Shweta Ganesh Kumar journeys to magical Cambodia
If you lived in a house on stilts in the middle of a river, would you row yourself to school? I’m sure I would rather swim or dangle my legs in the water. But I've seen children in Siem Reap, Cambodia who have to pack their bags into their little canoes and head to school. Now, Cambodia is the land of the Khmers, bordered by Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. Cambodia is part of Indo-China and it rose to notoriety under the infamous Khmer Rouge regime that in the 70s and 80s, was known for its mass killings and destruction of almost anything progressive. Today, Cambodia has risen from the ashes by working on its tourism industry and encouraging education.
This is why these young children row themselves to school from the floating villages on Tonle Sap, the country's largest fresh water river. Cambodia is also home to the world's largest religious monument, the Angkor Wat, the halls of which are engraved with stories from the Mahabharat and the Ramayan. Once the world’s largest Hindu temple, today the 12th Century monument is Buddhist in nature, much like Cambodia. There are a great number of temples around Angkor, making it a temple complex. Tourists throng the area, braving the harsh sun and sometimes rain to catch a glimpse of the amazing architecture. And apart from the remarkable temples in Siem Reap, most travellers like me also cherish the smiles of the people and the happy Cambodian schoolchildren that live there.