October 20, 2010
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October 5, 2010
Siem Reap to Koh Ker, Preah Vihear Provence, Cambodia
Preah Vihear is on the border with Thailand and has a temple of which the ownership has long been contested between the two countries. Unesco declared Preah Vihear Temple as Cambodia’s second World Heritage site in 2009, but that has not discouraged even recent military skirmishes between the two resulting in a couple of soldier’s deaths. There’s been a lot of finger pointing and “he started it!” going on over this temple and the surrounding border area and I’ve yet to actually see it myself because it is another hour or so from Koh Ker.
Koh Ker also has an interesting temple which we visited in 2007. If you come out here from Siem Reap, make sure you also visit my favorite temple, Beng Mealea along the way.
August 16, 2010
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Usually when I haven’t seen someone for a while the first question I get is, “Where are you going on your next trip?” As I said on my previous post about choosing Panama, the reactions usually range from an incredulous “where?” to an excited “Oh, I love…” By now, when I say “Cambodia” people are not as surprised. They know we’ve been to South East Asia many times and how much I love it. But this next trip is going to be a little different.
In October I’ll return to Cambodia for a third visit, along with my mother, to volunteer with the Ponheary Ly Foundation; a non-profit set up to support schools in and around Siem Reap Cambodia. You may have read some of my posts about this incredible organization in the past, but if you are unfamiliar with it, please check out their website. They’re not affiliated with any religious or political group, and are strictly dedicated to helping poor children get the education they need. Ponheary was recently named CNN “Hero of the Week“ and the attention to her and the foundation is well deserved.
This will be my first trip which I would classify as “voluntourism.” In the three years that I’ve been involved with this organization I have been so impressed with the dedication of everyone involved; not only Ponheary, but her entire family and with Lori Carlson, the American woman who started the foundation, quit her job and moved to Cambodia to run it. They have had nothing but a positive impact on the lives of thousands of children and I cannot wait to be involved more than just writing a monthly check. We’re going to be helping with some of the beginning-of-the-school-year uniform and supply distribution, and anything else we can in the 12 …