Cambodia…hot, balmy, over 100° F in the jungle. Rich with history, full of adventure, fabulous food, and gentle, loving people. It is a must-visit on your bucket list.
A N G K O R W A T – អង្គរវត្ត
Exploring Angkor Wat or “Capital Temple,” the largest religious monument in the world, measuring 402 acres. Originally constructed as a Hindu temple of the god Vishnu for the Khmer Empire, it gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century. It was built in the early 12th century by the Khmer King, Suryavarman II, in Yaśodharapura (present-day Angkor), the capital of the Khmer Empire. Angkor Wat was King Suryavarman II’s state temple and eventual mausoleum. Breaking from the Shaiva tradition of previous kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated to Vishnu. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation.
The temple is at the top of the high-classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag and multiple prints of Cambodia’s currency. It is the country’s prime tourist attraction, with more than 7,000 visitors daily. Approaching from the back, I was able to shoot this early morning shot with the sun in my favor. I loved exploring this temple, even though it was over a sweltering 100° F. Click images to view high-resolution photos!
B A Y O N – ប្រាសាទបាយ័ន
Bayon was one of my favorite temples to visit. Lots of intricate detail went into building this temple and it shows. It was built in the late 12th or early 13th century as the official state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King, Jayavarman VII.
A local kid showed me this trick, using the panorama feature on my phone. I call this photo “In Two Places at Once.”
B A N T E A Y S R E I – ប្រាសាទបន្ទាយស្រី
Exploring Banteay Srei or Banteay Srey, a 10th-century Cambodian temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Located in the area of Angkor, it lies near the hill of Phnom Dei, 25 km (16 mi) north-east of the main group of temples that once belonged to the medieval capitals of Yasodharapura and Angkor Thom. Banteay Srei is built largely of red sandstone, a medium that lends itself to the elaborate decorative wall carvings which are still observable today. The buildings themselves are miniature in scale, unusually so when measured by the standards of Angkorian construction. These factors have made the temple extremely popular, and have led to its being widely praised as a “precious gem”, or the “jewel of Khmer art.”
Special thanks to the four monks who posed for this photo.
T A P R O H M – ប្រាសាទតាព្រហ្ម
Exploring Ta Prohm. Ta Prohm is the modern name of the temple at Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia, built in the Bayon style largely in the late 12th and early 13th centuries and originally called Rajavihara. This temple is fun to explore as it is overtaken by trees, giving it that Tomb Raider look.
P H N O M P E N H – ភ្នំពេញ
Exploring the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. The palace was constructed after King Norodom relocated the royal capital from Oudong to Phnom Penh in the mid-19th century. It was built atop an old citadel called Banteay Kev. It faces towards the East and is situated at the Western bank of the cross division of the Tonle Sap River and the Mekong River. Today was very warm here in Phnom Penh, but worth the trip to capture this shot of the Palace.
Stupa at Royal Palace in Phnom Penh Cambodia
Phnom Penh at night as seen from the Mekong River. Modern, active, and full of night life.
Another beautiful sunset on the Mekong River, north of Phnom Penh in Cambodia. Relaxing.
K O N P O N G L O U A N G
Visited a silversmith village in this small town today. I had an opportunity to see how they apply artistic talent and metal working. It’s a great place to pick up a couple of decorative pieces. Just follow this road until you hear a lot of clink-clank pounding; your ears will tell you when you get there. Below is an arial shot I took with my DJI Mavic Pro Drone.
Found this highly detailed brass piece hiding on the side of a cabinet in one silversmith’s shop.
Got a deal on this silver statue.
W A T H A N C H E Y
Wat Hanchey is a hilltop pagoda 20km north of Kompong Cham. It was an important centre of worship during the Chenla period when, as today, it offered some of the best Mekong views in Cambodia. The foundations of several 8th-century structures, some of them destroyed by American bombs, are scattered around the compound, along with a clutch of bizarre fruit and animal statues. Below are a couple arial shots from my DJI drone.
P R E K B A N G K O N G
Silk, silk and more silk. You will not find a shortage of silk in Cambodia. These master craftsmen are highly skilled at weaving some stunning patterns which in turn create some beautiful clothing. Shirts, pants and silk scarves are in abundance here. I found 100% silk shirts for $20. USD and scarves for $7.00 USD, and that is before negotiating. There are good deals to be had, so stock up while you are here.
O T H E R P H O T O S