Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Lost Empires of Cambodia

Steve and I spent five days in Siem Reap, Cambodia.  We studied Cambodia's rich culture,  devastating history, Hindu/Buddhist mythology, and how this country is trying to move forward.  It seemed this country is full of extremes:  wonders and tragedies, majestic temples and great poverty, powerful empires and brutal wars.  


Touring all around Siem Reap was an amazing experience.  We enjoyed our Guide.  He was educated and involved in the political scene in Cambodia.  We were so interested in the history and how life is today in Cambodia. We asked so many questions to try and understand this country's devastating history and hope for a prosperous future. 

 







This little guy greeted us as we entered the temples on our first day. 
 
We enjoyed the Bayon Temple with the towers of smiling faces.  We walked around and looked at the extensive bas-reliefs and listened to the myths behind them. 
 
 


A place inside the temple to light incense and free yourself from the world.  I lit the incense and said a prayer for our children who seemed so far away.



 
 We loved hearing about the Hindu/Buddhist mythology.  All of the temples have bas-reliefs that tell a
story of so long ago. 




Visiting the Banteay Srei (Womans Citadel).  This is a tiny temple built of red sandstone and dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva.   
 
The carvings are very "Fairytaleish."




 
 Hearing the stories about what goes on in the rice fields, I ALWAYS wash my rice before cooking. 







Out to dinner at the restaurant made famous by Angelina.  Apparently, the locals are upset because once Angelina ate at this restaurant, the prices went up. 
 


People selling their wares just out on the side of the street. 







 


 
Trying to cool off with the original "Coconut Water."


The Ta Prohm Temple with the overgrown Banyon trees. 





Each day, we came back to our hotel drenched in sweat and completely exhausted (both mentally and physically).  We felt so grateful to come back to our hotel Le Meridian in Siem Reap. 
   It felt incredible to relax at the pool and get massages each night.

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