All images taken on an iPhone 4s with Camera+ during my iPhoneography World Trip.
In every country, I find myself drawn to taking pictures of people. For me it’s the people that really tell the story of a place.
Cambodian people seem modest and shy. They are light on their feet and move with peaceful stillness. Chugging motor bikes kick up clouds of fine red dust as school children run along the side of road after school just minutes away from the majestic temples of Angkor Wat.
Without the hum of tuk tuk motorcycles, I feel as if I’m transported back in time. There is a serenity here that is hard to describe.
A little girl runs up to me on the banks in front of the temple. She just laughs, points to a sleeping dog, and runs away.As she plays in the muddy water, modernity seems far away.
That is until I see a small local boy biding his time at his elephant carving stand playing Angry Birds on his phone. They are everywhere. Angry.
It’s hard to recall a time when things weren’t like this. The horrors of the Khmer Rouge reign over these beautiful people seem distant and rarely mentioned except by tour guides who offer to take you to the Killing Fields — “a very bad place,” they whisper.
I didn’t go to the Killing Fields. I’d rather remember Cambodia for what it is now than to gawk at a case of skulls with a large group of snap happy tourists. It just doesn’t seem respectful to take photos of those who perished in such an abhorrent manner.
Cambodia is looking to the future. With such a beautiful climate and a preserved ancient wonder, I will be surprised if Angkor Wat doesn’t become a tourist hot spot in a few years. I suggest visiting now to get a glimpse of this beautiful, serene country.