Vignettes From Phnom Penh’s Riverside

Carrying salmon and ivory-colored lotus blossom offerings, the Buddhist worshippers entered the crowded courtyard in front of a small temple along Phnom Penh’s riverside. Once inside, they left their spiritual contributions. The green, pink and white pile of offerings inside was apparently growing so vast that officials periodically tossed the decorated green coconuts and budsContinue reading “Vignettes From Phnom Penh’s Riverside”

An Afternoon at Angkor Wat

During my maiden (and solo) visit to Angkor Wat, I glimpsed the majestic Cambodian structure at sunrise. Seeing the inky sky gradually awaken over the site and then illuminate it with a shrimp-colored hue was a magical experience. But in the years since, I’d read that the sunrise experience had lost some of its luster,Continue reading “An Afternoon at Angkor Wat”

The Devatas and Apsaras of Angkor Wat in Black & White

The 1,796 female figures rendered in sandstone on Angkor Wat’s pillars and walls have weathered war and a harsh tropical environment for more than 800 years. During my first visit to Angkor Wat in 2009, I was struck by the beauty and individuality of these devatas, which decorate the largest religious building in the world. WhenContinue reading “The Devatas and Apsaras of Angkor Wat in Black & White”

Learning the Fine Art of Sericulture & Weaving on a Cambodian Silk Farm

“With time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown.” Proverb Throughout Cambodia, marketplace stalls overflow with mounds of beautiful shimmering silk. There’s everything from scarves and chic purses, to fabric designed for tailor-making shirts, dresses, and jackets. As someone who is often tempted by these lovely accessories, I was eager to learn moreContinue reading “Learning the Fine Art of Sericulture & Weaving on a Cambodian Silk Farm”

Photo du Jour: Smooth as Cambodian Silk

For centuries, Cambodians have been producing silk and creating woven masterpieces with it. Once the silk has been carefully extracted from the silk worm’s cocoon, it is washed, twirled on to bobbins and boil-dyed either via a natural or artificial coloring technique. I’m not sure if the silk samples featured here were colored naturally orContinue reading “Photo du Jour: Smooth as Cambodian Silk”

Threshing Rice on Christmas Day in Cambodia

T’was Christmas Day in Cambodia… The sun shone brightly overhead. Golden grass and towering palm trees danced in the strong gusts of wind. Cows mooed and baby chicks tiptoed about. Though we were far from our family and friends who are scattered throughout the world, we yearned to have a special holiday.  And indeed weContinue reading “Threshing Rice on Christmas Day in Cambodia”

Bridging a Divide on the Backroads of Cambodia’s Takeo Province

It was on the dusty backroads in Cambodia’s Takeo Province that a well-travelled toy fish found its way to a new home. To get there, the little fish literally had to bridge a divide. One morning, we packed our borrowed bikes’ baskets with bottles of water and a purple plush toy. The toy fish, withContinue reading “Bridging a Divide on the Backroads of Cambodia’s Takeo Province”