Over the past month I have been on vacation traveling across Asia (Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam) and as usual, when I return from any major trip I share some of the stories & photos with you.
Below you will find a select few photos from about 400 taken while in the Kingdom of Cambodia (Siem Riep & Phnom Penh). I will upload the Japan and Vietnam photos when I get a chance to go through them – I still have 1500 more photos to go through.
This is how the vast majority of the population get to work in Cambodia, crammed on the back of a truck. There were at least 25 trucks in a row like this… something that has to be seen, to be believed.
This is inside the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museuem / S-21 Prision in Phnom Penh. This was probably the most confronting place / experience I have ever come across (even after visiting Vietnam War Museum + Hitler’s Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria). The pictures, history and realism of the whole museum really blew me away. You could actually still see the blood on the cells and the walls.
This is a commemorative stupa at the Killing Fields of Cambodia. It is filled with the skulls of the victims, on display for all to see (inside is made of glass). At this site you could walk around and see the mass graves of nearly 200,000 Cambodians who were killed by the Khmer Rouge.
These were some children who were “playing” nearby the fence of the Killing Fields. You soon come to realise they are not actually playing, but working. They beg for money when tourists come over for a closer look. A saddening experience, but one that you eventually “got used to” – poverty & begging is literally everywhere in Cambodia.
The beautiful Royal Palace of Phnom Penh. This was probably the only place that you didn’t encounter begging (until you got outside the gates). It was quite fascinating inside as well, especially inside the Silver Pagoda (a temple which has over 5,000 silver tiles as the floor). It also featured an “Emerald Buddha” inside which had about 9000+ diamonds on it.
Just part of the fun of Cambodia, the cuisine. In the picture above you see two forms of cooked crickets (at the front) and then cooked Tarantulas at the back… and yes I did eat them. The crickets tasted like crunchy chicken and the Tarantula tasted like marinated beef jerky.
Yup, that’s a live Tarantuala crawling on my shirt.
This is probably the only place in the world where you will be able to freely walk around with a live, loaded gun as a tourist attraction. Above you see me shooting an M16 rifle.
I also got to shoot a PPSh Sub Machine Gun (I was originally told it was a Tommy Gun) which was pretty awesome. Very loud and quite a kick. What you think? Next Rambo? Far from.
This is the group I travelled around Cambodia with, outside Angkor Wat – a 12th century temple which is the main tourist attraction for Cambodia (it even appears on their national flag).
One of those cheesy jump shots on top of Bankheng Hill, Angkor Wat.
Posing on the top of Bankheng Hill while waiting for the sunset.
The sunset I was waiting for.
Where we had a fish foot massage (not my feet shown above). The tiny fish eat away at your dead skin cells and leave your feet nice and exfoliated. Quite an experience!
Feeding an elephant bananas… not as exhilarating as when I was “sucked off” + given a massage by an elephant in Thailand back in February.
The bridge leading to the entrance of a temple in Angkor Wat. The one at the front is a refurbished one (the original was destroyed during war).
Me exhausted after the steep climb (there were much more stairs than what is shown in the picture).
A some what zombie-like pose in front of this ancient tree. You may actually find this setting / tree familiar… it’s where they filmed Tomb Raider a few years back.
Don’t know why I did this, but I thought it was a good idea at the time.
This is me chilling on the outer wall of the massive temple. A few minutes later, it poured down (very refreshing) rain.
The floating village. All of the boats / houses you see on the sides of the river move about 3 times a year depending on the weather and tides. It is literally a floating village – they have a floating school, floating church, floating shops, etc.
This was a kid floating in a wash basin down the river. Cute… until he started begging for money. “One dollaaar, one dolllaaar”.
This was a lady drying out water snakes on the river. I also tried this (cooked of course). Tasted pretty nice actually, though I couldn’t stomach it for more than 2 bites. Something about the water it swims in got to me.
This is a tank full of farmed cat fish. This is what they look like when you throw a chunk of fish food into the tank – they go nuts!
This is me feeding cat fish to a bunch of hungry crocodiles. Quite an experience – very exhilarating.
An action close up shot of me feeding the crocs.
These were the kids of our tour leader – very cute and friendly. I just wish the photo came out clearer.
Simply amazing eh? 3 huge cupboards on a motorcycle!
Thought you had seen it all? Nope, those are live chickens tied to the roof of a van.
Hope this has gaven you a short glimpse into what Cambodia is all about.
Some have also asked where I am going next… at this stage I am aiming for a trip to South America in November though nothing is confirmed yet and then in January I will be moving to NYC to begin work at Carrot Creative.
Stay tuned for the Japan, Vietnam & New Zealand photos over the next few weeks. Also be sure to check out this post: Top 10 Tips To Streamline Your Vacation Planning.