3 Days & a Reflection Center

The morning rush in inevitable, it happens almost every day on this trip but the one 3 days ago was on an even stricter time crunch. That morning we planned on getting up completely packed to leave Phnom Penh so we could fly to Siem Reap, and although most were some weren’t which cost us a bit of time. Then after a quick breakfast we headed, luggage and all, into a bus headed for the Russian Market.

Buy, sell, bargain, and buy again. The Russian market was alive with colors and shadows. The busyness of the place beautifully contrasted with the quiet intimate moments that a buyer has with on of the vendors. The couple seconds to many minutes back and forth on the price that in-the-end results in the buyer getting whatever he wanted for about half the original price is perfect bliss. The smells that waft from the center of the market really bring alive the true underground and gritty beauty of the market. Not to mention the contents of the market. From elephant pants to knock off Gucci bag to decorative swords the market encompasses it in all it’s splendor.

From the market we took a quick hop over to the Phnom Penh Airport and on to new age propellor plane (Seen below) for our 1 hour rocket over to Siem Reap.

Just landed in Siem Reap. Walking from the tarmac to the airport building.

Just landed in Siem Reap. Walking from the tarmac to the airport building.

Once in Siem Reap we went to the Metta Karuna Centre, which would be our place of rest for the next 2 nights. Now this place was a bit different from our last place of stay. This center was a reflection & refugee centre for people. At this centre we lived like a middle class Cambodian. Meaning there was no warm water, bugs everywhere (termites, mosquitoes, and beetles), and no air conditioning. The rustic style of living was quite the culture shock but looking back on it I am very glad I got to live through those conditions. The situation has given me another new perspective on life and I am extremely happy that I have had this opportunity to grown from it.

Two days ago the sun rose over the once gleaming temple of Angkor Wat. Now a spiritual set of ruins tat glow against the morning sun. The energy of the civilization of the past here resonates and flows through the buildings empty corridors. The smell of incenses and child-like enthusiasm for the beautiful architecture waft around corners and into my nose. As my bare feet walk on the cold stone worn down by history I feel my soul energy being drawn through the temple. As I find a place where the energy seems to surge like a raging bull around me I begin to meditate.

Morning crane pose at Angkor Wat

Morning crane pose at Angkor Wat

After a lovely sunrise visit to the “Number 9 Wonder of the World” we took a quick tuk tuk ride over to Ta Prohm Temple, the location of the Tomb Raider movie. The temple was overgrown with roots and trees that grew from it’s center yet it still was beautiful. It glowed in morning sun, with the sun pushing through the leaves. 

Finally touching on yesterday, a day full of filming and elephants. With another early wake up time, and another sunrise we arrived at Angkor Thom (Seen Below)

The Morning sky over Angkor Thom

The morning sky over Angkor Thom

After a calm and relaxing time filming and wandering around Angkor Thom we took a short walk over to the Elephants Terrace where we scaled the kings temple and marveled at the beauty. Then we took a magical ride on the local elephants around the temples.

An extreme selfie (using a GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition) on the back of an elephant with Angkor Thom in the background.

An extreme selfie (using a GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition) on the back of an elephant with Angkor Thom in the background.

After a long and breezy tuk tuk ride we arrived at The Cambodian Land Mine Museum. There I conducted an interview with Claire. We interviewed Bill Morse (Seen Below), the owner of the museum and an extremely interesting man for our documentary.

Interviewing Bill Morse on the Canon 7D

Interviewing Bill Morse on the Canon 7D

Bill was so gracious and was incredibly well spoken, I can’t thank him enough for the interview.  The interview was quite long and we ended up going over time. So by the time we finished the interview we had to rush back to Metta Karuna Centre, pack, and head to our final place of stay, Soria Maria.

Alex Jarus

About Alex Jarus

Alex Jarus is a Junior at Mira Costa enrolled in the Cinematic Arts 2. His passion is for cinematography and is a user of Canon DSLRs and their Cinema Super35 cameras. Twitter & Instagram: @alexjarus www.vimeo.com/alexjarus www.youtube.com/thealexjarus


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