Considering Cambodia

phnom-sampeau-1

Cambodia is complex. To follow are some of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I wanted to take a ride on the tour bus… until I realized that it was actually a hearse.

I was excited about visiting Phnom Sampeau to see the bat caves… until I found out that they are also the killing caves. That natural skylight is where victims were tossed in.

I thought it would be relaxing to visit a temple… until I discovered it housed a shrine to what resembled Billy from Dead Silence and durian trees.

I tried sitting on this natural bench… until I learned it was covered in thorns. Ouch! In Cambodian Buddhist hell, adulterers are forced at spear-point to climb this type of tree.

I enjoyed watching these ice cream guys dice up fresh banana and mango into heavy cream and transform it into ice cream roll-ups… until… no, it was all good and very yummy.

Despite being flat, mountain biking to Phnom Sampow Pagoda was fun and informative. To Dawn’s (my friend in the orange shirt) left is a rubber tree plantation, and to her right, rice fields with a few grazing zebu.

In Battambang, we stayed at the Here Be Dragons hostel along the Sangkae River.

In Phnom Penh, we happened upon a carnival and while there were around 20 game booths, they were all the same… no ring toss or basketball, just balloon dart throws. I loved that you could win dishes. I wondered how many balloons I’d have to pop for a set. I also wondered if the WTA was truly such a thing.

Always on the lookout for street art, Phnom Penh didn’t disappoint.

Always on the lookout for cuteness, this duo demonstrated that spirituality trumps superficiality.

While in Siem Reap, I visited both the Angkor National Museum and the Cambodian Landmine Museum… very different places.

While in Phnom Penh, I visited both Tuol Sleng and Choeung Ek…

very somber places.

cambodia-cacti

Cambodia is a bit like cactus… “it is the plant of patience and solitude, love and madness, ugliness and beauty, toughness and gentleness.”

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