Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Cambodia and Laos

Today I'm going to share with you some photos from Cambodia and Laos. We were in both countries for a week each and boy were they different. I didn't like Cambodia too much because I felt it was very corrupt and the people were unfriendly. On the contrary, Laos was extremely laid back and the people couldn't be more friendly PLUS they didn't hassle you at markets which is always a bonus. However, both were equally as beautiful and shared an overwhelming sense of spirituality.

One thing I did like about Cambodia was the contrast between images of darkness due to the horrific crimes inflicted by the Khmer Rouge and vast regions of temples showcasing the dramatic spiritual past of the country.

I don't really have any decent pictures of me in Phnom Phen, the capital but I do have plenty from Siem Reap and the Temples of Angkor so here goes.

This stupa was built to remember the hundreds of people murdered by the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pott's regime in the Killing Fields. The building contains an enormous glass cabinet filled with the bones collected from the victims and whilst this image is depressing it is an important reminder of the tragedies that occurred here in hope that this mass genocide will not happen again.

At Ta Prohm Temple, Siem Reap (Tomb Raider was filmed here)

Another tree at Ta Prohm (this temple is famous for all the trees growing through it)

The pink temple

One of the things I loved the most about the temples were the demonic looking trees growing between the bricks. The tress were obviously not there when the temples were first built so their vast presence really does give a fantastic indication of how old the temples actually are. When these temples were built (around the 12th century) there were 1000s of people leaving in the Angkor complex which was unheard of for that time, especially considering massive cities today like London would have had a much smaller population at the same time.

Angkor Wat at sunrise

The many faces of Bayon

Me with a face of Bayon

The going out street in Siem Reap funnily enough

I took so many pictures of the temples, which makes it really hard to decide what to include especially since they are all so incredible and different looking. I've put up a few so as not to bore you but if you want to see more just ask, they are a pretty spectacular piece of architecture.

Anyhow, on to Laos! I don't have many pictures at all from this wonderful country but the few I have are very contrasting. We went Tubing in Vang Vieng which was chaotic, colourful and mad whilst Luang Prabang was peaceful and serene.

Getting our tube on

Green Foot Spicy Crew

Sitting in my tube with a bucket of booze

The beautiful Luang Prabang

Beautiful lights at the Night Bazar

Umbrellas

At the waterfall

Luang Prabang is a highly spirtual place due the abundant numbers of Buddhist monks who worship across the cities many temples. Due to this Luang Prabang has been declared as a UNESCO world heritage site and an 11pm curfew has been put in place. This made the whole place one of the most relaxing locations we visited on the entire trip as there were very few 'pissed tourists' about. You could spend weeks here just soaking in the atmosphere, taking meditation courses and immersing yourself into the countries relaxing attitude. I loved every bit of Laos we saw and would definitely go back again to discover more of the country.

Next time I'll share with you the amazing country that is Thailand and how contrasting the North is compared with the beautiful islands of the South.

Check out my non existent tan 1.5months into the trip x

6 comments:

  1. Wow, it sounds so amazing, i hope to go travelling too one day after i'm done with uni, but we shall see!

    Stacey xx

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  2. wow, beautiful pics, I love them!!!
    What a fantastic place to be!!
    xx

    www.ohmyvogue.com

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  3. Love the photos!! Happy New Year!

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  4. The photos are beautiful. Enjoy Thailand, it's so much fun!x

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