A bag full of glimpses …

It is dark. And still.

The storm and lightening have passed and compared to an hour or two ago it is relatively cool.

We are staying in The River Garden and down below in the open kitchen, the girls have stopped laughing.

It is late.

They are making their way home along the river. Apsaras all. The loveliest compliment I can give a Cambodian girl. So gorgeous. And funny.

We are lapping up the peace after the frenzy of Bangkok.

I am milking the last moments of a happy night learning to play Briscola with the kids.

The frogs are filling the garden with their deep throated tubercular croaks.

It’s been too quick a detour but what can I tell you …

 

 

Three days in Siem Reap will buy you a bag full of glimpses.

 

angkor-wat-and-child

Frozen moments at Angkor Wat.

monk-at-angkor-wat

Time and her entourage of characters will march right before your eyes …

monks angkor wat

You will see colour everywhere you turn …

angkor wat

And if you make a journey to a lost city in the dark you will see a sunrise, perhaps a sunrise that happens only twice a year and crowns a temple in gold.

sunrise angkor wat

You will see the most intricate stories. And bas-reliefs that will blow your mind…

details of angkor war

Hidden passages that lead to doorways bathed in blinding sunlight …

monk angkor wat

Seductive reminders of a world long gone …

reliefs at angkor wat

But still remembered.

dancer at bayon temple

 

You will see it all.

 

However, sometimes it’s not about what you see.

 

It’s about what you don’t see.

 

headless statues angkor wat

 

In three days in Siem Reap we saw no elders.

Not one.

We were treated with kindness and warmth and surrounded by smiles.

But there was not a toothless one among them …

Cambodia is a country playing catchup.

A country that has lived through storm and lightening.

Three days will buy you a bag full of glimpses but it’s what I didn’t see that has left its mark.

 

it is never too late to be what you might have been

 

And now makes me want to return.

 

 

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    27 Comments

    1. Posted 22 October 2014 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Oh Marg… you have taken my breath away… this is just beautiful… your words and your photos… you’ve captured the place like no others I’ve seen. Thank you for making my day! Looking forward to more stories and published stories as well! Fxxx

      • Marg
        Posted 22 October 2014 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        That’s a very lovely compliment Fran. Thank you. x

    2. Tracey Carpenter
      Posted 22 October 2014 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Ahh Marg – Magnificent, thank you, truely taking my breath and my consciousness away with your insights.
      Namaste

    3. Tracey Carpenter
      Posted 22 October 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      I hadn’t read Francesca’s comment I literally was holding my breath while the story unfolded on my screen!

      • Marg
        Posted 22 October 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        ha that’s lovely to hear Tracey. It’s like point and click and you’ll find something wonderful. The bas-reliefs in the temples at Angkor Wat and surrounds were gob smacking. Cambodia really touched a chord with me. I’d revisit in an instant but I’d do some serious reading on Khmer history to help give it context. I was too young to understand the full wickedness of Pol Pot when it started playing out on the nightly news. I’m not sure when the full extent of that wickedness came to light. The Killing Fields maybe? I’m still wrapping my head around the realisation that everyone we were mixing with was young. It’s not to say that they’re aren’t oldies there but we didn’t spy one. And that is most unusual in Asia.

    4. Posted 22 October 2014 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Oooh Marg, And this is what and why you are already a fab travel writer/blogger/journalist. You weave this feeling between your words and pictures and we’re left with exactly what you mean to leave us with : a happiness we read and saw what you made for us. And a truer understanding of that place and those people. Brava.
      Love,
      Shalagh

      • Marg
        Posted 22 October 2014 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        I am writing this with tears in my eyes Shalagh. I have been sitting here behind the scenes this morning thinking wtf am I doing with this blog? Putting all this love and effort into it … Then out of the blue, Tracey has, behind the scenes, quietly sent the most beautiful group email to her friends encouraging them to take a look and now you’ve just written this lovely comment affirming what I hope in my heart people get when they come here, the few that do at least 😉 And it’s just a lovely shot in the arm. Because as you know sometimes this blogging business can make you feel like you’re a tree falling in the forest. It’s two and half years since I began here and I’m so confused about what it should or shouldn’t be doing. Thanks, maybe I am on the right track, a track, after all.

    5. Andrew Stokes
      Posted 22 October 2014 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Hi Marg,
      beautiful photos. I’m going to be there in January (busy, I know) so I was instantly intrigued. While I haven’t visited your blog for a bit it’s on my agenda and I will have a good deep read/look very shortly.

      • Marg
        Posted 22 October 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        Oh Andrew I hope you’ve built in some better time than we did. And I hope it’s a bit cooler when you’re there. It was fiercely hot. And PLEASE don’t feel guilted into visiting here lol. I was just having a hands thrown up in the air moment wondering where I’m heading with it all 🙂 Truly. And the girls lovely comments just took me aback.

    6. Margaret Andersson
      Posted 22 October 2014 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Oh Marg! Your words and images took me right there. You have such a gift with words and the essence of your story comes to life on the page. Fantastic. xxoo

      • Marg
        Posted 22 October 2014 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Margaret. Same goes for you too 🙂 Please don’t feel like I was trawling for anything here. I get so much pleasure from doing the blog. Just wish I could just work out a way to do it full time! Or travel writing … 🙂 x

    7. bev
      Posted 22 October 2014 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Marg for taking me to beautiful places when I am a low and life gets in the way of magic. I have followed your blog for quite some time and always enjoy reading it late at night when the rest of my household are sleeping…my little journeys into another place.

      • Marg
        Posted 22 October 2014 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

        Bev that is my absolute pleasure. It’s a special image that you’ve left with me today and I’m so touched that my posts are something that you save for day’s end. Thankyou for letting me know. x

    8. Posted 23 October 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      I’ve never been to this part of the world, Marg, nor seen anything like it. What wondrous glimpses you collected.

      • Marg
        Posted 23 October 2014 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        We only had a day in the Angkor Wat precinct Krista but I think they said it was 20 square miles! We visited just three temples and they’re still discovering more. Incredible art work and stories. x

    9. Millie Brown
      Posted 23 October 2014 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Beautiful in every way Marg, thank you for sharing. The Cambodians left an indelible mark on my heart, as I am sure they did on yours. Magnficent place, magnificent people. xx

      • Marg
        Posted 23 October 2014 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

        That’s a lovely way to put it Millie. I just wish we’d had more time. x

    10. Germana Frino
      Posted 23 October 2014 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      I would love to go there now after reading your post. Visually beautiful. Thanks for sharing!! Briscola as I know it is an Italian card game. Is that what the kids were teaching you?

      • Marg
        Posted 23 October 2014 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

        That’s the one Germana. We’ve had a lot of fun with it while we were away. Definitely put Siem Reap on your wish list!

    11. Donna Bevan
      Posted 24 October 2014 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      So beautiful Marg, such a gift to be able to mix the word and the images so they are just right and so rich. I love your blog- keeps reminding me there is a bigger world out there.

      • Marg
        Posted 24 October 2014 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        Thanks Donna. That’s lovely to know. Can’t wait to get out there a bit more 🙂 x

    12. Harrie
      Posted 24 October 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for taking us with you marg X

      • Marg
        Posted 24 October 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for coming along 😉

    13. Posted 25 October 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      How evocative, and thoughtful. x I’ve never been but now I want to go, thanks for showing through your eyes.
      And for the quote…

      • Marg
        Posted 28 October 2014 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        It’s a beauty isn’t it Andrea. All The River Garden’s placemats had two or three quotes like this. Wise, funny, whatever. Good juice x

    14. Posted 6 November 2014 at 5:14 am | Permalink

      Just now playing catch up with all my mail, I love that you see the unseen, the lack of elders, those toothless grins missing. So moving and the photos are beautiful, the words soul warming and just love that first image of the child running. Beautiful, just beautiful.
      sending love x

      • Marg
        Posted 6 November 2014 at 8:41 am | Permalink

        Hope all’s well on your end Lisa. I see you’ve had first snow 😐 A beautiful time of year in your parts. The food … the fooo000d! Snuggle up and enjoy. We are surrounded by roses x

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