Robin and I are on a boat to the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.
We passed a couple of days in Siem Reap, visiting the temples of Angkor. We visited Angkor Wat last and found it somewhat anticlimactic, mostly because it’s bandaged up with scaffolds for restoration and packed with tourists. Bayon, with its hundreds of huge stone faces, lived up to its reputation, and many other temples were amazing as well. My favourites were the ones where you could just wander the ruins, and especially the ones where trees had taken up residence in the stonework. To me that’s more interesting than temples artificially restored (at great expense) to an earlier state.. nature reclaiming her own.
After Siem Reap, onto Phnom Penh. It felt small and laid back for a capital, though traffic was crazy. We visited some relics of the brutal Khmer Rouge era: the killing fields and a former secret prison. It was sobering to see how brutal and self-defeating this regime got within just a few years in power. Wow.
And now, onto Vietnam. We’ll probably spend a few days in the Mekong Delta region before heading north to Saigon and eventually China.
(Written April 9, 2010)
…take a good hard look…