Thursday, May 2nd: Siem Reap, Cambodia

21 Oct by TWCCTW

Time to explore the wonders of Angkor Wat and the splendor of Siem Reap.

Cambodia has a much smaller population than its neighbor Thailand (approximately 14 million vs. 70 million) and a much less-developed infrastructure. That is not surprising, however, when you consider the terrible hardships inflicted on these people during the Vietnam War, followed by the reign of Pol Pot and his Kymer Rouge where over three million people were killed. The major cities of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh were virtually vacated and the vast majority of the intellectuals in the country were killed or simply disappeared.

Angkor Wat was impressive, but we had no idea just how big and how impressive. Here is just one of the many smaller temples within the city.

Imagine – a city of two million people abandoned to the jungle for centuries – and now undergoing extensive preservation and reconstruction. It’s nice to see that happening. Look at this picture. Is the tree holding up the wall — or is the wall holding up the tree. There are a lot of places like this throughout Angkor City.

Carol and Bill spent time visiting the AOEO (Angkor Orphan and Education Organization) in the afternoon. This is a non-political, non-religious, and non-government home where they are currently caring for about 40 boys and girls in a very rudimentary facility. They, too, look like a fine candidate for assistance in the future.