Thursday, March 19, 2015
The Temples of Cambodia
I last visited Cambodia about three years ago, when my husband and I spent several weeks travelling down the Mekong River, from its upper reaches in remote China, through Thailand and Laos, and on down into Siem Riep and Cambodia. It was an amazing journey, full of memorable highlights.
At one point, soon after we had cleared Chinese waters and not yet reached our next destination in Thailand, our small boat broke down and we were smashed against the rocks. That part of the Mekong River is narrow and peppered with dangerously rocky and shallow rapids, and we were still at least 12 hours upriver from calmer waters and safety.
We found ourselves stranded in limbo, with the tropical jungles of Myanmar (Burma) on one side of the river and Laos on the other. I remember spending an uncomfortably hot and steamy night, being bitten to pieces by mosquitoes as I tried to sleep on the roof of the boat, while my other half attempted to sleep in the suffocating air of the cramped cabin. All through the night, patrols of young soldiers guarded both banks of the river, brandishing machine guns to make sure we did not try to land on their side.
Thankfully, fellow JET Team member Mandy had a less eventful journey when she visited Cambodia recently! As well as making beautiful jewelry, Mandy is a professional photographer and today she has shared some of the amazing photographs she took while visiting the temples there.
The most famous temple complex in Cambodia is Angkor, which comprises over 100 different temples and dates back to the start of the Khmer Empire in the 9th century. Of these the best-preserved and most famous temple is Angkor Wat, which Mandy has captured to perfection in the first image above.
Many of other temples in the region are just as interesting to visit, if not quite so dramatic, and are pleasantly free of tourists. I asked Mandy to tell us more about her trip but she's rather pre-occupied rigt now, having just become a grandmother to a beautiful new baby girl. Please visit Mandy's website, BeadsMe, to see more of her photographic images and her photo jewelry.