Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018

Tripoto
17th Nov 2018

Sou-sdey!! (Hello in Khmer)

What does travel mean. Does it stand for exploring the 'feel-good' in the world, the best in development, the dream destination shown in movies?

Or does it mean more. Does it mean understanding the evolution of human civilization over centuries, the ingenuity of our ancestors or the little known brutal parts of recent history? Does it inspire you that despite all this, we as humans always overcome and still manage to overcome?

We visited Cambodia in month of November 18 and were truly awestruck. We have been unable to stop talking about it ever since. But why visit Cambodia you ask?

Angkor Archaeological Park- Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument ever built. When the sun rises over Angkor Wat every morning, it is easy to see why ancient Khmer people considered their kings to be supreme. The entire ancient city of Angkor built from the 9th to 15th century is a masterpiece which takes weeks to fully explore. Every ruin is intricately carved and impressively constructed.

Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 1/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Angkor Wat- Ticked off the bucket list :)
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 2/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Entrances to the city of Angkor
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 3/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Bayon Temple
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 4/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 5/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Smiling faces of Bayon
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 6/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Sunrise at Angkor Wat
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 7/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Pre Rup Temple
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 8/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Ta Prohm Temple
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 9/42 by Sagar Pradhan
The temple of Bayon from front

History- Cambodia has a very recent painful history. Almost one third population or approx. two million people died from torture, execution and hunger under the Khmer Rouge which ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. Also Cambodia was unfortunate to get involved in the American-Vietnam war during which more bombs were dropped on Cambodia than the entire World War 2.

Just imagine of the countless citizens who were ripped from their normal lives, separated from families or killed.

Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 10/42 by Sagar Pradhan
One of the many exhibits at war museum
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 11/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Guns which were used during the war are on display at the museum, however they now only tell stories and not end one
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 12/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Artillery which did not burst but was later disarmed on display

People-People in Cambodia are very kind, friendly and generous. Do visit Cambodia and listen to people's stories of struggle, the Khmer rouge years, American bombings from elders. Also do admire the admirable efforts and optimism among locals to rebuild their life.

Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 13/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Always smiling locals :)
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 14/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Clicked at Phare circus with the gang
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 15/42 by Sagar Pradhan

Food- Khmer food is spicy and comforting. Rice is a staple, served fried, with curries, Beef and pork or freshwater fish. The most famous Khmer dish is fish amok. There is a distinct use of Lemon Grass in every Khmer dish which tastes unique and tasty. Yum!

Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 16/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 17/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 18/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 19/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Crab at Kep market
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 20/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 21/42 by Sagar Pradhan
'Happy Herbs' pizza at Phnom Penh- Do give it a read online to know its 'toppings'
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 22/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Enjoying a mid-trip insects snack- Fried and spices added

Phnom Penh- The capital of Cambodia is a cosmopolitan city on the brink of becoming Asia's next growth story. However it also houses Killing Fields and S21 prison, the two main places to visit if you want to understand the Khmer Rouge period of Cambodia. The prison stands as a silent witness to the thousands that were imprisoned and tortured; while the killing fields for the place where the tired souls of prisoners finally left their body. Word of caution: The experience is very powerful, we personally broke down twice at S-21 prison.

Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 23/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Haunting alleys of school which was turned into torture prisons
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 24/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Freedom is precious. Never ever take it for granted
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 25/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Over 16 thousand skeletons were discovered along the death pits
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 26/42 by Sagar Pradhan
The sign along the tree is equally eerie as the thought
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 27/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Some of the skeletons preserved inside a pagoda

Cambodia Water Festival- For the people of Cambodia, the Water Festival is a major festival. For three days –locals from various provinces and foreign tourists gather in the cities to celebrate it. While the boat races hog the limelight during the day, the evenings are filled with fun, crazy scenes on street with DJ parties, lots of water, etc.

Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 28/42 by Sagar Pradhan
A boat race in progress at Siem Reap
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 29/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Water parties at night- DJ, Sprinklers, Foam throwers and 2 fire brigades spraying water over the crowd. Truly epic !!!

Kampot- The once sleep village of Kampot is transforming into a major tourist destination with plenty of good restaurants, bars and music to be found. Don't miss taking paddle boarding sessions at Kampot, explore local fishing community, the mangrove conservation project, the unique pepper plantations, gorgeous natural landscapes, a secret lake, Lime caves and Kep Crab Market.

Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 30/42 by Sagar Pradhan
The submerged road along the 'Secret Lake'
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 31/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Exploring the country-side
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 32/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Pepper plantations at Kampot
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 33/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Paddle boarding sessions at Kampot

Phnom Kulen Mountain- Located more than 60 km from Siem Reap, there is a river bed covered with sculptures of 1000 Lingas, the symbol of the God Shiva’s supreme essence. Epic!

Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 34/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Observe the many Lingas engraved on the surface of riverbed
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 35/42 by Sagar Pradhan
The waterfall at Kulen Mountain
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 36/42 by Sagar Pradhan
'The place' to click some awesome group pics

Tonlé Sap- The largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, it hosts one of the world’s most vibrant ecosystems. It is also famous for its fascinating local communities and their floating villages.

Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 37/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Floating village at Tonle Sap
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 38/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Epic views of sunset assured
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 39/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Sunset and moon rise captured in single frame

Party away at Pub Street- Parties which run 24/7, amazing crowd, friendly people, cheap drinks. Need I say more?

Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 40/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Crazy scenes at Pub street
Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 41/42 by Sagar Pradhan
Inside one of the bars

Wish to travel to Cambodia? Check out the detailed itinerary on our post :)

Photo of Cambodia in November- A land of spectacular ruins and a lesson in importance of freedom #bestof2018 42/42 by Sagar Pradhan
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