Sunday, January 6, 2013

Long ago in Cambodia

Just 11-12 years ago, I visited Cambodia, with some fellow teachers-Dylan and MaryBeth. To this day, we still keep in touch via facebook. Gosh, I am in my early thirties, yet Smartphones were not yet around when we were vacationing in Cambodia! I feel so old now *sigh*! So, a few weeks ago, I found my picture albums and snapped pictures via my iPhone. Thus, making me appreciate my iPhone even more.

You may be wondering how I ended up in Cambodia. Did you even know I went there? During my first ever teaching job, fresh out of college, in the year of 2000, I taught Preschool in Taiwan. During a 3-day weekend, Dylan the adventurous teacher, arranged a trip to Cambodia. I was invited to come along with he and MaryBeth,  and during that invitation all I could think about is "where the heck is Cambodia?" I referred to my map and found out that it sits near Vietnam and Thailand. I also learned from Dylan the vast and sad history that this country faced. It experienced a genocide! Deemed a safe country, I was ready for an adventure and glad that I didn't have to plan anything! To this day, it is one of the most impactful places that I have experienced. It's beauty and simplicity still exist in my mind and are proved in my pictures below.
This is a famous temple in Siem Reap, called Angkor Wat. 

I remember our guide telling us about this temple entrance. It was the gateway to the jungle temple.

Here's me and our teenage guide, at a lesser known temple.

It was hot in Cambodia!
The above and below pictures show the crumbled gates that surround the jungle temple.

The setting of a movie scene from "Tomb Raider" with Angelina Jolie, was set here, at the Jungle Temple.

MaryBeth and I explored yet another ruined temple. They were so amazing in person!

I believe this is at Battambang, a government building. Here, there was a Buddhist temple that we entered that was glittered with real jewels and gold-even the floor was exquisite!

I took this picture, somehow, while riding on the back of a motor bike. When we visited the roads were mostly dirt roads. Motor bikes were the main mode of transportation.

We took an elephant ride up to see some more ruins. It was fun!

This is what Americans look like after a long day of hiking, sweating and riding motor bikes through a jungle!

Dylan is at the top, acting like the temple's king. For some reason, we each felt so special to be walking upon a place that perhaps a former king lived.

We came across a waterfall and so what did I do-went swimming in it! How refreshing! For some reason, that was something on my bucket list that I always wanted to do.

Even though Buddhism is not my religion, I can't help but recall the beauty in such buildings.They have some nice places of worship!

So, hats off to my fellow teacher friends! It was a great trip! I recommend Cambodia to anyone who is adventurous and curious about the history of other cultures! Be sure to Google Cambodia or even visit Wikipedia to find our more.


  1. Oh Drea! What wonderful pictures! I have a friend who just finished writing a book about Christians in Cambodia during the genocide. It is called: "Church Behind the Wire: A Story of Faith in the Killing Fields" and it is the story of Barnabas Mam as he told it (and wrote it with) my friend Kitty. He was sent by the communist government to spy on the evangelicals but then became a believer. I think you would really enjoy reading it. Can you get access to books like that in Saudi Arabia? Here's the Amazon link:

    1. Hi Allison,
      Thanks for your feedback. I also visited the Killing fields. There were pictures of natives and westerners displayed, that had been killed. I will never forget that dull feeling that I felt when I saw the massive holes left from graves left behind. Also, seeing the tower of skeleton heads of adults and children was heartwrenching. I would love to read the book that you mentioned. If I don't find it here, I will be sure to get it when back in the US.