Silhouette of Angkor Wat
Ever since I had arrived in Bangkok for my studies, I had a dream to go to visit Cambodia, especially to see the Majestic Angkor Wat at Siem Reap and pain for the Cambodian people from the past “Choeung Ek Genocidal Center” also know as “The Killing Field” in Phnom Penh. Finally, on the eve of 2012 I could manage this trip.
It was my first trip traveling like backpackers without any Itinerary. Before going to Cambodia I did some research on the internet about traveling to Cambodia from Bangkok. Many said that train would be a better option. My friend Mr. Aimal Alam from Pakistan and I packed our bags for our new destination, Cambodia. We took a train this time.
Traveling through train in 3rd class was quite fun. It was an unforgettable journey for us as we met one American guy Mr. Gabriel Carbajal. He was traveling all alone outside United States for the first time. By the time we reach Thailand-Cambodia border Aryanprathet we had become good friends, and we travel together till seam reap. The train journey was quite amazing. We could see the real Thai life, farmers, students, monks, Cambodian workers going back home, and the crop fields. A different life style than Bangkok.
Green Fields Of Thailand, Aimal was saying it reminded him of his village in Pakistan
Local People inside train
At the border with friend from United State
At the border, since I already had an e-visa to Cambodia I had no problem, but it was hard for my Pakistani friend to get a visa. Finally, after he got the visa, we reserved a car from border city Poypet to Siem Reap, which was a 2 hour journey. It was amazing and easy for us that the Thai Bhat and US dollars are easily accepted everywhere in Cambodia (at least every place we went).
After reaching Siem Reap, we went to see Angkor Wat, it was really majestic. It has been well preserved and I think it is the main attraction of Cambodia to attract tourist from around the world. We spend 3 hours seeing around the temple premises. Now I realize that 3 hour was not enough, I felt we missed out many other places around seam reap. I think I should make another trip before I leave Bangkok after my studies.
We could see many monks and Buddha’s statue inside Angkor Wat but seeing at the wall of the temple we can say that it is dedicated to the Hindu god. As I went through Wikipedia, it says that it has been dedicated to Hindu god Vishnu. As we see the walls of the temple, we can see story of Ramayana imprinted on them. The area of Angkor Wat is very big; we could not go to other temple surrounding it in 3 hours time.
Majestic Angkor Wat
Ramayana Story imprinted on the walls of the temple
Actually when I asked a girl at a travel agency, she said if you have visited to Wat Angkor, there is nothing that attractive here besides going to floating village at the lake. She did not tell me about other temples surrounding the main Angkor Wat. Now I feel that I was not given the right information at that place, so I bought the morning bus ticket to Phnom Penh. Roaming around city of seam reap at night was really cool. I felt like I am around Thamel Area of Kathmandu, my home town. There were lots of pubs, restaurants and guess what else “Live Music” and the amazing part is that beer are cheaper than coke at these restaurants.
Our tuk tuk driver, sorry to say did not gave us good information
Future of Cambodia, returning from school
Green, No Pollution, Empty Roads I fell in love with Siem Reap
Cambodia’s Local Transport, Tuk Tuk from Honda
They are cheaper than coke, don’t believe try it when you visit to Siem Reap
Our next destination was the Capital city Phnom Penh. This time we traveled by bus. It was a journey which made me feel like I am traveling around the Terai area of Nepal; similar faces and way of life. The road was new so it was comfortable ride throughout. There were some places where it was not completed yet. When going through the under-construction road, it reminded me traveling from Kathmandu to My village Parasi in mid western Nepal before the Naryangarh – Butwal highway was build.
I did not find any major tourist destination in this city beside the Killing Field which was my main reason to visit there. You really need to have a strong heart to visit this place. It was just 35 or 36 years ago that this place was a mass graveyard where they killed innocent people who were against the Khmer Rouge regime.
Village house in Combodia
Cambodia’s King Funeral preparation
Temple at Phonm Penh
Killing Field Memorial
Painful History of Cambodia
This was the tree used for killing children
You will get tears in your eye once you read the story of Khmer Rouge. How can people kill small babies by smashing their head on the tree?
River Side around the Royal Palace was another attractive destination in Phnom Penh. We could see lots of tourist around this area with many restaurants with international cuisine. The annoying part of this street is that lots of kids and young men come to you and ask if you want any marijuana, hashish or drugs. At the evening time, it is the best place to be in Phnom Penh as locals also come to relax at the banks of the river Mekong. One of the interesting things over there was that we saw some Indian restaurants; but we found out that many of them are owned by Nepali. It was really surprising for me to see Nepalese doing business in Cambodia.
Want to capture the moment
Front View of wat angkor
Lots of Chinese tourist around