Temple/ film set/ children/ smiling people/ sun set/ stones/ cultural heritage/ Dollar – Angkor, Cambodia.
Both have been here, fighting in a overwhelming film set which is in fact an UNESCO cultural heritage. Walking through Angkor makes one hard to believe how people between 850 and 1200 AD build this place with its many many temples. The Angkor Ta Prohm Temple overgrown and looped by trees and Angkor Wat itself are only the most famous ones.
But besides the impressive Khmer Period there were cruel times in Cambodia which cannot be ignored. From 1975 to 1979 approximately 1.7 million people where killed by the Khmer Rouge Regime. Only four years in power the Regime is responsible for one of the worst mass killings of the 20th century. Visible by todays population structure on the streets: young people, many children and babies, little elderly. But people are smiling, hoping and working for a better life.
Sitting on the top of a temple watching the sun go down makes the world stand still, at least for a moment.
Noisy/ different/ breathtaking/ distracting/ amazing/ crazy – China.
Entering a Chinese street soup place at lunch time means an unbelievable noise of smacking, burping and spitting. And that’s only one example why it seems that you either love or hate China. I did not meet many foreign people who said their feeling about China is ‘so so’.
Eating is a major purpose in life of Chinese people. Ordering Chinese Food in Germany has nothing to do with real Chinese food. While we order ‘chicken sweet sour’ with rice people in China prefer to eat at a round table with many small dishes to share. Fancy dishes are 1000 year-old eggs, jellyfish salad or turtles. Not uncommon is that you can choose the animals still alive at the front of the restaurant. But they also have dumplings, noodle soups, delicious vegetable and meat dishes. About the rice; the more prosperous people are the less rice they eat. This can make it pretty difficult to survive a business dinner where one is offered the best of regional dishes. Asking for rice means the offered food is not good or not enough – whereby the host looses his face.
But despite the very different culture with its sometimes for foreigners strange seeming habits, there are many great sights which are worth visiting; the Great Wall, the forbidden city, the Hutongs in Beijing, the Terrakotta Armee of Xian, Shanghai a city that never sleeps, the Westlake in Hangzhou and the old town of Suzhou – just to name a few of them.
Furthermore there is a dazzling nightlife. The Chinese like to play and to be entertained. Many nightclubs are costly designed and decorated, there are separate tables to stand and sit on and a lot of dance performances. KTVs (karaoke places) you can find all over the country where people like to sing and drink.
Ever tried whiskey with iced tea or snake schnapps?