Siem Reap, Cambodia — The ‘Asian (Studies)’ Dream

Angkor Wat was always a fixation for Coco and I (and probably all the other Asian Studies students in our university who were repeatedly subjected to that documentary on Angkor Wat, whenever our Professors were absent or when our major’s student organization arranged a film showing).  For years, we’ve been telling each other that we will be going to Cambodia to see Angkor Wat, even as there weren’t any direct flights from Manila to Cambodia yet.

A few years ago, a local airline started offering flights to Siem Reap. I, for one, felt that the dream was closer, but there never was any great impetus to finally organize the trip. Last November, Coco found a travel deal at a coupon site, and she sent me a message, asking me if I wanted to go. I didn’t think. I said ‘yes,’ and the rest was history.

I’d write how it went, but I realize that the experience isn’t easily encapsulated in words. I can only describe the physical aspect of it clearly, but it’s beyond that. Siem Reap is one of the places that you have to go to yourself. Its temples are Wonders of the World for that reason.

Siem Reap. January 10-13, 2013.

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