April 22, 2017 – Banteay Srei, The Cambodia Landmine Museum, and Ta Prohm

srei

Banteay Srei

See more photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskYJyjBz

I met Katherine in the morning just after breakfast after overhearing that she was interested in exploring Banteay Srei. An hour later, we caught a tuk tuk together and headed out. Banteay Srei is 20 km north of Angkor Wat. Its name means “Citadel of the Women” and was constructed using pink sandstone. Although it is petite and not a royal temple, every inch is intricately decorated and beautifully carved.

When you enter the site there is a welcome booth and an exhibition hall with details about the history and restoration of the temple. It was how I imagined Angkor Wat would be set up, however, hardly any information is provided at Angkor Wat. I suspect this is the case because they want you to hire a guide.

On our way back to our hostel we stopped at the Cambodia Landmine Museum. It was extremely educational and free audio guides were provided. Aki Ra, the founder of the museum, is a Cambodian hero. He went from being a child soldier to a disarming thousands of bombs throughout Cambodia. The sad fact is, there are still approximately 3 million landmines in Cambodia and even more throughout the world. I felt very proud to be Canadian as I learned that we had provided a large donation to create the museum. Additionally, in 1997, Canada introduced a Mine Ban Treaty, also known as The Ottawa Treaty. It prohibits the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of anti-personnel mines. Most of the countries of the world have signed it.

Just before sunset, Katherine and I went to Ta Prohm (the “Tomb Raider” temple) to take some photos in the “golden hour”. It was very quiet compare to going midday and felt very mysterious. I love looking at all the giant trees growing on top of the temple ruins.

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