31 July 2017

A visit to Phnom Santuk

Phnom Santuk is a holy site situated halfway between Phnom Penh and Angkor Wat. It's just outside the village of Kompong Thom where we spent one night before heading to Angkor Wat.

To reach the vista at Phnom Santuk, you must climb the 809 step stone stairway.

These friendly faces will keep you motivated. They line the stairway on each side, every step of the way. At the top of the mountain, you'll find several temples of varying styles and age. Check back this week for more. Photos taken in December 2016.

28 July 2017


Elephants are a recurring motif throughout Southeast Asia. I really like this one on the fences of the royal palace in Phnom Pench. More fences can be found at Friday Fences. Photo taken in December 2016.

27 July 2017

Transport in the big city

Everywhere we went in Southeast Asia, people found creative ways to get around. I'm not sure about the safety of this setup, but it got the job done! Photo taken in December 2016.

26 July 2017


There's also something about the stop signs. The Cambodian script just looks fancier! More signs can be found at Signs, Signs. Photo taken in December 2016.

25 July 2017

The Mighty Mekong

The Mekong River was a companion through much of our travels in Southeast Asia. Here's a look at her Cambodian shores in Phnom Penh. This area had a nice riverwalk you could stroll along in the day. In the evening, vendors set up their stalls and it turns into a night market. You could buy everything there - from t-shirts and souvenirs to fried insects! Photos taken in December 2016.

24 July 2017

Phnom Penh by night


A city always looks different at night, Phnom Penh is no exception.  We drove around this traffic circle both night and day. It shows King Father Norodom Sihanouk, Cambodia's last ruling king. 

We stayed in the popular Beung Keng Kang district, where the bars and restaurants strive to add some color to the night.

The many night markets also help to light up the night. Photos taken in December 2016.

22 July 2017

Sunset in Phnom Penh

The Panorama Bar has beautiful views over the mighty Mekong. So does the Foreign Correspondents Club, where this photo comes from. Photo taken in December 2016.

21 July 2017

Offerings in monochrome

Another scene from Wat Phnom in Phnom Penh. Photo taken in December 2016.

19 July 2017

Llama Mart

I'm not sure what they sell here, but I'm pretty sure it's not llamas! For more signs, take a look at Signs, Signs. Photo taken in December 2016.

18 July 2017

More offerings

Some people leave quite elaborate offerings at the temple, like this meal of suckling pig and sides. 

Other offerings are more basic, like a couple of eggs and a chunk of bacon. In any case, I hope the spirits are appeased! (I also hope someone gets to enjoy the food after it has been on offer for a sufficient time). Photos taken in December 2016.

17 July 2017

Buddha, old man and lotus flowers

Another of the beautiful paintings inside the Wat Phnom temple. For more murals, take a look at Monday Mural. Photo taken in December 2016.

14 July 2017

Royal blue skies

I believe this is a side view of the Throne Hall inside the Cambodian Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. Unfortunately, I didn't get to tour the palace and grounds due to the lack of proper clothing (women must wear pants or skirts that cover their knees). Visitors can still get some pretty good views from outside as the palace sits along the bank of the Mekong River. For more skies, take a look at Skywatch. Photo taken in December 2016.

13 July 2017

Offerings on offer

A local floral shop near the Wat Phnom had some lovely lotus blossom bouquets on offer. They are perfectly designed for making a good impression at the temple. Photo taken in December 2016.

12 July 2017

More Buddhas

Spiritual life is very important to Cambodians. Buddhist temples abound in every large city and even in small villages. I find the practice fascinating and I want to learn more about it.

This Buddha and many others were found at the Wat Phnom. It is both the physical and spiritual center of Phnom Penh. There are more signs to be found at Signs, Signs. Photos taken in December 2016.

11 July 2017

On the streets of Phnom Penh


Buddhist monks abound in and around Cambodia. Most every family has at least one son who has joined the order.

Despite their vows of poverty, most of the monks we saw seemed pretty well off. Many even had cell phones or digital cameras and were taking selfies like the rest of the tourists. (I do wonder where they post them though...). Photos taken in December 2016.

10 July 2017

Buddha centric

A mural of Buddha surrounded by his followers in the Wat Phnom temple in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It's Monday again and you'll find more murals here. Photo taken in December 2016.

07 July 2017

Inside the Stupa

The top of the memorial Stupa at Choeung Ek is beautifully decorated with lots of intricate details. It doesn't prepare you for what you find inside.

The Stupa is filled with more than 5,000 skulls that were gathered from the mass graves here at Choeung Ek. They are sorted by sex and approximate age. There are also color-coded markers on the skulls to sort them by manner of death.

I debated whether I should post this photo, and although it's brutal and shocking, the Cambodian people want visitors to see exactly what happened here. There can be no denying the terrors the Khmer Rouge put the Cambodian people through once you have witnessed a scene like this. If you want to read more about the Cambodian Genocide, this is a good site. Photos taken in December 2016.

06 July 2017


Many people leave offerings for the spirits that haunt the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. Buddhists believe worldly offerings can appease unrestful spirits and help them find their way into the next world. Photo taken in December 2016.

05 July 2017


Despite the horrors that have happened here, there is a certain sense of serenity that surrounds you at the Choeung Ek Memorial Site. There are walking paths and benches where visitors can sit and reflect.

Nature also continues its path, unheedful of the terrible deeds of mankind.

Photos taken in December 2016.

04 July 2017

Killing trees

The Khmer Rouge was especially brutal to babies and infants. When mothers with babes in-arms arrived at the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, their babies were ripped from their arms and slammed against trees like this one. The bodies were then thrown into the mass graves, to be joined later by their parents.

Many visitors leave colorful friendship bracelets as a way to remember the innocents who lived such short lives and died such brutal deaths. Photos taken in December 2016.

03 July 2017

The Killing Fields

Visiting the Killing Fields in Choeung Ek is a very somber experience. More than 8,000 people were bludgeoned to death here, their bodies left to fall into mass graves dug by the prisoners themselves.

The Khmer Rouge regime didn't want to waste any precious ammunition on their murderous deeds, instead they beat victims with the butts of their rifles or other blunt objects until they fell into the pits. Many victims didn't die right away, but languished until they finally succumbed.

Skeletal remains from the mass graves have been removed from the pits and laid to rest either in Stupas or other sacred sites. However, bone fragments still sometimes surface, therefore, visitors are reminded not to walk on the pits, but use the wooden walkways.

The term Killing Fields was coined by Cambodian photojournalist, Dith Pran. Such fields could be found all over Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge's reign, but this one in Choeung Ek just outside Phnom Penh is the largest. Photos taken in December 2016.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...