Sunday, March 25, 2012

Angkor Wat- Siem Reap, Cambodia

Cambodia was such a cool country to visit.  My mom came with me and stayed for a few nights before heading back to the states. Unfortunately she got really really sick towards the end of her visit and had to have a doctor come see her in the guesthouse! Coming home from Angkor Wat to find my mom hooked up to an IV was more than traumatic but at least she’s healed up now and still says she had a good time with me.

 I was only in Cambodia for around nine days and each day was filled with temple visits and classes but I still had time to shop at the night market and visit the landmine museum (it was a really interesting and informative visit- you should research landmines, it is still a very serious problem but with donations we could become a landmine free world!!!). Academically, one of my favorite professors from UPS came out to Cambodia to teach us while we were there. I was really glad I got to take one more class from him before graduating. 

It is hard to explain the majesty that is Angkor Wat. Some temples have trees growing out from them, others have monkeys trolling around- they just seem so magical. Something that is so old yet still so preserved. My favorite part was looking at the bas reliefs at the main Angkor Wat temple, we had been studying them for class but seeing them first hand was incredible. The detail and craftsmanship was amazing.  On another field trip we hiked up to a river with a thousand lingas- Lingas are a symbol for the Hindu God Shiva- they can help with fertility and such things they look like an erect penis. If I had to count how many times I’ve touched or been near an object that is supposed to help with fertility and baby making throughout my time in Asia it would be like 10!!! All I’m saying is that I’m probably pretty darn fertile now so watch out world! 

One of the coolest things we did in Cambodia was go to a private traditional Cambodian shadow puppet show. It was so cool!!! They performed an excerpt from the Ramayana (extremely famous Indian story) we studied the story in my Art History class. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was outside and it had candles on the ground leading you all the way down to a huge white screen that had a rower fire behind it. We sat on the ground with the band right next to us. The shadow puppets were really big and the guys danced all around with them. Afterwards we got to try for ourselves- they were really heavy. Also as a treat we made smores using the shadow puppet fire in the back- it was slightly dangerous but delicious. 

Cambodia is definitely on my list of countries that I would like to return to but up next was INDIA!!!! A dream come true- I’ve wanted to go there since I was a little girl. Stayed tuned for my adventures from India! 

Oh yes, while in Cambodia I got a foot treatment where you stick your feet in a tank with fish that eat off your dead skin- it was terrifying!!!


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