Fri

17

Jul

2015

Friday Fix: Angkor Watt and pink water-lilies at sunrise.

This is the eleventh edition of my bi-weekly series, Friday Fix, a quick burst of inspiration to spur you (and me) on through our final day in the office. The idea of these photos is to give you a glimpse of some of the most incredible places I've ever found in a format you can digest in your coffee break...

Angkor Watt and pink water-lilies, sunrise Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Angkor Watt, sunrise Siem Reap, Cambodia.

I hadn't thought much about returning to Cambodia, but I now realise this is the third time it has cropped up in Friday Fix. Maybe that's telling me something?

 

I found this one of the hardest countries to travel though. Never have I been so aware of my position as a spoiled Western tourist. The poverty of the people, government corruption, terrible history and social problems are apparent to anyone who ventures beyond "Pub Street".


Regardless, the mystery of the Angkor Temples draws people in from around the globe. When I was there, half a decade ago, you could pretty much explore these giant relics without supervision- down crumbling passageways, up eroding sets of steps and under decorated archways. Arriving in the dark, the colours and later the encroaching heat made it feel like wandering around in a delirious dream. Far from the fenced off conformity of other wonders, I felt a new sense of liberation, as if I was discovering the countless hidden carvings for the first time.


For once I felt like part of a lucky generation of travellers- the temples survived all the wars, but how long could this freedom last?


Angkor Watt, sunrise Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Write a comment

Comments: 8
  • #1

    Shikha (whywasteannualleave) (Friday, 17 July 2015 08:34)

    I know that feeling of feeling lime a spoilt tourist from the many times I've gone to India to visit extended family over the years and it's so difficult to watch such poverty on the streets around you, gully aware of how much we take for granted every day. Definitely sounds like you perhaps should be returning to Cambodia! I wonder whether it's still easy to walk around the temple relatively unsupervised.

  • #2

    Katie Featherstone (Friday, 17 July 2015 09:12)

    Yeah, I wonder too Shikha. It can't stay that way for long surely.

  • #3

    Becky Padmore (Friday, 17 July 2015 22:56)

    What a stunning photo you can't beat water lilies ;-)

  • #4

    Katie Featherstone (Friday, 17 July 2015 23:55)

    Thanks Becky!

  • #5

    Nathan Anderson (Saturday, 18 July 2015 09:29)

    I felt the same thing when I went through the Angkor complex! It's amazing how so many of the sites there are totally open to the public for exploration. Which site was your favorite there?

    Love that first picture with the water lilies... what a view!

  • #6

    Katie Featherstone (Saturday, 18 July 2015 18:10)

    Thank-you Nathan. Angkor Thom was pretty amazing I thought too!

  • #7

    Duke Stewart (Tuesday, 21 July 2015 09:43)

    Ah beautiful Angkor Wat. I love your focus on the waterlilies and that you're taking a different angle from the typical sunrise photo.

    You are certainly right about there being more to learn about Cambodia beyond Pub Street. My wife and I walked a bit around the city and stayed right across from a primary school, where a small fire broke out one morning due to a stray power line.

    We're currently planning a trip to Cambodia and have to agree with you. Maybe aside from Laos and Myanmar, it's one of the toughest to plan for and takes the longest to get around. I'm not sure I can read more about Cambodia but will take that book into consideration. Henry Kamm's Cambodia is a good read if you haven't gotten to it yet.

    Thanks for another Friday Fix and for more inspiration. I hope you have a great start to your week, Katie!

  • #8

    Katie Featherstone (Tuesday, 21 July 2015 20:19)

    Thanks so much Duke. Don't worry it's not a book, just an old blog post of mine! I hope you have a great time in Cambodia. I don't think you'll be a clueless tourist somehow. :)

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