Asia Travel News

Trek through Cambodia's tragic past

Tourists seek many different goals when heading to a far away land. Some just want to desire the highest echelons of relaxation and leisure activities. Others set out for adventure, looking for exotic animals and exhilarating attractions. However, there are those certain tourists who rely on higher principles to guide them on their next spirited journey. In a quest for knowledge and a greater understanding of the world, these travelers look for sights that can change perspective, evoke deep feelings and enlighten people about a not so distant past. Places like the Beaches of Normandy or the Western Wall in the Old City in Israel offer the most fulfilling venues for contemplation and a look into an entirely different time period that changed the history of the world.

For travelers of this unique nature, exploring the historic past and hard-boiled present of Cambodia can be a hugely edifying experience.

Learn about an arduous past firsthand
There are life-changing experiences that await outside the luxurious hotels in Siem Reap. One of the most legendary stories of human hardship and a quest for redemption can be told in the Cambodia Landmine Museum and Relief Facility. Founded in 1997 by ex-child soldier Aki Ra, this establishment serves to teach visitors about Cambodia's difficult struggles with the explosive devices. The museum also houses and supports dozens of children who have been affected by landmines, seeking to educate and shelter them in order to ensure a better future for these youths of the country.

Aki Ra started the museum years ago after planting thousands of landmines himself during his turbulent time as a child soldier. Working to repair the villages that had been made into minefields, Ra began digging up the devices and deactivating them by hand using homemade tools. Hearing about the experience firsthand and visiting the lands that were once laden with the dangerous weapons can be a life-changing event.

Many tourists also make sure to visit the orphanages near Wat Bo, where they can play with the children or sit in on one of their classes with a tour guide. Interacting with the kids is a heartfelt experience for many. Several of the tours through the orphanages and the museum donate money to help these children live and become educated. Few feelings beat the satisfaction of benefiting the struggling youths in person. 

See the sights and learn the history
There are dozens of historic landmarks and beautiful architecture to explore in Cambodia. Luckily, many of the tours are accompanied by history and architecture professors who can offer a glimpse into the past of the country. Visit Phnom Penh to see the brilliant colonial architecture and see some of the most alluring educational facilities in the nation, like the Institute of Technology of Cambodia. Lovers of architecture may also take a tour of the Olympic Stadium, which was built for the 1963-1964 Games of the New Emerging Forces that served as a counterpart to the Olympic Games. With the ability to seat over 84,000, this massive stadium still serves Cambodian athletes today.

For more tours that serve to move and inspire travelers, Ethiopia has a flurry of breathtaking and insightful attractions. Visit the ancient sights in the highlands or journey through the island monasteries of Lake Tana. From the stony remains of the Lucy, one of the world's most famous fossils, to the towering majesty of the Trinity Cathedral, Ethiopia is a gem that can touches the hearts and minds of many.

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