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Cambodia Day 6: Angkor Wat
"Wow, what a day! We began our adventure by visiting Angkor Wat, one of the most amazing architectural feats in history. This massive 12th century originally Hindu temple complex is made out of sandstone that was carried from 50 km away. It has endless intricate carvings, including stories from the Hindu Mahabharata and Ramayana. This is definitely a trip that no short description can do justice, and we will be headed back to the temple complex tomorrow for more exploration. From there we visited the Angkor National Museum, continuing our deeper dive into Cambodia’s more distant past.
"After lunch, we took a 45-minute bus ride to a riverboat tour of villages on the shores of the Tonle Sap Lake. The villages’ houses, schools and temples are stilted constructions in the lowlands of the lake, as during the rainy season the lake floods the neighboring village (the entire lake goes from 2500 km in the dry season to 12,000! km in the wet season). We saw many villagers fishing for perch, catfish, and large snakehead fish that often gets dried and sold.
"We also saw rice fields near the lake; Sarah informed us that it was the “second planting” of rice before the next rainy season begins in April, usually producing rice of a lesser quantity and quality.
"While observing some of the villagers, a conversation among a few students struck up about the merits of a “simpler life;” Zoe commented how many of the kids she saw seemed to “live so free” and Asher spoke about how our own wants, needs, dreams and happiness are all so relative to our culture. Today, experiencing this rural fishing community really added to our understanding of Cambodian people and their daily lives."
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