bicycle trip across Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, including Angkor Wat
home .:. map  .:. gallery .:.  angkor

Still missing...

Time has passed but I can still remember laughing children curiously staring at my bike.
I can remember the taste of an ant pie and the flavour of alcohol
produced in shantytowns south of Paxe. I can still feel drops of Mekong water
on my face and hear the echo of a merry "Sabaidi!", a popular greeting
in the villages of northern Laos. When I close my eyes,
I can see stars winking through the mosquito net
and when I go for a walk in a city park I can see roots of trees
growing through the walls of Ta Prohm temple in Angkor, in Cambodia.
I find it hard not to haggle in my local supermarket
and I feel surprised when I cannot see even a single tuk-tuk on the streets…

I can still remember the shivers I felt looking at the wooden shelves
with human bones and skulls in a place dedicated to the memory
of the victims of Khmer Rouge on the road to Phnom Pehn, close to a Buddhist temple
where I stayed overnight. I can remember the border between Cambodia
and Thailand where dirty, half-naked kids asked me for money, sparse at that time.
I can remember the look in the eyes of the prisoners on the photographs
in the museum of Pol Pot's terror regime in Tuol Sleng. It made me realise
how lucky I was to be living in Europe.

I sometimes smile at the two hundred stony faces in the Bayon temple,
in the Angkor complex, which lay forgotten and overgrown for a few hundred years.
I spent three days there, looking with amazement at sculptures and walls,
impervious to human destructive power yet conquered by vegetation.
The way in which nature reigns supreme over man-made buildings and either mingles
with stones in harmony or destroys the Khmer monuments filled me with wonder and respect.

Asia. I spent a mere month in a selected part of the continent. It was beautiful, friendly and exotic. I did not expect this far-away world to become so close, to give me so much joy and so many happy memories. Yet it did.
I hope that my photographs and short accounts from my trip will bring the places I visited a little closer to you.


 .:. 28 days of travel,
 .:. Over 1400 km behind me
 .:. Route from Chiang Mai to Bangkok