioning) / aceasta bara de lemn era folosita de copii la orele de educatie fizica, dar a fost transformata in obiect de tortura in timpul regimului Pol Pot. Aici prizonierii erau legati de ambele maini si tinuti cu capul in jos pana isi pierdeau cunostinta, dupa care erau coborati cu capul in butoaie cu apa statuta, ceea ce ii trezea instantaneu, iar interogarea putea fi continuata. This wooden pole was used by children for physical education, but was turned into interrogation and torture machine. The prisoners’ hands were tied behind their back and was lifted upside down until he lost consciousness, then the interrogator dipped the prisoner’s head into a barrel of filthy water (this shocked the victims, quickly regaining consciousness so that the torturer could continue their questioning)
Aceasta bara de lemn era folosita de copii la orele de educatie fizica, dar a fost transformata in obiect de tortura in timpul regimului Pol Pot. Aici prizonierii erau legati de ambele maini la spate si tinuti cu capul in jos pana isi pierdeau cunostinta, dupa care erau coborati cu capul in butoaie cu apa statuta, ceea ce ii trezea instantaneu, iar interogarea putea fi continuata.

The absurd rules at this Prison / Regulile absurde ale inchisoriiThe absurd rules at this Prison / Regulile absurde ale inchisorii

Wooden cells for individual prisoners / Celule mici din lemn Some classrooms were divided into small wooden or brick cells for individual prisoners.
Celule mici din lemn

Brick cells / Celule din caramidaBrick cells
Celule din caramida

Local Cambodian students visiting the Tuol Sleng Museum / Scolari cambodgieni viziteaza muzeul Tuol SlengLocal Cambodian students visiting the Tuol Sleng Museum
Elevi cambodgieni viziteaza muzeul Tuol Sleng

The corridor of this ex-school The corridor of this ex-school

Some of the victims / O mica parte din victimePohotos of some of the victims / O mica parte din victime

Survivor of the Prison S21 / Un supravietuitor al torturilor din inchisoarea S21Survivor of the Prison S21
Un supravietuitor al torturilor din inchisoarea S21

Defintions of Genocide and Crime against Humanity for better understanding of the concept / Conform acestor definitii, se pare  ca ce s-a intamplat aici nu a fost genocid, ci crima impotriva umanitatii.Defintions of Genocide and Crime against Humanity for better understanding of the concept
Conform acestor definitii, se pare ca ce s-a intamplat aici nu a fost genocid, ci crima impotriva umanitatii.

More info

The scratched faces of all the monsters that are responsible for the crimes/ oamenii au scrijelit fetele acestor monstri care au comis crime si torturi (primul este Pol Pot).The scratched faces of all the monsters that are responsible for the crimes
Oamenii au scrijelit fetele acestor monstri care au comis crime si torturi (primul este Pol Pot).

The Killing Fields at Choeung Ek

united_kingdomAll the women, men and children imprisoned and tortured at S-21 were transported here, at the extermination fields of Choeung Ek where they were shot or bludgeoned to death. In the mass graves were found fragments of bones, skulls and clothes of those killed here. They say that fragments of bones are still getting to surface after heavy rains.

At the entrance they provide an excellent audio tour where I found out that one of Pol Pot’s slogans were: “Better to kill and innocent by mistake, than to spare and enemy by mistake”. Very cruel and heartless.


romania_flag(Toate femeile, barbatii si copiii incarcerati in Inchisoarea S-21 de care va spuneam mai sus, erau transportati aici, la Campurile de Ucidere Choeung Ek, unde erau impuscati si adeseori ciomagiti pana la moarte pentru a economisi gloante). In gropile comune s-au gasit fragmente de oase, cranii si hainele celor ucisi aici. Ei spun ca dupa ploi grele inca mai apar la suprafata oase. La intrare poti lua un excelent ghid audio. Unul din sloganurile lui Pol Pot era” Mai bine sa omori un inocent din greseala, decat sa cruti un inamic din greseala“. Cata cruditate!)

The Memorial Stupa at the Killing Fields, erected in 1988The Memorial Stupa at the Killing Fields, erected in 1988

Magic tree...the tree was used for hanging a loud speaker which made loud sound to avoid the moan of victims while they were being executed / copacul magic...in acest copac se atarna o boxa uriasa cu sunetul tare pentru a acoperi urletele victimelor in timpul executieiMagic tree…the tree was used for hanging a loud speaker which made loud sound to cover the moan of victims while they were being executed
Copacul magic…in acest copac se atarna o boxa uriasa cu sunetul tare pentru a acoperi urletele victimelor in timpul executiei

Mass grave at the killing fields / Una din groapile comune ale victimelor de la Campurile de UcidereMass grave at the killing fields / Una din gropile comune ale victimelor de la Campurile de Ucidere

Killing tree against which executioners beat children / Copacul sub care se bateau copiiiKilling tree against which executioners beat children / Copacul sub care se bateau copiii

No commentNo comment

Victim's clothes and fragments of bonesVictim’s clothes and fragments of bones

More than 8000 skulls are arranged by sex and age in the Memorial Stupa at the Killing Fields / Peste 8000 de cranii sunt aranjate in functie de sex si varsta in monumentul memorial de la Campurile de UcidereMore than 8000 skulls are arranged by sex and age in the Memorial Stupa at the Killing Fields
Peste 8000 de cranii sunt aranjate in functie de sex si varsta in monum

We got to the Killing Fields by tuk-tuk. The ride took about 40 minutes bumpy and dusty ride. The driver gave us masks for dust, but they didn't help too much :D / Calatorie de aprox 40 de min cu tuk tuk-ul, praf mult si gropi mai ceva ca pe luna. Soferul ne-a dat masti care au protejat foarte putin impotriva poluarii si a prafuluiWe got to the Killing Fields by tuk-tuk. The bumpy and dusty ride took about 40 minutes. The driver gave us masks for dust, but they didn’t help too much 😀
Calatorie de aprox 40 de min cu tuk tuk-ul, praf mult si gropi mai ceva ca pe luna. Soferul ne-a dat masti care au protejat foarte putin impotriva poluarii si a prafului

The crowded streets of Phnom Pehn / Trafic in Phnom PehnThe crowded streets of Phnom Pehn / Trafic in Phnom Pehn

This girl was begging just outside the Killing Fields. She has very sad eyes / Aceasta fetita cu ochi tristi a venit langa tuktuk-ul nostru sa cerseasca.This girl was begging just outside the Killing Fields. She has very sad eyes
Aceasta fetita cu ochi tristi a venit langa tuktuk-ul nostru sa cerseasca.

The ride by tuk tuk towards the Killing fields was dusty and bumpy; here is a youtube video of it:

Don’t miss:

Siem Reap, Cambodia

united_kingdomSiem Reap is the most famous and most touristic city in Cambodia, because it’s located at just few kilometers from Angkor Temples. Tourist sleep overnight in Siem Reap and go on day trips to visit the temples at Angkor. There are several ways to reach the Angkor Temples from Siem Reap: by tuk-tuk, bike, motorbike or hiring a private driver who is at your disposal and takes you around (the price was 130 US Dollars for 3 days on a car with AC).

We spent 5 nights in Siem Reap (3 days Angkor Temples and 1 day exploring Siem Reap).

With the Lonely Planet guide in one hand and heavy cameras around the neck, we slowly dived into the local culture, people and traffic. We saw temples, monks, children, schools, people getting haircuts, people sleeping in tuk-tuk, we ate tasty traditional food and drank local beer and fruity cocktails.


romania_flagSiem Reap e cel mai faimos si turistic oras din Cambodgia datorita locatiei la doar cativa kilometri de Templele de la Angkor. Practic, stai peste noapte in Siem Reap, iar ziua faci excursii la templele Angkor. Sunt mai multe modalitati de a ajunge la temple: cu tuk-tuk, bicicleta (pentru aventurosi), scuter sau, metoda aleasa de noi, un sofer privat care e practic la dispozitia ta cate zile il angajezi: ne-a facut itinerariul si ne-a dus cat e ziua de lunga de la un templu la altul. A costat in jur de 130 dolari americani pentru 3 zile (preturile sunt in dolari americani in Cambodgia, iar pentru ce e sub un dolar, iti da restul in Riel, bani cambodgieni. 1 dolar= 4000 rieli.

Dupa aceste 3 zile in care am avut la dispozitie sofer si masina pentru a vizita numeroasele temple de la Angkor, ne-am dorit sa fim pe cont propriu pentru a explora orasul Siem Reap pe jos, sa ne avantam in cultura si traditiile locale.

Am vazut temple, scoli, copii, oameni la frizer, somnorosi in tuk-tuk, am mancat mancare traditionala si am gustat bere locala si cocktailuri de fructe.

Buddhist monks in Siem ReapBuddhist monks in Siem Reap

Tourists in Tuk-TukTourists in Tuk-Tuk

Street in Siem Reap / strada in Siem ReapStreet in Siem Reap / Strada in Siem Reap

Wat Bo temple in Siem Reap / Templul (manastirea) Wat Bo in Siem ReapWat Bo temple in Siem Reap / Templul (manastirea) Wat Bo in Siem Reap

Monk hanging out laundry / Calugar budist pune rufele la uscatBuddhist monk hanging out laundry / Calugar budist pune rufele la uscat

The "kitchen" at Wat Bo temple / "bucataria" manastirii Wat BoThe “kitchen” at Wat Bo temple / “Bucataria” manastirii Wat Bo

Wat Bo templeWat Bo temple

Many Stupa are found at all buddhist monasteries / Stupa (pietre funerare budiste) se gasesc in curtile tuturor manastirilor budisteMany Stupas are found at all Buddhist monasteries / Stupa (pietre funerare budiste) se gasesc in curtile tuturor manastirilor budiste

A party in the street / O petrecere in stradaA party in the street / O petrecere in strada

..and another party on the street / O alta petrecere pe strada…and another party on the street / O alta petrecere pe strada

Cooking on the street and spending time with the family / Gatitul se face pe strada in fata casei, unde familia petrece timp impreunaCooking on the street and spending time with the family / Gatitul se face pe strada in fata casei, unde familia petrece timp impreuna

A golden Buddha in a big, golden lotus flower / O statuie aurie a lui Buddha in mijlocul unei uriase flori de lotusA golden Buddha in a big, golden lotus flower / O statuie aurie a lui Buddha in mijlocul unei uriase flori de lotus

Golden Buddha statues / statui aurii reprezentandu-l pe BuddhaGolden Buddha statues / Statui aurii reprezentandu-l pe Buddha

Wat Preah Prohm RothWat Preah Prohm Roth

Cows at temple / nu am inteles ce era cu vacile astea la templul Wat Preah Prohm RothCows at temple / Templul Wat Preah Prohm Roth

That's how a classroom in the foreing language school in Siem Reap looks like / Asa arata o sala de clasa in scoala de limbi straine din Siem ReapClassroom in the Foreign Language School in Siem Reap/ Asa arata o sala de clasa in scoala de limbi straine din Siem Reap

The Language school in Siem Reap/ Aceasta este scoala de limbi straineThe Language School in Siem Reap/ Aceasta este scoala de limbi straine

Street in Siem ReapStreet in Siem Reap

Children in uniform on bikes / elevi in uniforma pe bicicletaChildren in uniform, riding bikes / Elevi in uniforma, pe bicicleta

Children at school playing during break / Copii la scoala in recreatieChildren at school playing during school break / Copii la scoala in recreatie

Wat Dam Nak / Un al templu si un calugar portocaliuWat Dam Nak / Templul Dam Nak si un calugar portocaliu

Stupa / Monumente funerareStupa / Monumente funerare

Monks at lunch / Calugari la pranzMonks at lunch / Calugari la pranz

Courtyard at Wat Dam Nak / curtea manastirii Wat Dam NakCourtyard at Wat Dam Nak / Curtea manastirii Wat Dam Nak

Wat Preah An Kau SaaWat Preah An Kau Saa

On a back alley / Pe o alee in Siem ReapOn a back alley / Pe o alee in Siem Reap

Golden Buddha Statues

The next 3 photos are with people sleeping. Because is very hot, people have a more relaxed attitude and they sleep wherever they can (mostly in open air) / Urmatoarele 3 poze sunt cu oameni dormind. E f cald in Cambodia si oamenii au o atitudine mai ...relaxata. Dorm pe unde apuca, de obicei in aer liber :DBecause it’s very hot, people have a more relaxed attitude and sleep anywhere / E f cald in Cambodia si oamenii au o atitudine mai …relaxata. Dorm pe unde apuca, de obicei in aer liber 😀

Sleeping with the door opened / Dormind cu usa deschisa, oricine poate vedea in interiorul caseiSleeping with the door opened / Dormind cu usa deschisa, oricine poate vedea in interiorul casei

Driver sleeping in his Tuk-Tuk / Soferul acestui tuk-tuk si-a instalat un mic hamac (asa cum face majoritate de altfel)Driver sleeping in his Tuk-Tuk / Soferul acestui tuk-tuk si-a instalat un mic hamac (asa cum face majoritate de altfel)

Hair dresser in Siem Reap / Frizer in Siem ReapHair dresser in Siem Reap / Frizer in Siem Reap

Siem Reap River / Raul din Siem ReapSiem Reap River / Raul din Siem Reap

Water lilies at a local market / Flori de nuferi de vanzare la piataWater lilies at a local market / Flori de nuferi de vanzare la piata

how people go around the city / transportul prin oras

Wat BoWat Bo

Angkor National Museum

united_kingdomThe day finished at the Angkor National Museum – a very well organized and interesting museum. The religion and culture of the Khmer Empire is clearly explained in detail, we learned about all the gods and Buddhist religion and we understood the meaning of certain sculptures and bas-reliefs at Angkor Temples.


romania_flagAm terminat ziua la Muzeul National Angkor un muzeu bine pus la punct si extrem de interesant. Este explicat clar si in detaliu despre religia si cultura imperiului Khmer, despre toti zeii si religia Budista, am inteles semnificatiile anumitor sculpturi si basoreliefuri de la Templele Angkor. Ne intrebam daca nu era mai bine sa vizitam muzeul inainte de a vedea templele, dar cred ca a fost mai bine dupa, pentru ca asa am putut asocia ce am vazut la temple cu ce era prezentat in muzeu.

Angkor National Museum

Pub Street

united_kingdomWe spent a previous evening on Pub Street in Siem Reap – the most famous street in the city center. Yellow umbrellas are hanging upside down along the Pub Street, and they provide a cool shadow during the hot, sunny days in Cambodia.

There are many restaurant and pubs on this Pub Street (DUH!) and you can find cheap draft beer (50 cents).

We had a delicious dinner at “Khmer and proud of it” restaurant, while watching an Apsara dance performance (Apsaras are young, beautiful and elegant women who dance graciously).


romania_flagIntr-una din serile precedente ne-am dus pe Pub Street din Siem Reap (strada pub-urilor din centrul orasului) cu multe restaurante si baruri, cu bere la halba foarte ieftina (50 centi) si mancare excelenta. Am mancat la un restaurant ce se numeste “Sunt Khmer si sunt mandru de asta” care, pe langa mancarea traditionala foarte gustoasa, a avut si un program traditional Apsara (Apsara sunt fete tinere, elegante si foarte frumoase ce danseaza gratios).

Pub Street e acoperita de umbrele galbene si e umbra in timpul zilelor insorite.

Tragand linie, Siem Reap mi-a parut un oras prietenos in care m-am simtit in siguranta si il recomand pentru vizitare!

The pub street with yellow umbrellas / Pub Street in centru, cu umbrele galbeneThe pub street with yellow umbrellas / Pub Street in centru, cu umbrele galbene

pub street by night

Apsara dance performance/ Dans traditional ApsaraApsara dance performance/ Dans traditional Apsara

Apsara danceApsara dance

Ankgor What? pub - "Promoting irresponsible drinking since 1998" Ankgor What? pub – “Promoting irresponsible drinking since 1998”

Pub street by day

Tourists on Pub StreetTourists on Pub Street

Angkor W(h)at?Angkor W(h)at?

I found Siem Reap a friendly city and I recommend it for visiting, along with the Angkor Temples, of course.

Don’t miss:

8 beautiful Angkor temples, in Cambodia

Banteay Srei (“Citadel of the Women”)

united_kingdomWith fine, detailed, tridimensional carvings on the walls, that looks like concrete lace, Banteay Srei is one of my favourite Angkor temples. Legend says that it’s been built by a woman, as the elaborate carvings are supposedly too fine for the hand of a man. Built in 967 AD, Banteay Srei was a temple dedicated to Shiva and is considered to be the jewel of Angkorian craftmanship. The surface of the temple is almost fully covered in decorations and mythical guardians watch over such perfect creations.


romania_flagBanteay Srey- Orasul Femeilor. Mici sculpturi tridimensionale, fine, detaliate, ce par a fi tesute din dantela fac din acest templu o bijuterie Angkoriana ce se afla printre preferatele mele din toate templele din Angkor, in Cambodia. Legenda spune ca Banteay Srei a fost construit de o femeie, deoarece sculpturile laboriaoase sunt mult prea fine pentru mainile unui barbat. Suprafetele peretilor sunt aproape in intregime acoperite in decoratiuni, iar creaturi mitice vegheaza asupra acestei minunate creatii. Templul a fost construit in anul 967 si a fost dedicat zeului  Shiva.

banteay srey carvingbanteay srei angkor banteay srei templebanteay srei carvings banteay srei at angkor banteay srei cambodiaguardiands banteay sreibanteay srey detail banteay srei decoration banteay srei at angkor, cambodia banteay srei details angkor temple banteay srei creatures banteay srei banteay srei entrance water lillies detail banteay srei

Preah Khan (“Sacred Sword”)

united_kingdomOne of the largest complexes at Angkor, the temple of Preah Khan reminds me of Ta Prohm, but with fewer visitors. In the maze of corridors, between the ruins, there were local children spending time.


romania_flagPreah Khan – “Sabia sacra“: este unul din cele mai vaste complexe din Angkor si parca seamana un pic cu templul Ta Prohm, dar cu mai putini turisti. Copii isi petreceau timpul in labirintul de ruine.

preah khan cambodia preah khan monk preah khan templepreah khan entrance preah khan preah khan tree monks preah khan preah khan angkor tree preah khan DSC_1179 DSC_1176 DSC_1178

Pre Rup (“Turning the body”)

united_kingdomPre Rup was built during Rajendravarman II and it has pyramid shape towers. “Turning the body” refers to a traditional method of cremation.


romania_flagTemplul Pre Rup – “Rotirea cadavrului”: a fost construit in timpul lui Radendravarman al II-lea si are turnuri in forma de piramida. Rotirea cadavrului se refera la o metoda traditionala de incinerare.

pre rup temple pre rup angkor pre rup detail

Neak Poan

united_kingdomA tower on a lake.


romania_flagNeak Poan: Templul de pe lac.

Neak poan lake Neak poan lake neak poan

Ta Som

united_kingdomTa Som temple, built in the 12th century, provides a good photo opportunity: a huge tree embracing the eastern tower.


romania_flagIn templul Ta Som, construit in sec al XII-lea, se afla un copac urias ce invaluie turnul de est.

ta som treeta som temple ta som ta som carving me ta som

Eastern Mebon

united_kingdomThis Hindu temple is guarded at its corners by carved stone elephants.


romania_flagMebonul de Est: acest templu Hindus este pazit la colturi de elefanti ciopliti in piatra.

eastern mebon eastern mebon elephants eastern mebon tower

Beng Mealea

united_kingdomBuilt in the 12th century, Beng Mealea is a mysterious temple drowned in jungle. Lonely Planet names it: “The ultimate Indiana Jones experience. Paths take you through piles of stones and hanging vines, and the foliage offers cool shadow during hot days.


romania_flagConstruit in sec al XII-lea, Beng Mealea e un templu misterios invadat de jungla. Ghidul Lonely Planet numeste templul :”experienta suprema Indiana Jones“. Sunt alei ce te duc printre gramezi de pietre si liane, iar umbra racoroasa a copacilor e perfecta in zilele calduroase!

beng mealea beng mealea temple beng mealea cambodia temple beng mealea beng mealea angkor beng mealea ruins

Preah Koh

united_kingdomBuilt in the 9th century, this temple dedicated to Shiva has 6 towers (3 in the front related to male ancestors and 3 in the back related to female ancestors). Stone lions guard the steps of the temple.


romania_flagConstruit in secolul IX si dedicat zeului Shiva, templul Preah Koh are 6 turnuri (cele 3 din fata se refera la stramosii de sex masculin, iar cele 3 turnuri din spate se refera la stramosii de sex feminin. Lei din piatra vegheaza treptele templului.

DSC_3869 preah koSee also:

Ta Prohm – the jungle temple in Cambodia

united_kingdomTa Prohm is by far my favorite temple of Angkor, in Cambodia- invaded by jungle, it has a mystical atmosphere and the big, strong roots embrace the walls giving the impression that the tall trees grew from the ruins! It’s like a real adventure game, expecting for hidden doors to open behind the roots and lianas.

This temple built in the late 12th century and abandoned in the 17th century, is one of the most popular temples at Angkor.

Scenes from the movie “Tomb Raider” (starring Angelina Jolie) were filmed here at Ta Prohm Temple.


romania_flagDintre toate templele din Angkor in Cambodgia, Ta Prohm este preferatul meu – este invaluit in atmosfera misterioasa a junglei, iar radacinile copacilor uriasi inconjoara zidurile templului si parca au crescut direct din ruine! M-am simtit ca intr-un joc de aventura, asteptand dintr-un moment in altul sa se deschida vreo usa ascunsa printre liane si radacini.

Construit la sfarsitul sec. XII si abandonat in sec. XVII, Ta Prohm este unul din cele mai vizitate si fotografiate temple din Angkor.

P.S. Aici au fost filmate scene din filmul “Tomb Raider“, cu Angelina Jolie.

Ta prohmta prohm, cambodiata prohm temple ta prohm, roots, cambodia ta prohm at angkorbasrelief ta prohm ta prohm tree ta prohm hdrta prohm, angkorta prohm cambodiata prohm in cambodia angkor, ta prohm tomb raider temple angelina jolie tomb raider ta prohm tomb raider temple ta prohm roots ta prohmta prohm roots ta prohm angkor cambodia

Bayon – the temple of 216 faces at Angkor, Cambodia

united_kingdomThe Bayon temple in Cambodia was the first Angkor temple that we visited in our Siem Reap trip. It became fast one of my favorite Angkor Temples (along with Ta Prohm and Banteay Srei).

From distance, Bayon looks like a disorganized pile of stones, but when coming closer you start seeing the massive, smiling faces on all the 54 towers of the temple. It’s impressive!

It’s thought that Bayon was built by king Jayavarman VII in 12th-13th century and the faces are representations of him.


romania_flagTemplul Bayon din Cambodia a fost primul pe care l-am vizitat in vacanta de 5 zile din Siem Reap. A devenit unul din templele mele preferate de la Angkor (ca si Ta Prohm si Banteay Srei).

Vazut de la distanta, templul Bayion pare o dezordine de pietre, dar cu cat te apropii vezi capete uriase ce zambesc, asezate pe cele 54 turnuri ale templului. 

 Se presupune ca templul Bayon a fost construit in timpul regelui Jayavarman al VII-lea in secolul 12-13, iar figurile il reprezinta.

heads bayon

bayon cambodia

bayon angkor

bayon lake

bayonbayon detail on wall

details bayon

at bayon temple temple faces in front of bayon temple

eu la templul bayon

elephants bayon

elephant ride at bayon temple siem reap cambodia angkor

crowded bayon

bayon inside

at bayon

bayon temple

 

Don’t miss:

6 less famous temples at Angkor in Cambodia

They may not be as famous as Ta Prohm, Bayon or Banteay Srei, but they are as beautiful and inspiring. I am going to present to you the following six temples: Baphuon, Phimeanakas, Thommanon, Chau Say, Ta Keo, Banteay Kdei

BAPHUON

united_kingdomBaphuon temple is a pyramidal representation of the mythical Mount Meru and it was built probably under king Suryavarman I and Udayadityavarman II in the 11th century.


romania_flagTemplul Baphuon e construit in forma de piramida si reprezinta Muntele Meru. Templul a fost construit in timpul regelui Suryavarman I si continuat in timpul lui Udayadityavarman al II-lea in secolul XI. 

temple baphuon

baphuon ruins

baphuon in cambodia

baphuon up

stairs climb baphuon   baphuon angkor wat

angkor temple baphuon

 

PHIMEANAKAS AND THE TERRACE OF ELEPHANTS

united_kingdomPhimeanakas is another representation of Mt Meru. The Terrace of Elephants was used as a giant viewing stand for public ceremonies.


romania_flagPhimeanaks e din nou o reprezentare a muntelui Meru, iar Terasa Elefantilor era o gigantica platforma folosita in timpul ceremoniilor publice.

phimeanakas terrace of elephants angkor

THOMMANON AND CHAU SAY

united_kingdomThese two temples were built around 12th century  under the reign of Suryavarman II and are dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu (the Supreme Gods in Hinduism).


romania_flagTemplele Thommanon si Chau Say au fost construite in secolul al XII-lea sub domnia regelui Suryavarman al II-lea si sunt dedicate zeilor Shiva si Vishnu – zeitatile supreme din religia Hindusa.

thommanon angkor thommanon thommanon cambodia Chau say temple chau say angkor chau say detail chau say tower chau say at angkor

TA KEO

united_kingdomTa Keo is an undecorated temple made of sandstone dedicated to Shiva. It was built under Jayavarman V, but was never finished (it’s believed that it was struck by lightning during its construction – a bad omen that led to its abandonment).


romania_flagTa Keo este un templu fara decoratii, dedicat zeului Shiva. Nu a fost terminat; legenda spune ca a fost lovit de fulger – un semn de ghinion, de aceea s-a abandonat constructia.

Ta Keo

BANTEAY KDEI

united_kingdomBanteay Kdei is a large Buddhist Monastery built in 12th century.


romania_flagBanteay Kdei a  fost o mare Manastire Budista construita in secolul al XII-lea.

banteay kdei banetay kdei columns banteay kdei angkorbanteay kdei at angkor sculptures banteay kdei banteay kdei monastery banteay kdei cambodia banteay kdei in siem reap

Don’t miss:

Sunrise at Angkor Wat, Cambodia

united_kingdomWe woke up at 4:30 AM, arrived at Angkor Wat around 5:30 AM and many people were already there waiting for Mother Nature’s sunrise at one of the most famous and beautiful temples in Cambodia.

I am not a big fan of sunrise, I much more prefer sunsets, but I Had to be there with the crowds, as it’s probably once in a life time opportunity.

The silhouette which Angkor Wat creates in the morning sunlight and the towers’ reflection in the pond makes me say it was the most beautiful sunrise I saw in my life, regardless of the fact that I had to wake up in the middle of the night (Yawn).

sunrise at angkor watpeople sunrise angkor sunrise Angkor Wat Cambodia angkor wat sunrise people at sunrise angkor wat people sunrise angkor watangkor wat sunrise, cambodia

romania_flagNe-am trezit la 4:30 dimineata, iar la 5:30 eram deja la templul Angkor Wat impreuna cu alti zeci de turisti, veniti sa vada spectacolul rasaritului oferit de Mama Natura la unul din cele mai faimoase si frumoase temple din Cambodgia. Nu sunt mare fan al rasaritului, prefer apusurile, dar Trebuia sa fiu acolo cu multimea, caci asemenea ocazie e probabil unica in viata. Silueta templului in lumina diminetii si reflexiile turnurilor in lacul cu nuferi m-au facut sa uit de trezirea din somnul dulce si tind sa cred ca este si va fi cel mai frumos rasarit din viata mea.

Life on a floating village (Kompong Phluk in Cambodia)

The Floating Village

Kompong Phluk is a floating village on Tonle Sap (the  biggest freshwater lake in Cambodia) not far from Siem Reap (about one hour by car – we had a private driver for 3 days to take us around the temples at Angkor).

The houses in this village are built on high, thin, wooden pillars and are surrounded by water during the wet season.

The main activity and source of living is fishing and people (as well as children) go around by boat.

Kompong phluk floating village cambodiaColorful houses in Kompong Phluk, the Floating village on Tonle Sap Lake
Casele din satul plutitor Kompong Phluk sunt construite pe picioare lungi de lemn, pentru ca in sezonul ud nivelul apei creste. Oamenii traiesc din pescuit si fiecare familie are in fata casei cel putin o barca

children and father on boat floating village Boy kompong Phluk

Children in uniform paddling their way from school / Copii in uniforme se intorc de la scoala, singuri vaslesc spre casaChildren in uniform paddling their way from school
Copii in uniforme se intorc de la scoala, singuri vaslesc spre casa

Everyone is smiling: childredn and DOG! /toti zambesc, inclusiv catelul!Everyone is smiling: childredn and DOG!
Toti zambesc, inclusiv catelul!

Kompong Phluk house men on boat kompong phlukboy in uniform going to school colorful houses kompong phluk store kompong phluk kompong phluk houses woman in kompong phluk children on boat floating village boat Kompong Phluk Cambodia Kompong Phluk child in the house people on boat Floating village cambodia

This house doesn't have any walls and the family can be seen from the boat / Aceasta casa nu are pereti. Familia se odihneste pe podea in vazul tuturorA house without walls and the family can be seen from the boat
Aceasta casa nu are pereti. Familia se odihneste pe podea in vazul tuturor

There is a School, a Health Center and a Police Station in this floating village.

The police station in Kompong Phluk / Sediul politiei in satul plutitorThe police station in Kompong Phluk
Sediul politiei in satul plutitor

Secondary school in the floating village / Scoala in satul plutitorSecondary school in the floating village
Scoala in satul plutitor

The Flooded Forest

The forest at Kompong Phluk is surreal, the trees are drowning in water and small boats, driven by locals, take tourists in the labyrinth of trees. The atmosphere is calm and quiet and all you can hear is the splashing sound of the paddle.

flooded forest cambodia girls boat flooded forestflooded forest tourists girl in water floating village tree flooded forest cambodiachildren in boat kompong phluk

flooded forest girl in boat flooded forest the flooded forest cambodiaboat Kompong Phluk life in Kompong Phluk girl sleeping on boat cambodia family kompong phluk shop on tonle sap lake house on boat Kompong phlukwoman on boat floating village

Angels of Cambodia

Internet. Tablet. Smart phone. Facebook. Lots of clothes and fancy shoes. They want it and they have it. The kids in the world which I live in.

But the world is not limited to Belgium, Romania, Western Europe or America. On the same planet, in the same century, year, month and day, there are places with kids that have no shoes, their clothes are dirty and the smartphones are nothing but a dream.

Around Angkor Temples, in Cambodia, there are many children selling postcards, bracelets and other little souvenirs: “Want a postcard lady? Ten for one dollar. You are very pretty lady“.

They made my heart melt. They’ve learned English phrases by heart, many of them probably not knowing what they mean. Many of them are shoeless, some more dirty than the others.

Some of them were so young (3-5 years old) and didn’t seem to realize the value of money, so they were asking me if I have candy or gum. I was not prepared with candies and felt sorry for that. They still have that specific childhood innocence, you can see how they would prefer to play with each other instead of selling.

Other ones were just passing time playing between the temple’s ruins.

I know the money they make are going to their parents and are not really used for the children. I know I shouldn’t encourage the children labor by buying things from them, but the feeling was so overwhelming and I bought bracelets from two of them and gave 1 Dollar each.

Cambodia is a poor country. It’s not the only country in this world where poverty touches so many souls. Let’s take a moment anytime we complain how unfair life is and think that there are others on this planet who don’t have a choice, that others only dream about having what we have. These children have no fault, they didn’t ask to be born in those miserable conditions; THIS is unfair, NOT that you can’t afford an upgrade to your phone. NOT that you can’t buy that expensive suit or dress.

You are sometimes making faces when the food that you ordered in the restaurant is not good enough? Others have nothing to eat. How much are you paying for that steak? You think not much? hm…with those money, that Cambodian family could buy clothes for their children.Cambodia Child

girl selling souvenirs Cambodia
girl selling souvenirs Cambodia

Girl selling postcards Cambodia girl at angkor temples girl with puppy girl with lollipop girl playing in cambodia temple

Girls playing
Girls playing
chidren selling souvenirs Angkor wat
The children from which I bought bracelets, each holding the dollar that I gave them
Bracelet angkor wat
The bracelet I bought from the girl in the previous picture
Boy Cambodia selling
And the boy I bought bracelets from, posing for the camera.
girl studying in a temple
This girl was studying and reading out loud from her book. She was sitting on the ruins of an old wat (temple)
children selling Angkor
Children selling souvenirs at Angkor temples
girl crying cambodia
This beautiful girl was crying because she had a quarrel with her friends around the temple. She was having tears running down her cheeks.

little girl in Cambodia girl at Agnkor children selling at Angkor temples boy crying in Cambodia boy on bike in Cambodia boys in Cambodia little boy in Cambodia little boy on the road Cambodia girl on bike child in Cambodia children posing dirty little girl playing girl cambodia angkor wat little boy haircut boy running happy

At school

On the other hand, I was happy to see that many children go to school. They travel by bike or motorbike (according to their age) and they have beautiful uniforms (white blouse and blue skirt/pants). The schools are annexed to the cities’ Wats (=temples, churches) and while visiting a Wat in Siem Reap, I was able to have a sneak-peak at the school next to it. The doors to the classrooms were opened, as you will be able to see in the pictures. There was one teacher  in front of the class for around 40 kids.

I wish them all to be able to achieve their dreams and hopes, to have equal opportunities as any other children of this world.

at school in Siem Reap children at school in Cambodia children at school in Siem Reap Courtyard Siem Reap Girl Smiling Cambodia Girl laughing cambodia school Cambodia school girl Cambodia