Friday, March 11, 2011

Travel to Cambodia, an Exotic Place for Adventure in Southeast Asia

I feel somehow changed by my visit to Angkor Wat. I have been to many wonderful venues in the world, but none made me feel the awesomeness of human determination and accomplishment as did this visit to Cambodia.

Visit to Angkor Wat Recharges the Spirit

Waking up before dawn in Saigon, Vietnam, today I would venture into Cambodia. Cambodia was a land I had heard so much about and had only dreamed of ever getting to visit.

Crossing into Cambodia was like entering a different world, though. Immediately things were not like in Vietnam. The bus ventured on for another seven hours to Siem Riep, the small but charming town that accommodates visitors to the magnificent and awe-inspiring Angkor Wat.

Angkor Wat

I had heard so much about Angkor Wat over the years of my life that is seemed more like a place in myth rather than in reality. I wanted to see it for myself to determine whether all the things I had heard about its magnificence were indeed true.

Angkor Wat temple

Angkor was actually more than just temples. As in any other city, there were houses, shops, medical facilities, and government offices. But only temples were considered important enough to be made of stone. All the other structures were made of wood and have long since ceased to exist. Only the temples, and a library building, remain today.

The spiritual feeling that the visitor to the temple gets is indescribable. I am not a religious person, but I cannot deny that I felt such an intense measure of peace and well being there that I sensed some kind of divine presence. It was so strong that I did not want to leave the temple. It really does capture your spirit and takes your breath away.

There is something magical about some places on earth, and Angkor Wat is certainly one of them.

My words are futile, worthless really. For what words can give life to such a powerful creation, something that is really larger than life itself, and certainly beyond words?

After such a great, uplifting experience exploring Angkor Wat and the other temples, the tour group decided they wanted to explore a floating village on a small river flowing from the gigantic Tonle Sap, Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake.

A floating village on the Tonle Sap River

It was yet another interesting adventure in this exotic land. None of the structures that comprise the village – houses, shops, schools, and even a library – was built on land. Every facility was actually a boat that constantly floated on the river. The fluidity and detachment of this village stood in marked contrast to the seeming permanence of the temples of Angkor.



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