[vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_gallery interval=”3″ images=”2846,2845,2844,2843,2842,2841″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]The name of the country fits perfect the beauty and the mysticism of this place.
I visited Cambodia as a part of my vacation last year. I was fascinated about the stories I heard about the temples, especially about Angkor Wat and all the pictures I have seen before, convinced me that it is a must visit place.
You can reach Cambodia via Bangkok or via Phnom Pen, depending on where you are coming from. To enter the country you need a visa, that you can get on arrival. The price for the visa is 25 dollars.
The general atmosphere I felt in Siem Reap,is one of poverty, but the place has a peaceful atmosphere and it is animated by all the tourists that come there more and more every year. A famous street full of restaurants and clubs it is the place to go if you want to try the local cuisine or the international one or if you want to mix with the locals and foreigners. The street is very much alive and there is a great variety of restaurants, coffee shops, bars and clubs, for all tastes.
The food offer is generous, but is good to pay attention at what you eat. For me, the local food was extremely spicy so, after a big stomach ache, I choose only the places where I could eat dishes without any spices.
Their local food is based on noodles, rice, dumplings, salads, braised pork, chicken or beef, with different spices and sauce and many types of hot pots. You can try their national dish which is SamlorKako, a soup with vegetables and their local spice Prahok. They also have a big variety deserts, from Num Pia(traditional in Siam Reap), Num Kroch(orange cake), Num Kong(bracelet cake), Num Pong(egg cake) and waffells and donuts with different flavours.
The night life in Siem Reap is very similar with the one in Saigon or Bangkok, where people like to party more on the street than inside. There is a big mix of tourists from all the corners on the world and everyone enjoys fully what this place has to offer.
Cambodia also offers a variety of outdoor activities for its tourists. You can go for jungle trek in the semi evergreen dry forest in KaohPiek, the southern of Virakchey National Park or you can choose a day trek in the Kirirom national park. Here you will see the real life of the local people in the countryside, you will hike and explore bat caves, pine forest, admire some beautiful watterfallsand enjoystunning views across to the Cardamom Mountain. You can also choose to do horseback riding, kayaking, fishing, zip lining, depending on your tastes and on the time you have available for this kind of activities.
The most beautiful part of Cambodgia, the one that keeps the tourist industry and the economy alive, is the temples area. The temples seem from another dimension. The feelings they give you, when you see them and when youstep inside of them, are unique. They make you feel that you have reached a different dimension, charged with mistery, antique, mysticism and history.
The most beautiful and the most impressive of them all is Ankor Wat, one of the largest religious monuments in the world and also a UNESCO World Heritage since 1992. The temple is a powerful symbol of Cambodia, appearing on it’s national flag. Ankor Wat means ‘’temple city’’ and initially was constructed as a Hindu temple, dedicated to the god Vishnu. In time, was gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple, towards the end of the 12th century. The temple is a combination of two basic plans of Khemer Temple architecture and it is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the gods in Hindu mythology. The legend says it is believed that the temple was built in a single night by a divine architect.
You can find monks walking in some parts of the temple. Some of them do blessing ceremonies, offering you a bracelet with a colour you choose and wearing it, will bring you luck and protection in your journey through life.
The view of the temple mirroring in the lake is breathtaking. The gardens, the towers, everything makes you go back in time and feel the vibe and the life that place use to have. Every brick, every wall, every stair, tells you a story, form a far away and forgotten kingdom, which was once full of people who were doing magic things here.
Other temples I visited are located in Siem Reap and are Bayon, Banteay Sre, Preah Khan, Phnom Bakheng, Banteay Samre, Thommanon, East Mabo and NeakPean. Each and every one of them has its story and its beauty.
Another temple that is a must visit is the Fertility temple, who is impressive by its vibe. You can still hear the laughter of the women who once lived there, you can still hear them chanting and you can feel their pain from the moment their tribe was divided.
Listening the stories from the walls and seeing the greatness of each temple, makes you realize what a special place was the Kingdom of Cambodia and what a special place still is. The temples, helped by the the mercy of the Gods, manage to fight winters, summers and centuries, defeating time and remaining solid, so they can tell us their stories, generation after generation.
Article by Anca Dinut