“Tomb raiding, fried tarantula and sunrise over the world’s greatest wonders in Cambodia”

I recently came across this engaging Cambodia travelogue from actor Richard Johnson who was one of the leading characters in Angelina Jolie‘s first Tomb Raider film that was partially set and filmed in some of the Angkor Wat temples. Richard Johnson’s role, as one of the evil elders of the consortium hunting for the time machine, did not require him to be on location in Cambodia but he finally made a long anticipated trip there not so long ago. Not surprisingly, he was enchanted by what he discovered at Angkor Wat and deeply moved by his visits to the notorious S-21 prison and killing fields in Phnom Penh.

A few excertps, beginning with his impression of Angkor Wat:

Angkor Wat is one of the pinnacles of world tourism – glossy coffee-table books insist that we must see it before we die. The authors of such books are right. The place is unforgettable. It has such beauty, such atmosphere, such mysterious spirituality. I’m glad I’ve made my pilgrimage.

About S-21:

Most moving of all were the thousands of images of the victims – men, women, even small children, their hands tied behind their backs, staring uncomprehendingly at the camera as they were meticulously photographed by their captors.

And on the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh:

The following day, we visited the Royal Palace, a creation that is beyond palatial. There are gilded buildings with graceful, curving roof-lines; the massive ceremonial Silver Pagoda; solid gold statues studded with thousands of diamonds; staircases made of Italian marble; gardens carefully tended and lush with tropical flowers and trees. It’s spectacular.

You can read all of Richard Johnson’s travelogue here.

(Thinking of visiting the temples of Angkor Wat? Don’t forget to check out Savuth’s tuk tuk services!)

~ by Leonard on May 16, 2009.

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