Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My great Cambodian adventure

I'm home again.

And just as I was afraid, I left Cambodian soil with a little piece of my heart behind.

The day I arrived in Phnom Penh International Airport, this huge tidal wave of emotions nearly swept me away. I was afraid, but I was excited. I was happy, but I was worried.

I hate when you're waiting to board on Airasia and you're the last in a line so long that everyone can see you brushing stray tears away.

On another note, I brought home with me some red Cambodian dust on my black Topshop flip flops, one item checked off my list-of-things-to-do-before-I-die, and the memory of a week with someone who mattered.

The most depressing first tourist destination. Perhaps I should've left this for the last day.

Some of the many kinds of torture devices used by the Khmer regime in Tuol Sleng. In many of the torture chambers, bloodstains are still visible.

How strange is it, that every single person you see in large collage had suffered horribly before he was dead?

This shrine hold the skulls of thousands who had been beheaded. Their bodies were never reunited with their heads.

The Killing Tree. The sign says it all. You keep trying to force these images that form in your head.

On to happier places, and the real reason I was in Cambodia. Well, amongst others.

And no, it wasn't because of Lara Croft.

The floating village in Siem Reap. The first place in Siem Reap that Yunof brought us to. As beautiful as it may look against the setting sun, all the glory of poverty is reflected in its murky waters.

I just thought it made a good picture. He was one of the caretakers in the temple.

Angkor Wat provides millions of opportunities for pretty pictures.

It was his first trip to Angkor Wat. Must've been a landmark event in his life. He asked if we were married.

It's amazing how blue the sky is. Something we very rarely get here in KL.

When Yunof said to me "Itu pokok tumbuh atas Wat", I thought he meant the trees that grew in the temple. I didn't know he meant it literally.

The trees that grew on the temple. Now I get it.

They were tourist aides. I like framed pictures.

We took an hour to hike into the jungle. And I must say it was all worth it when we found the ruins of an ancient temple with a river flowing through it.

The Apsara dance. Struck me as a cross between Thai and traditional Malay. The girls were beautiful, though.

Yunof and I took a boat to the temple in the island. This boy asked me "Siapa nama kamu? Berapa hari di Siem Reap?"

This is what a Cambodian beach would look like. So different from the soft white sand and clear water that we have here.

I found him chewing on a piece of jackfruit skin outside the temple. He looked so funny I couldn't resist taking a picture.

The last stop of my great Cambodian adventure, I saw these children playing outside the Landmine Museum.

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