Eyes Wide Open – A Portrait of Cambodia, Southeast Asia

Eyes Wide Open – A Portrait of Cambodia, Southeast Asia

Eyes Wide Open – A Portrait of Cambodia, Southeast Asia


“Eyes speak a universal language, and no interpreter is needed” - Steve McCurry

Thirty-four miles from Siem Reap is the rural fishing village of Kompong Khleang along Tonle Sap Lake.

On the way to the village I stopped at a local outdoor market to pick up some food and of course photograph the local culture.

As I walked around the market I was met with huge smiles although I spoke no Khmer (outside of just hello, goodbye, yes, no and thank you). I notice this little boy hiding behind a pole and peeking a glance at me. With his big eyes, bright shirt and funny gestures (he kept trying to pull his shirt over his head), I couldn’t help but make a photograph of him.

I took about three shots and then showed him the back of my LCD screen. He had a big smile on his face (I wish I took a photo of that) and then ran off to join his friends.

I mentioned before that Cambodia is a “Land of Smiles” in spite of their tragic history. Under the regime of the Khmer Rouge communist party, from 1975-1979 two million people perished due to the genocide.

The Cambodia of today stands strong. With one eye looking back at its sad history and the other full of optimism.

Merry Christmas my friends!

Check back for more of my adventures in Cambodia! One more photo in the comment section.

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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Taken on: 19th May, 2012. Copyright: All Rights Reserved - See Sam Antonio Photography's page of Flickr

Read more about Siem Reap

Set in northwest Cambodia, Siem Reap is best known for being home to the incredible Angkor ruins, a sprawling World Heritage-listed complex of ancient temples with the magnificent Angkor Wat as the focal point.

While the Angkor park is surely one of the globe's most amazing historical sites, Siem Reap province is also home to an array of other ruins, such as Beng Mealea, Bantaey Srei, and the holy mountain Phnom Kulen. So if ancient temple ruins are your thing, this province -- an expansive piece of mostly flat land, covered in rice fields and brush -- must be explored fully. It runs along the north shore of the Tonle Sap, Cambodia's "Great Lake", and north to Oddar Meanchey province, where Pol Pot met his end. Few visitors get around to the fringes, even though they are becoming increasingly accessible after many improvements to Cambodia's roads.

The ... Read our complete Siem Reap travel guide

More images

Wood Catholic Church, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Main Angkor temples at dawn Angkor Dawn School along Tonlé Sap, Siem Reap Apsara Bas Relief Ta Phrom Apsara Hidden Apsara at Ta Phrom Cambodia Siem Reap Cambodia kompong khleang Cambodia kompong khleang Cambodia kompong khleang Cambodia kompong khleang Cambodia kompong khleang Cambodia kompong khleang Cambodia kompong khleang Cambodia kompong khleang Cambodia kompong khleang Cambodia kompong khleang Cambodia kompong khleang 365.359/ Pre Rup 365.358/ Boys at Preah Khan 365.357/ Ta Phrom 365.353/ The Bayon 365.342/ Khmer Boy Thốt nốt giữa đồng [ Palm trees within Rice farms] “Just the Two of Us” - Beng Mealea Temple, Angkor Wat, Cambodia Cambodia:  The Land of Smiles! Angkor What? Ancient guardian statues at Banteay Srei in Cambodia Cambodian Angkor Air Pre Rup meaning Break time in a hideous corner in Angkor wat An inspired story for photographer [ii] Siem Reap downtown _ A place to gather. 365.273/ Pre Rup 365.272/ Artist at Bayon 365.271/ Prasat Banteay Kdei Candle or soap leaf bucket A view from Upper gallery at Angkor Wat Nokor Wat (នគរវត្ត) Dog is a human being best friend. The child vendor at Srah Srang Temple Jasmine Rice, Siem Riep, Cambodia. A modern Khmer Buddha Head for sales. Moss covered Apsara dancing in stone carving Siem Reap overview 365.205/ Guardian Lion, Pre Rup 365.203/ Couple at Bayon 365.202/ Angkor Wat Lotus Pond 365.201/ Apsara at Preah Khan