North through Cambodia


Kampot, Cambodia
Kampot, Cambodia




After I left Sihanoukville, I went to Kampot,  a small almost sleepy town  with much crumbling French architecture. It’s relative quiet made it a nice place to paint. Gastronomically a highlight were these wonderful fruit shakes that are made on little tables set up on the side of a road with a kitchen blender. The Sisters cafe deserves a special mention for wonderful coffee and apple pie. The Blissful guesthouse and their restaurant/bar were especially nice here.

While there I also visited some old Hindu temples in caves and had the most extraordinary prawns with raw pepper at Kep beach.

 Documentation Photos of Murdered Children, Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Documentation Photos of Murdered Children, Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia


Phnom Penh

After that it was up to Phnom Penh, which is  an OK but  busy city, although much quieter than Bangkok. The main goal was to get some art supplies and clothes. Clothes I found, but  no art supply store in Phnom Penh that I could locate.

Stonecarvers In Phnom Penh


Highlights there were the wonderful people I met at my guesthouse ( “The Top Banana” ) and a  sobering visit to the Toul Sleng Genocide  Museum. The rows of  photographs of the inmates taken by the jailers were heartbreaking.

Near Angkor Thom, Angkor, Cambodia
Near Angkor Thom, Angkor, Cambodia



After a few days in Phnom Penh I took a six hour  bus ride up to Siem Reap town, which is about 12 KM from Angkor Wat. Angkor is one of the largest set of ruins in Asia. Angkor Wat is the name for one of the central sites. I visited 5 different sites ( there are dozens ) and did some paintings and drawings. You are not able to rent scooters here so I ended up with a bicycle, which is nice although it was extremely hot. Here is a video about Angkor.

My favorite site was Preah Khan and  also some sandstone monuments just east of Angkor Thom. The relief work (carvings) was a special  highlight of all these monuments.

In Siem Reap town I visited  “Artisans d’Angkor” , an organization that teaches and supports the traditional arts of the region. Their showroom and workshops were tremendously interesting.

Published by Stephan Giannini

An oil painter from Maine, USA.

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