Without an H

Photography from south-east Asia by Jon Sanwell

Posts tagged ‘cambodia’

Mekong days, Cambodia

After a week in the Mekong Delta in the south of Vietnam, I crossed the border into Cambodia for a slightly different taste of Mekong life, in the riverside towns of Kompong Cham and Kratie, north east of Phnom Penh. One day, I want to travel the length of the Mekong, from southern China all the way down to the delta, with unlimited time and unlimited memory cards. One day. In the meantime, I’ll have to content myself with occasional short trips like this one, in January this year.

Looking at these pictures again today has made me recall some of the other sensations and impressions of the trip that I couldn’t capture on camera: being sunburnt enough to feel a tingle but not so much to hurt; the smell of tobacco plants producing puzzling nostalgic cigarette cravings; long, uncomfortable, oddly enjoyable bus journeys with Khmer pop drowning out the music from my iPod; the pleasant ache in limbs unaccustomed to cycling; happily cancelling out the benefits of said cycling with giant bottles of Angkor beer; confirming my belief that three days in one place is far better than two; unwittingly providing the entertainment by losing my footing in a fishmarket.

Monk portrait, Phnom Penh (potw #16)

Phnom Penh was the last stop on my Mekong trip.  I didn’t take that many pictures on this visit; I was only there for a couple of nights, and I wasn’t quite in the mood for a big city, having spent the previous two weeks in quieter, more relaxing surroundings.

Wat Langka, however, is one of the more tranquil spots in Phnom Penh.  It’s not the most spectacular temple in Cambodia, but I like its calm, welcoming atmosphere.  It’s hard to tell where the surrounding alleyways end and the temple complex begins.  This young monk was standing inside one of the side doors to the main temple, and was perfectly, indirectly lit by the morning sunshine outside.

Afternoon in Kompong Cham (potw #15)

Making a rare foray into the realms of physical exercise, I cycled across Kompong Cham’s bamboo bridge (more of which later) onto Koh Paen, a small island in the Mekong river.  Countless small children called “hello!” as I rattled inelegantly past stilt houses and rice fields in the late afternoon sun.  Many of the rice fields in this part of Cambodia are overlooked by small, open pagodas, as in the picture above.