. . . AROUND THE WORLD 2001/02
Africa 1999
Around-the-World 2001/02

The Team

Jeff Willner
1. Start: Recipe for Adventure
2. Zimbabwe: Hyperinflation
3. Namibia: Southern Circuit
4. South Africa: Circuit 2
5. Zambia/Malawi: Sketches
7. Kenya: Bandit Country
8. Ethiopia: Diary
9. Ethiopia: Border Run
10. Sudan: Across the Sahara
11. Egypt: Cape to Cairo
12. Jordan/Syria: Sept. 11th
13. Turkey: Hospitality
14. Bulgaria/Romania/ Hungary
15. Slovakia/Austria/Poland
16. The Baltics & Russia
17. Scandinavia
18. Western Europe
19. Brazil: Clearning Customs
20. Argentina: Revolution
21. Argentina: To Ushuaia
22. Patagonia Disaster
23. Buenos Aires Beautiful
24. Uruguay: Beaches
25. Chile: Expedition Life
26. Bolivia: Atacama
27. Peru: Transit
28. Galapagos: Gorgeous
29. Ecuador: Jungle Run
30. Knifepoint
31. Dubai: Lay over
32. Singapore/Malaysia
33. Thailand: Hospitality
34. Cambodia: Ankor Wat
35. Vietnam: Hanoi & Halong
36. Laos: Back to Basics
37. China: Beijing Tour
38. China: Shanxi
39. China: Western Province
40. China: Tibet
41: Nepal: Mountains
42. India: Driving Struggle
43. Pakistan: Dodging War
44. Iran: Overcharging
45. End: One Last Laugh

Sally DeFina
1. Cape Town: Robben Island
2. Zanzibar: Mike & I
3. Kenya: African Driving School
4. Sudan: Mud Crossing
5. Patagonia: Goodbye Max
6. Malaysia: Mike Update
7. Thailand: Ko Phangan
8. Cambodia: Phnom Penh
9. Vietnam: By Train
10. Laos: Vang Vieng
11. China: Meet Mr. Chen

Jody Finver
1. Start: Surreal Solipse
2. Great Zimbabwe
3. Brokedown in Kenyan Desert
4. Egypt: So Should I Hyphenate
5. Poland: Home is Where the Truck Is

Gulin Akoz
1. Start: Bits and Pieces
2. Zambia: Diaries
3. Egypt: Africa Memories
4. Turkey: For Your Information
5. The Team and The Bean
6. Somebody Else's Child
7. On My Own
8. Long Lost Memories of Childhood
9. The Tree and the Boy
10. Jealous
11. The Aftermath


Panamerican 2003
Various Trips
Planning an Expedition


Kensington Tours can help you plan your own expedition anywhere in the world.




#34 - Cambodia
Jeff Willner - 3 April 2002

(Siam Riep, CAMBODIA) . Lemon scented facial wipes, cold drinks, a boxed lunch, and we were there. My Lonely Planet described the overland trip from Bangkok to Siam Riep as "a one hour drive to the Thailand border followed by a ten hour spine jolting marathon over bad Cambodian dirt roads." It was an extra sixty bucks to fly but I had gotten soft on the easy life in Bangkok. I'm not proud but I took the wimpy way out. And man was it a good call. Two hours from the comforts of Bangkok to the air conditioning in Siam Riep. Joined with a fellow traveler off the same flight to split the cost of a taxi, and was at the Angkor Wat temple for sunset the same day. Quick, easy, painless. Money may not be everything, but it sure cuts down on butt blisters.

The temples of Angkor were amazing, though walking around in the 40C heat was less than stellar. Still, the two days were full of amazing perspectives and great photos. If you can, go. And after talking with groups that came in the long way... fly.





Angkor Wat, renowned Hindu temple complex at Angkor, the capital of the Khmer Empire of Cambodia from the early 9th century to the mid-15th century, now a destination for Buddhist pilgrims. Built for King Suryavarman II in the 12th century, Angkor Wat is the most famous temple in Cambodia and is probably the largest religious monument ever constructed. Taking more than 30 years to build, the layout of the complex was conceived as an architectural allegory of the Hindu cosmology (world concept). The entire complex is surrounded by a moat over 5 km in length, representing the primordial ocean, over which extends an elaborate 475-m causeway.
Angkor Thum, royal city and Buddhist temple complex at Angkor, the capital of the Khmer Empire of Cambodia from the early 9th century to the mid-15th century. Khmer king Jayavarman VII, who reigned in the late 12th and early 13th centuries, began building the vast monument at Angkor Thum (Khmer for .Angkor-the-Great. or .Great City.) after he had regained control of the Angkor region from the Cham army of northern Cambodia, which had seized it around 1177. Angkor Thum was built over and around buildings and temples built by earlier Khmer kings, but its layout was modeled on Angkor Wat, a Hindu temple complex south of Angkor Thum. 
At the center of Angkor Thum remains a stepped central temple.the Bayon.with a 45 m (148 ft) high pyramidal tower at its center. The tower has four massive heads carved into its top. Each head, representing both the Buddha and King Jayavarman VII as the Buddha's reincarnation, faces one of the four directions. Fifty-one smaller towers surrounded the central tower, each likewise ornamented with four carved heads facing the four directions. The two walls enclosing the Bayon were decorated with bas-relief carvings. The exterior of the outer walls included bas-reliefs depicting historical events, and the bas-reliefs on the exterior of the inner walls depicted legendary scenes. In Hindu symbolism, the central temple area represents Mount Meru.the mountain on which the Hindu gods reside and which is regarded as the center of the universe. After the death of Kin g Jayavarman VII, the Bayon was converted into a Hindu temple by Brahman priests.
This temple was one of my favourites, half fallen in, trees growing out of walls and ancient courtyards of lichen covered carvings. It was like stepping into a forgotten exotic corner of history.
Khmer Kingdoms, succession of Southeast Asian monarchies based in present-day Cambodia from the 6th to 16th centuries. Modern Cambodia is the political remnant of the Khmer state that reached its peak during the Angkor period from the 9th to 15th centuries. During this period, the Khmer empire extended beyond Cambodia to incorporate large areas of Laos, eastern Thailand, and southern Vietnam. The Khmer kingdoms were derived from the culturally Indian state of Funan and the Kingdom of Zhenla. The great Khmer empire of the Angkor period was founded by Jayavarman II (reigned 802-850), who took back portions of Zhenla from the Sri Vijaya empire of Sumatra and was consecrated as a god-king. The capital of the kingdom he created was moved first to the Ttnli Sap, then under Yasovarman I (reigned 889-900), to Angkor, where great stone temples to the gods of Hinduism, and reservoirs and canals for irrigation, were built. Khmer culture flourished under royal patronage. After decades of peace, King Suryavarman I (reigned 1004?-1050?) pushed into Thailand and doubled the number of cities under his control. Succession feuds led to a new royal dynasty founded by Suryavarman II (reigned 1113-1150), founder of Angkor Wat, who attacked Thailand, Vietnam, and the eastern Kingdom of Champa.

The chaos that followed the taking of the Khmer throne and invasion by Champa ended with the liberation of Angkor by a prince, later crowned as Jayavarman VII (reigned 1181-1219), who reconsolidated the state and conquered Champa. He favored Mahayana Buddhism and built the Bayon, the great Buddhist temple at Angkor with its enormous faces. After his death, the Khmer kingdom began to shrink under pressure from the Thai Kingdom of Sukhothai, but retained power and splendor throughout the 13th century. 

Angkor was abandoned as the Cambodian capital in 1431, but Angkor Wat was turned into a Buddhist temple and remained in use. French archaeologists began uncovering the jungle-laden Angkor site in 1863, and for nearly a century thereafter the French conducted an extensive project of reconstruction and research. During the political and military upheavals of the 1970s and 1980s, however, the restoration effort was put on hold and the Angkor site was damaged, pillaged, and neglected. In 1987 the Archaelogical Survey of India began a seven-year restoration project on the Angkor Wat complex. Since 1991 the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has helped the Cambodian government coordinate an international effort to research and preserve the sites in Angkor National Park.

Microsoft. Encarta. Reference Library 2002.



Copyright January 1999-2011
All rights reserved - Jeff Willner
Contact: jeffwillner@yahoo.com