a country with a humble story to tell.
a country with history that will bring you to tears, and soften your heart.
a country that reminds you to live a little simpler,
be a little kinder,
and give a little more.

the famous temple complex ANGKOR WAT remains one of the world's most visited destinations as well as one of the seven world wonders. absolutely a must see before you leave this earth.

traveling triplets spent 6 days in siem reap, cambodia touring and backpacking the area. 3 of which were more than well-spent trekking the temple complex of angkor wat to see all that we could see. in the evenings we visited orphanages to help the children, and later enjoyed our down time at the warm and friendly happy guest house hostel. we HIGHLY RECOMMEND happy guest house!

these temples are a symbol of cambodia, many of which boast hindu and buddhist gods and dieties through art. angkor wat was discovered by a french tourist who trekking in the countryside, when he happened upon a curious series of buildings so elaborate and vast he knew there was a divine purpose. the temples had been swallowed by overgrowth and dense jungle, invisible to the naked eye.

much of southeast asia is dominantly theravada buddhism, heavily influenced by hinduism from india and sri lanka. as you travel southeast asia, you'll notice the color of buddha figures and buddhist monk's garb changes from country to country. cambodia, vietnam and thailand are often a bright orange or gold. you will see different sects of buddhism, such as mahayana which is dominantly present in china depicted with tan garb. the motif and style of the buddha changes as well--emphasizing various morals and principles.

each stone is engraved with buddhist and hindu dieties, including vishnu and hare krishna. bodhisattvas, or "buddhas-to-be" are depicted throughout the walls of the temples. these are sacred places of worship, and were often only inhabited by the elite. during the khmer rouge genocide, a devastating genocide in cambodia during the 1970s, many of the temples were destroyed and brought to rubble.

take your time exploring each temple.
walk slowly through the halls, take care when you step.
look around you, observe the art and purchase a book from one of the children you run into...
it will bring sentimental meaning and connection to your trip. you won't regret it.

while you're traveling around during the day, be sure to bring some bananas. there are monkeys everywhere, and they are FAT and HUNGRY! your tuktuk driver will let you pull over and hang out with them for a while--cambodians think it's pretty funny that Westerners get SO EXCITED to see "wild monkeys."

mind you, keep your space when playing with the monkeys. they will get very aggressive and possessive with those bananas...one guy even swapped his hungry paw at me. they're not monkeyin' around. ***pun obviously intended

and last but not least, the ANGKOR WAT temple itself (also depicted on cambodia's national flag). if you can, try to get your tuktuk driver to take you for sunrise. we hired a tuktuk driver for 3 days at the affordable rate of $55. leave your hostel by 5 am, and find yourself a decent place to wait for the sun. it's a beautiful sight to behold... and even though the sea of tourists makes you wanna punch somebody in the face, soak up the beauty. enjoy your travels!
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2 comments on HELLO, CAMBODIA

  1. hi rachel! glad you stopped by and left a comment, i´d be happy to help. first of all, in asia there is zero need to book hotels or hostels in advance. we would always just find a place upon arrival. it is not difficult at all. and places are VERY cheap. we stayed in hostels that were always under $10 everywhere we went. fantastic! not always clean, though so you have to have a tough skin if you are looking for a deal. in cambodia specifically i recommend staying anywhere that says GUEST HOUSE. guest houses are always a great place to stay, there are plenty of them, they are cheap and clean. a lot of times they even have someone who can clean your clothes for cheap and there is a restaurant below. we sometimes got our private room with bathroom and fan for under $10 as well, and other times the bathroom would be shared. we were always taken care of. anything that says guesthouse will not let you down! good luck and keep in touch!

  2. Thanks for your recommendation of the hostel in Siem Reap - I think we will visit there! I am traveling with 2 friends to Phnom Penh soon (from New Zealand) and I'm really stuck on what type of hostel/guesthouse/b&b/hotel to book. It's our first time to Asia and I'm a bit scared of what to expect in terms of accommodation! Do you have any recommendations?


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