The BIG Trip 2010/2011 travel blog

South-east Asia alarm clock, even if you do not really want to...

Lotus shaped architecture everywhere...as are temples, pagodas and images of Buddha

Haunting memories of Cambodia - why is there so much sadness in...

Christmas in Cambodia...what a good way to use those empties (we did...

Street meat - Cambodia style...look at those little froggie feet - yum...

No shortage of Cambodian companies offering tours...some corrupt, others not!

Bartering skills necessary...Tracy on left, Lynda on right (spending $1.00)

A plethora of rice fields in various stages of planting, harvesting, drying...

Yet another pagoda...hidden within the Palm fronds...so glittery!

The world wonder of Angkor...a must see!

Central Market - shopping madness...patience needed.

Now, why did we not pack our flannel PJ's? This is a...


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The Sights, Sounds & Smells of Cambodia


Sights


*monks wondering around, requesting funds, wearing their saffron robes and carrying matching umbrellas

*the school children donning their pristine white and blue school uniforms

*whole families riding on small motos

*laden down bicycles sharing the roads with motos, trucks, cars, tuk-tuks and pedestrians

*rice paddies, rice paddies, rice paddies

*deep family bonds evident when witnessing groups of Cambodians together

*the heavenly sights of the temples in Angkor

*pictures of the King of Cambodia

*the hellish sights of the genocide during the Khmer Rouge period

*garish, shimmering orange and gold pagodas

*the various 'odd to us' treats for sale - eels, cockroaches, spiders, bugs, grasshoppers, battered frogs etc...

*bare butt bottomed toddlers (until they are toilet trained) playing in the dust with homemade toys

*litter, development and deforestation - the lack of ecological foresight that may prove devastating in the future

*beautiful silk of various hues

*victims of land mines, missing limbs and often resorting to begging or selling tourists items at various sites

*the popular PJ ensemble

*geckos

*dancing asperas (heavenly nymphs)

*giant water pottery containers...could be used as swimming pool for small children

*Christmas Trees put up by Buddhists, for tourist celebrations

Sounds:


*endless horns honking as the larger vehicles honk to show their dominance over bicycles, motorcycles, tuk-tuks, pedestrians, smaller vechiles etc.....traffic mayhem

*the Khmer language - its tones and volume

*endless touts repeatedly shouting at us "Ladeee, you want _____ (moto, sunglasses, books etc....)

*roosters - at all hours...they crow before, during and after dawn

*acomment from a tourist "This pizza does not look happy!" (happy here means they add marijuana as a spice)

*large family groups who sound like they are having huge disputes but are actually just talking all together

*Honda engines used as outboard motors mounted head height inside the boat

*Tracy asking (again) where are the room keys?

Smells


*the Cambodian food - spices like basil, cilantro and lemongrass waft through the air, making us hungry even if we just have eaten

*boiling sewage as we walk the streets

*the special smell of the river - special (does not make you want to swim)

*our own sweaty bodies and bags (those padded straps really absorb quite nicely

*burning garbage,including plastics

OTHER MEMORIES:


Reading two books that greatly helped our understanding of Cambodia:

First They Killed My Father...by Loung Ang (a memoir that is both harrowing and hopeful, told from a child's perspective during the Khmer Rouge regime)

When the War Was Over
by Elizabeth Becker...a very informative American journalist's account of what lead up to the war, the period during the war and after, when she was allowed back to visit. This book also helped us understand the intertwined histories with Vietnam and Laos as well.

*the influence of India, Angkor, French,Khmer, Vietnam and now, Independence (under the Cambodian People's Party

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