The courageous spirit of Cambodia
Next stop - Cambodia!
Cambodia was definitely a worthwhile place to stop whilst travelling in South East Asia. We visited; Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang to name just a few. I really enjoyed seeing what Cambodia had to offer, but for some of this trip I was quite ill, which does tend to dampen the spirits somewhat... However, Cambodia didn't fail to intrigue me, especially with its prominent Buddhist faith, practised by over 95% of the population - not for the first time when travelling, I wish I could have had the ability to speak with locals in their own language!
|What was on the menu? Tarantula. I didn't dare try it, but I really wish|
I had. My mum had a nibble and said that the legs tasted like Twiglets.
I was actually quite surprised to learn that the Vietnam War also massively affected Cambodia. As the war extended, this gave rise to the Khmer Rouge. I had the privilege to visit one of the sites of the 'Killing Fields' where the victims were buried in mass graves. This was one of my first exposures to the brutality of mankind. Despite having heard about the horrors of Auschwitz, this was my first real-life, and face-to-face encounter with the brutal reality of genocide. Over 1 million people were killed, and history has since repeated itself. I don't have any photos of my experience there, but the tragedy of genocide left tears streaming down my face and I will never forget what I saw there.
However, on a brighter note... the Cambodian people were reunited under the existing monarchy in 1993, and the previously war-ravaged nation has since gone from strength to strength. Their economy is growing, their people are smiling and Cambodia inspired me to discover more about the Buddhist faith which is displayed so strongly by the people.
"Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on deep and permanent, in the ideas of living." Miriam Beard