In the course of less than 4 years, the Kymer Rouge exterminated more than 3,000,000 of its 7,700,000 fellow Cambodians. It did so with a determination and brutality rarely matched in living memory. Further, it did so with the cynical support of the United States, the United Kingdom and other western nations that have suffered the wrath of world wars on their own soil. Even neighboring Thailand found ways to benefit from this systematic extermination.
When I first saw Site 1 at the Plain of Jars, I was struck by how nonchalantly the 250 huge stone jars there were scattered across the landscape. All of them seemed to be planted about one-third below ground level and tossed at an angle, but not always the same angle nor in the same direction. The mystery is that no one knows what the purpose of the jars was.
Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world and has lost little of its grandeur since the time it was built at the beginning of the 12th century. It is also the most recent of some 70 temples the Khmers built over hundreds of years dating back to the 800s. The complex is stunning due to its pure magnitude, its architecture and its carved relief murals. They operate in harmony to create a presence that lends reality to the direct connection between the mortal and divine worlds.
During the French occupation of Indochina, Kep was a palm-fringed beach, lined with villas of French settlers and rich Cambodians. But the French left in the ’50s and the Kymer Rouge destroyed virtually every building in town in the late ’70s. So if you’re interested in seeing how ‘the other half lived’ during French colonial times (as I certainly was) then you should visit this out-of-the-way spot. Otherwise, you could comfortably afford to miss it.
The Grand Palace in Bangkok, home of a dozen awe-inspiring Buddhist, historical and ceremonial buildings built over the last 230 years, easily rates as one of the most memorable sites a world traveler could ever hope to experience.
To reach The Haven’s Peak, guests need to climb 208 steps from the parking lot to the foyer of this mountaintop destination. Once there, they discover a micro-resort with only 5 cabins. The pergolas, swimming pools, landscaping and other man-made elements blend seamlessly with nature. This place breaks all the rules of outstanding resorts, and their guests love them for it.
If you’re a backpacker with a limited budget, have a taste for drugs, enjoy a carefree lifestyle and love clean beaches in a tropical paradise, then Paradise Beach on Koh Rong just may be your dream destination.
Over a span of 6 years, a talented and persistent scam artist cheated me out of basically the price of an airfare. It took considerable imagination and remarkable tenacity to do it and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. I fell victim with eyes wide open.
The book ‘1,000 Places To See Before You Die’ includes Sapa in northwestern Vietnam, and with good reason. The geography is stunning without being overwhelming. The local hill people, with their faces deeply etched with character, welcome tourists for home stays and mountain trekking. This article describes a corner of the world that visitors will remember fondly for the rest of their lives.
Although cockfighting has been declared illegal in most countries in the world, it’s still the national Sunday afternoon pastime in the Philippines. My visit to the Limcua Juanay Memorial Cockpit in Tagbilaran, Bohol, Philippines was an experience that showed me once again how thin our veneer of civilization truly is.