Cambodia
Kandal

Here you’ll find travel reports about Kandal. Discover travel destinations in Cambodia of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

61 travelers at this place:

  • Day20

    Killing Fields

    November 13 in Cambodia

    Vroeg opstaan om de massa te mijden in Choeung Ek, beter gekend als de Killing Fields. We waren bij de eerste bezoekers en rust heerste over het domein. Beginnend met de audio voelden we dat rust hier op zijn plaats was. Het droeg bij tot de beleving van de vreselijke taferelen die zich hier hebben afgespeeld. Minstens 20 000 mensen zijn hier vermoord en begraven in 130 massagraven. Toen je over het domein liep waren het precies allemaal bomkraters, maar de waarheid was nog minder prettig.
    Lopen tussen de verschillende massagraven geeft een vreemd gevoel, net als het zien van al de schedels en beenderen van de slachtoffers. Of het zien van de Killing Tree waar kinderen werden vermoord door ze bij hun voeten te grijpen en hun hoofd tegen de boom te slaan. Absurd, te gek voor woorden en onmenselijk ... hun motto was " je moet het onkruid met de wortels verwijderen." Dit betekende dat hele families werden uitgemoord, ook alle kinderen, zodat deze later geen wraak konden nemen.

    We hebben al veel gehoord dat Cambodja al veel heeft afgezien. Ook merken we dat het land nog niet helemaal hersteld is. Er heerst veel armoeden, we hebben alvele daklozen & bedelaars gezien op straat die onder andere uit de vuilzakken op straat eten. We hebben ook al verschillende mensen gezien die een been of arm kwijt zijn. Maar er zijn hier ook vele goede doelen die zich ontfermen over deze mensen, zoals resto’s die mensen helpen met opleidingen en winkels die lokale ambachten helpen.

    Na de Killing Fields was het tijd om terug te keren naar Phnom Penh met een tuktuk. Met een chauffeur die de weg wist deze keer, zeer vriendelijke kerel trouwens. We stopten bij een ander restootje dat de lokale jeugd helpt, Remdong. Naast onze zeevruchten curry ‘waagden’ we ons aan de Khmer snack bij onze lunch. De snack waren vier dingen; gedroogde biefstuk, een groente (de naam vergeten, Oeps), gefrituurde kikkertjes en krekels. We hebben het met veel smaak en een beetje schuldgevoel voor de kikkers opgegeten.

    De namiddag was een luie namiddag. We hadden niet veel zin meer in drukte van de stad en de hitte stak ons tegen. Dus hebben we de namiddag doorgebracht op het dakterras van ons hotel. Nu wat eten voor de avond en dan ons rond 22u klaarmaken om de nachtbus te nemen richting Angkor Wat, Siem Reap. Hopelijk valt dat mee. 😴
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  • Day183

    Siem Reap

    March 8, 2017 in Cambodia

    Today we had a quieter day, catching up on trip planning, arranging transport, laundry, etc (not exciting, but necessary). We have decided to stay in Siem Reap for another few days, instead of our original plan to move on to another town in Cambodia. There is plenty to do here and it should give us chance to catch up on preparations for the next leg of our trip (we fly to New Zealand next week), as well as fortifying ourselves before the 10-hour bus journey to Bangkok and another imminent round of jet lag... Selfishly, it also means that I do not have to spend my birthday tomorrow on a bus! We went for a last swim in the pool of our fantastic hotel before we had to check out and move to a hotel across town (also very nice and above budget - a birthday treat!). We went out for a walk in a park by the riverside and saw lots of large fruit bats roosting in the trees - fascinating to see. Having missed out on the Foreign Correspondents Club in Phnom Penh, we found the FCC in Siem Reap and enjoyed a "happy hour" cocktail there this evening (whilst Solana practised her photography skills again!). We ended up going to an Indian restaurant tonight and, although not up to Bradford standards, it was better than we expected. We also saw a pharmacy that doubled (tripled?) as a mini-mart and money exchange shop - possibly an idea for pharmacies in Britain who are feeling the economic pinch?...Read more

  • Day181

    Angkor Wat

    March 6, 2017 in Cambodia

    And now for the big one - we visited Angkor Wat this afternoon. Apparently it is the largest place of worship in the world. It certainly was very impressive, even after seeing the temples at Angkor Thom this morning. We entered Angkor Wat over the stone bridge across the 180m wide moat that goes all the way around the temple complex. We were explaining to Solana that the moat was made to protect the temple and she concluded from that that anyone bad who tried to get over would be pushed into the water to be eaten by crocodiles! You then walk along a long pathway that leads to the main temple complex, with the iconic view of Angkor Wat in front of you along the way. Once inside, we spent a couple of hours exploring. It was pretty busy inside but it quietened down a lot towards 5pm. Solana met a couple of other little girls around her own age, the first we think was Japanese and the 2nd, pictured here, we're pretty sure was Cambodian; the two of them attracted quite a crowd, all wanting photos of the cute little girls! Solana is loving the idea of Buddha and today she was asking questions about the offerings people had made to the statues in the temples; we told her about offerings and she wanted to make an offering herself. After talking about the different types of offerings (many of them here were sweets - bearing a remarkable resemblance to Werther's Originals!), she offered some money; a monk then offered her a blessing of luck with holy water and tied a red cotton bracelet around her wrist. It was lovely to see her interaction with him. As it got later, the light got even better and we managed to get some photos of Angkor Wat together with its reflection in a lake - seen here with us spoiling the artistic view!

    As with many things, the photos don't really do it justice but it gives you a flavour of what we've seen anyway. All in all, it was very reminiscent of the days we spent in Central America 12 years ago, wandering around the Mayan and Aztec sites including Chichen Itza, Tikal and Copan - but here there are slightly fewer mosquitoes and definitely more tuk-tuks! It is also striking every time we see such ancient buildings, the similarities between different such sites in very different parts of the world, geographically distant and often built in different eras - e.g. the Mayan and Aztec temples of Central America, Machu Picchu in Peru, Angkor Wat, the ancient cities in Thailand, the pyramids in Egypt. It makes us wonder - did ancient civilisations have more contact with one another than we know, or did many different groups of people come up with similar ideas independently?.... We also saw a bit of wildlife around the temples today - including monkeys, lizards, myna birds, butterflies, frogs and parrots. Tomorrow we plan to visit some of the other temples in the area (to get our moneys worth from our $62 each tickets - they went up in price dramatically just last month, from only $40 per person!).
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  • Day184

    Julie's Birthday

    March 9, 2017 in Cambodia

    On Thursday we celebrated my birthday in Siem Reap. I had a few birthday cards (which Solana was very excited about and desperate to "help" me open!) and Laura even managed to find a bottle of fizz as a present, which was a nice surprise. In the morning we did a Cambodian cooking class. We visited the food market, then made some traditional Cambodian dishes. We both made mango salad to start, then Laura made beef lok-lak and I made fish Amok for main courses. They were tasty and, although some of the ingredients may be difficult to get at home, we would try to recreate them with substitutes where needed.

    In the afternoon we visited another temple (photos to follow in a separate post). In the evening, the hotel staff knocked at the door and brought me a birthday cheesecake, complete with candle! It was a nice touch and Solana loved it - she thinks a birthday is not complete without a cake & candles. For dinner we went to a Japanese shabu shabu restaurant - where you select items from a food conveyor belt and cook them in a soupy broth at your table. It was great fun (once we'd worked out to avoid the offal!) and they even had a bit of sushi - tasty. The day was rounded off by finishing off the bottle of fizz - a great way to end a good day.
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  • Day181

    Siem Reap & Angkor temples

    March 6, 2017 in Cambodia

    Yesterday we made the 7 hour bus journey from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap - after not looking forward to it, the bus was actually OK and the journey was smooth. Best of all, the hotel waiting for us at the end of it (Mulberry Boutique Hotel, in case anyone wants to make a note) is amazing. Laura's many hours of searching paid off when she found an online special offer and we have a family suite here, with 2 bedrooms over 2 floors, plus 2 bathrooms and a sitting area, all for only £20 per night for 2 nights! It is normally $150 per night, so unsurprisingly we were unable to negotiate the same deal to stay for a 3rd night but they did offer us it for $60, so as it is so lovely we've decided to stay an extra night as a pre-birthday treat. It is by far the best room we've had on our trip so far (and almost certainly will remain so - given the expense of our next destinations!).

    Today we hired a tuk-tuk and driver to take us to see some of the temples. This morning we went to the Angkor Thom complex. We started with Bayon, the large temple you see in photos #3 & #4, with many very large faces carved into the stone. We then walked around as much of the rest of this massive temple complex as Solana, and the heat of the day (temp in mid-30s C and sunny - too hot for sightseeing in the middle of the day). It was amazing to think how they built the temples so tall and precisely, with no machinery to help (most of them were built in the 1100s) - something we've said again and again at ancient temple sites across the world. The rock carvings here were impressive too, with many including elephants and people carved into the rock faces, some repeated dozens of times over. After a well-earned ice lolly, we came back to the hotel for a dip in the pool and lunch, before heading out again this afternoon.
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  • Day184

    Last Cambodian temple visit

    March 9, 2017 in Cambodia

    On Thursday afternoon we went out in a tuk-tuk to visit one of the further out temples, Banteay Srei. Although this site was smaller than the others we have visited, it was more colourful (with stone shades of pink, yellow and grey) and ornately and intricately carved than the other sites we've visited. It has been good to see the differences between the different temple sites around Siem Reap. Although we haven't seen all of them, we feel like we've done enough to get a good flavour of the area, without feeling too "templed out".

    On the way to Banteay Srei we went to a butterfly centre and had an informative tour, seeing many different types of colourful butterflies and caterpillars. We also got to see some chrysalis, a little frog and some giant stick insects (plus more mosquitoes than we would have liked). Banteay Srei is about 40km out of Siem Reap and it was also good to see a bit more of rural life on the way out to this area. However, as I'm sure anyone who has ridden in a tuk-tuk will understand, it was a bone-shakingly bumpy ride - we had to hold on to Solana a few times...and we wished we had selected our most rubust bras for this particular journey!
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  • Day182

    Ta Prohm & around

    March 7, 2017 in Cambodia

    Today we went to Ta Prohm - also known as "Tomb Raider" temple, as this is where they filmed it. It was very different to the temples we saw yesterday, with much of it still in ruins and still undergoing restoration. They are working against the clock, as the trees and roots grow through the temple stonework and the jungle tries to reclaim the land. On the one hand, it is a real shame to see the already precarious structures being damaged further but on the other hand it has a strange beauty about the place. We all really enjoyed exploring the ramshackle temples and, if it weren't for the dozens of other people milling around, we could easily have believed we had just discovered them! The first 3 photos here are from Ta Prohm.

    Afterwards we went to the nearby temple complex of Banteay Kdei (photo #4). This was a better preserved site than Ta Prohm but not as well preserved as Angkor Wat or Angkor Thom that we saw yesterday. It had great long corridors of doorways, that you can see all the way through. It also has high vaulted towers between the corridors and many of these were homes to colonies of bats - which we could both smell and see! We also loved all the many brightly coloured butterflies we saw fluttering around at this site - we must have seen at least 6 different species just during one 10-minute rest stop. Slightly less welcome wildlife were the ants - we were reading an info sign and didn't notice until too late than Solana had stood in an ants nest - they were all over her foot and she got bitten several times, bless her. After much screaming, lots of cold water and a carry back to our tuk-tuk, she was OK....

    We managed to see Sras Srang (photo #5), the royal bathing pool (more like a large lake!), before we headed back to town. Cambodia seems to be a big fan of hammocks, in the same vein as Costa Rica. It is interesting because we didn't see any hammocks at all in Vietnam, until we reached the Mekong area where they started to make an appearance, but here they seem much more popular. Whereas in Costa Rica there were plenty of hammocks for the tourists (as you saw from our photos), here they seem to be reserved for the locals - many of whom appear to be quite fond of a siesta! The last photo shows Solana with Sing, our tuk-tuk driver for the past 2 days - she is quite taken with him and keeps asking us where he is.

    Finally, for those of you who were wondering, I have now seen my cherry tree in blossom to remind me of Springtime at home - thanks to Gemma for the photo of our garden. You can all sleep soundly in your beds tonight now!
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  • Day43

    Day #40 disturbing, youngest past

    October 15, 2017 in Cambodia

    Denkt man an Geschichte, fallen einem uralte Geschehnisse ein, aus längst vergangenen Jahrhunderten und Epochen, dessen Jahreszahlen man sich für eine Prüfung im Geschichtsunterricht ins Kurzzeitgedächtnis drücken musste.

    Dieser Ausschnitt aus der Vergangenheit, wie er sich hier in Kambodscha abgespielt hat, ist noch so jung und zugleich so grotesk grausam, dass es mir die Sprache verschlug, als ich die Schauplätze dieser dunklen Ära besuchte.

    Bereits in Vietnam waren die Dokumentationen des Krieges und dessen Folgen erdrückend und natürlich kann ein bestimmter Krieg nicht mehr aufwiegen als ein anderer. Den Schmerz, die Verluste und Zerstörungen welche Kriege verursachen, sind niemals Messbar und immer unnötig.

    Und trotzdem, was sich in diesem kleinen Land, welches eingeklemmt zwischen Vietnam und Thailand gerne mal vergessen geht, vor weniger als 40 Jahren abgespielt hat, machte mich tief betroffen, insbesondere weil ich noch nie davon gehört habe und weil es etliche Jahre nach dem 2. Weltkrieg geschehen ist, in einer Zeit in welcher die ganze Welt auf das Thema Genozid sensibilisiert hätte sein solllen.

    Zum Ende hin, des Vietnam Krieges, wurde auch Kambodscha stark in Mitleidenschaft gezogen. Amerikanische B52 Bomber entluden bereits zu Vietnamkriegszeiten gezielt Sprengsätze über kambodschanischem Gebiet. Ziel waren nach wie vor die Vietkong und ihre Sympatisanten, getroffen wurden aber hauptsächlich kambodschanische Zivilisten.
    Die wachsende Wut dieser Umstände trieb das einfache Volk direkt in die Arme einer kleinen maoistisch, sozialistisch orientierten Gruppierung, später bekannt unter dem Namen Khmer Rouge.

    Im Frühjahr, 1975 zogen sich die USA und auch Frankreich aus dem Land zurück. Kambodscha war bereit für die Unabhängigkeit. Viele bejubelten die aufstrebende Macht der Khmer Rouge und glaubten an die Visionen des Anführers Pol Pot. Dieser versprach ein Paradies, nach dem Vorbild des Kommunismus, in welchem Alle gleich waren und jeder genug zum leben hat. Misstrauen und Paranoia verhinderten jedoch jede Form von logischem und rationalem Denken, was schlussentlich zu einer Katastrophe führte.

    Innert 48 Stunden wurden die Bewohner Phnom Penhs und anderer grosser Städte auf das Land getrieben, um Zwangsarbeit zu verrichten. Die Khmer Rouge rekrutierten hauptsächlich Kinder für ihre Bewegung und bildeten sie zu erschreckend effizienten Soldaten aus. Minderheiten, Akademiker und gebildete Menschen wurden zu Feinden erklärt.

    Das tragen einer Brille oder zarte Hände, waren bereits Beweis genug, dass man samt Familie, verhaftet und ins Gefängnis gesteckt wurde. Im von uns besuchten Hochsicherheitsgefängnis, Tuol Sleng, besser bekannt als "S-21", wurde den Gefangenen unter Folter ein schriftliches Geständnis aberzwungen, in welchem sie festhalten mussten, dass sie für die CIA oder den KGB arbeiteten, Organisationen, von welchen die Opfer vermutlich noch nie gehört haben, nur um sie anschliessend auf den "Killing Fields" zu ermorden.

    Das S-21 war ein ehemaliges Schulgelände mit mehreren Gebäuden, welches von den Khmer Rouge umfunktioniert und umgebaut wurde. In den Klassenzimmern wurden zum Teil Ziegelsteinmauern hochgezogen, um winzige Einzelzellen zu erschaffen. In anderen Räumen wurden Verankerungen im Boden angebracht um Gefangene, zu hunderten, an Fussfesseln, dort festzuhalten.
    In den Folterkammern fand man jeweils einen leeren, metallenen Bettrost mit Fesseln vor, an der Wand das dazugehörige Bild, welches zeigte wie die Befreier die Opfer nach dem Einmarschieren vorfanden. Die offenen Durchgange der Stockwerke waren mit Stacheldraht gesichert, damit die Gefangenen nicht hinunterspringen und sich selber umbringen konnten.

    Als wir im Innenhof der Anlage auf einer Bank sassen, erschien plötzlich ein Pfau, der seelenruhig auf der Suche nach Nahrung, umherspazierte. Mit seinem schillernden Federkleid und der eleganten Gangart, bildete er einen surealen und etwas tröstenden Kontrast zu diesem bedrückenden Ort, welchen ihn umgab.

    Ich habe vorher noch nie ein Konzentrationslager dieser Art besucht.

    Anschliessend an den S-21 Besuch, fuhren wir raus, zu einem der Schauplätze, bekannt als "Killing Fields".
    Gefangene, welche ein Geständnis abgelegt haben, wurden in Lastern hierher gebracht und noch in der selben Nacht, ermordet und in Massengräbern verscharrt. Um kein Misstrauen seitens der Bevölkerung zu erwecken, verwendete man für die Exekutionen keine Schusswaffen, welche zu viel Lärm verursacht hätten, sondern prügelte die Gefangenen zu tode. Ein anderes Argument war auch, dass die Kugeln zu teuer und wertvoll waren, um Verräter damit zu töten.

    Heute steht vor Ort eine Gedenkpagode, in welcher sich die Gebeine der Opfer meterhoch stapeln. Unter dem angrenzenden See, liegen immer noch tausende von anonymen Toten. Man beschloss, sie dort ruhen zu lassen.

    So geschah es von 1975-79, Nacht für Nacht, mit lauter Propagandamusik, um die Schreie zu übertönen und ohne dass Details dieser Grausamkeiten die Landesgrenzen wirklich überschritten oder angehört wurden.
    Alle Menschen mit Fachwissen waren ermorded oder geflohen und die Menschen aus den Städten hatten keine Ahnung von Landwirtschaft. Das Volk verhungerte langsam und wurde gezwungen, sich zu tode zu arbeiten.

    Keine vier Jahre dauerte es, bis die Khmer Rouge Bewegung und ihr "Steinzeitkommunismus" am Ende und zerschlagen waren. Von einer 8 Millionen Bevölkerung wurden rund 3 Millionen durch ihre eigenen Landsleute und ohne Grund getötet.

    Die Anführer konnten in den Untergrund fliehen und wurden viel zu lange nicht verurteilt. Die Grausamkeiten, welche sie begangen haben, wurden von den grossen Nationen dieser Welt nicht anerkannt, schlimmer noch, die Khmer Rouge wurde von den Weltmächten weiterhin als Regierung Kambodschas anerkannt und hatte sogar einen Sitz in der UNO.

    Die ehemaligen Kindersoldaten sind heute gerade mal in ihren 40ern.
    Das erste Strafgerichtsverfahren gegen einen der Anführer der Khmer Rouge wurde 2009 eröffnet.
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  • Day21

    Cambodia

    September 10 in Cambodia

    Cambodia is a sovereign state located in the southern portion of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is 181,000 square kilometres in area, bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest.

    Cambodia has a population of over 15 million. The official religion is Theravada Buddhism, practised by approximately 95 percent of the population. The country's minority groups include Vietnamese, Chinese, Chams and 30 hill tribes.

    The capital and largest city is Phnom Penh, the political, economic and cultural centre of Cambodia. The kingdom is an elective constitutional monarchy with a monarch, chosen by the Royal Throne Council as head of state. The head of government is the Prime Minister, currently Hun Sen, the longest serving non-royal leader in Southeast Asia, ruling Cambodia since 1985.

    That’s the lunch gong so let’s go eat another meal. Whilst this boat is not like one of the large cruise ships we still seem to be eating every few hours and the food is delicious. One of the dishes was ostrich today and yes John did try it. I only had a little tiny bit and it was not bad.
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  • Day21

    Cooking Demonstration

    September 10 in Cambodia

    Today had so many things on the agenda. We both attended a cooking demonstration where we watched how to make Vietnamese Spring Rolls and Chicken Amok (which is a Cambodia dish).

    John had another go any making spring rolls, he just might be improving.

    Both dishes tasted yum.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Kandal, Propinsi Kandal, Кандал, Provincia de Kandal, Provinsi Kandal, Provincia di Kandal, カンダル州, កណ្តាល, 칸달 주, Wilayah Kandal, Kandal Lalawigan, صوبہ کنڈال, Кандаль, Kandal Province, จังหวัดกันดาล, 干丹省

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