These photos (mostly taken from from the car) didn’t fit in any of the other albums of Cambodia.
Urmatoarele poze (majoritatea facute din masina) nu si-au gasit locul in celelalte albume din Cambodgia, de aceea le-am grupat aici.
These photos (mostly taken from from the car) didn’t fit in any of the other albums of Cambodia.
Urmatoarele poze (majoritatea facute din masina) nu si-au gasit locul in celelalte albume din Cambodgia, de aceea le-am grupat aici.
Angkor 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.
Templul 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!
Phnom 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:
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.
(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:
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.)
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.
It’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)
Muzeul 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.
The 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
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.
All 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.
(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!)
Magic 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
We 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
Siem 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.
Siem 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 Reap
Tourists in Tuk-Tuk
Street in Siem Reap / Strada in Siem Reap
Wat Bo temple in Siem Reap / Templul (manastirea) Wat Bo in Siem Reap
Buddhist monk hanging out laundry / Calugar budist pune rufele la uscat
The “kitchen” at Wat Bo temple / “Bucataria” manastirii Wat Bo
Wat Bo temple
Many 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 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 impreuna
A 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 Buddha
Wat Preah Prohm Roth
Cows at temple / Templul Wat Preah Prohm Roth
Classroom 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 straine
Street in Siem Reap
Children in uniform, riding bikes / Elevi in uniforma, pe bicicleta
Children at school playing during school break / Copii la scoala in recreatie
Wat Dam Nak / Templul Dam Nak si un calugar portocaliu
Stupa / Monumente funerare
Monks at lunch / Calugari la pranz
Courtyard at Wat Dam Nak / Curtea manastirii Wat Dam Nak
Wat Preah An Kau Saa
On a back alley / Pe o alee in Siem Reap
Because 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 casei
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 Reap
Siem Reap River / Raul din Siem Reap
Water lilies at a local market / Flori de nuferi de vanzare la piata
The 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.
Am 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.
We 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).
Intr-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 galbene
Apsara dance performance/ Dans traditional Apsara
Ankgor What? pub – “Promoting irresponsible drinking since 1998”
Tourists on Pub Street
I found Siem Reap a friendly city and I recommend it for visiting, along with the Angkor Temples, of course.
With 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.
Banteay 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.
One 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.
Preah 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.
Templul 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.
Built 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.
Construit 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!
Built 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.
Construit 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.
Ta 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.
Dintre 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.
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.
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.
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
Templul 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.
Ta 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).
We 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).
Ne-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.
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.
Colorful 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
There is a School, a Health Center and a Police Station in this floating village.
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.
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.
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.