Neak Pean - Siem Reap, Cambodia

Neak Pean is an artificial island featuring a Buddhist temple, in Angkor park, near to Preah Khan temple. It was built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII, who ruled the Khmer Empire between the years 1181 and 1218. Historians believe the island was built as a “hospital”, with the design taking inspiration from the mythical Himalayan lake Anavatapta, that was believed to cure illness. 

The design features a main pond, connected by four smaller ponds, representing earth, wind, fire and water. It was believed that bathing in these ponds that represent the elements would balance an ill person, and cure their ailment.
Angelina Jolie Promotes 'First They Killed My Father' Film in Cambodia With All Six of Her Children – See the Pics!
The whole crew watched as the 41-year-old actress explained the importance of the new Netflix movie.

This is not related to this blog at all but I’m doing this anyway.

Angelina Jolie has directed and produced a film called ‘First They Killed My Father’ which shows the horrors of the Khmer Rogue regime. The movie is made up of a Khmer cast and it will be in Khmer.

When my father heard about this film, he immediately said “we have to see it.” This film is personal to many Cambodians, but this is very personal to my father because not only was he a child during the regime and experienced it himself, they really did kill his father–my grandfather–and he was separated from his mother and siblings. It is guaranteed that there are many just like my father out there.

I am so, so grateful for Angelina Jolie for doing this for the Cambodian people. The regime shaped the country and I am glad that it’s finally getting noticed, and not getting glossed over. I may not be alive during the regime and therefore I can’t relate but as a Cambodian, this film is dear to my heart. It’s a way to tell the whole world about what the past generation experienced, and why the country is like it is today.

Thank you, Angelina, for producing this for us.

Battambang - Cambodia

Battambang is the second most populous city in Cambodia. It is a popular tourist destination due to the nearby ancient temples, Buddhist shrines, and the famous bamboo railway. 

Some of the more famous temples include Wat Banan and Wat Baydamram. Wat Banan has drawn comparisons to Angkor Wat, and sits atop a hill, nearby to the Sanker river. Wat Baydamram is a temple that houses thousands of bats, that are under the protection of the local Buddhist monks. 

Mekong Delta - Cambodia 

The Mekong Delta is the longest river in Southeast Asia and the 12th longest on earth. Stretching for over 4350 kilometres, the river flows through Tibet, China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Known by many names in different areas, In Cambodia, the Mekong is commonly referred to as Tonle Than, meaning “Great Waters” in Khmer. The Cambodian section of the river is home to the rare Cantors Giant Softshell Turtle, and the even rarer Siamese Crocodile. 

The Tonle Sap Lake, north of Phnom Penh, is the largest freshwater lake in Asia. It feeds from the Mekong via the Tonle Sap river. Both the Mekong and the Tonle Sap river are of great importance to Cambodia, as they are used to irrigate crops, such as rice, cassava and maize. 

Asia’s Biggest Misconception

Is that when we see this map, we just see borders and countries names. But the biggest misconception that the West has perceived is that not everyone from a certain country are the same ethnic identity or speak the same languages. Just because people live in Thailand, Vietnam or China, does not automatically mean that they are and speak Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese.

Rather it’s diverse and complicated as this map here below:

This map is basically the distance of Portland to Los Angeles (Guizhou, China to Cambodia), of over 960 miles apart! And that is going through different various languages, ethnic groups, dialects and even accents, and crosses through 5 countries.

Simply driving an hour away from one village to another village, will be people who speak a totally different dialect from the village you were just at. That’s like going from San Francisco to San Jose.