This photo was taken in July 2002 as I was leaving Angkor Wat, the World Heritage-listed temple complex on the outskirts of Siem Reap. Cambodia was just starting to get back on its feet after the horrors of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge regime. I’ve given the photo a sepia-quality because it’s like a snapshot in time. You’ll still see images like this throughout Asia, of course, but for how much longer is anyone’s guess. A decade ago, there was very little traffic on the roads and you still had to be careful walking around the ruins because of landmines. Today, Siem Reap has exploded from a relatively small backwater to the country’s fastest growing settlement, with more than two million visitors a year.
Photo & text © Christine Salins
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