Cambodia Travel Guide: Wat Sampov Pram atop Bokor National Park in Kampot

Wat Sampov Pram atop Preah Monivong Bokor National Park Wat Sampov Pram perches at the very top of Phnom Bokor in Bokor National Park. Like many of our history, Phnom Bokor is as fascinating as it is unfortunate. A major tourist attraction, and the historical site of the dramatic showdown between the Khmer Rouge and the Vietnamese in 1979, Bokor National Park was sold in its entirety by the Hun Sen’s government to the Sokimex Group for $100m. Now, the hauntingly beautiful 1920 French colonial hill station, often swathed in thick fog, is the home of many large hotels and a casino. The extravagant development project …

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, The Mountain with Ten Thousand Gates

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine: Kyoto’s Number One Attraction:  Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine (伏見稲荷大社), is built at the base of Inari Mountain by the Hata family in the seventh century. It is said to be the most famous of several thousand shrines dedicated to Inari, the Shinto God of rice. In Japan, foxes are thought to be Inari’s messengers, and as a result, there are many fox statues scattered across the shrine grounds.  Over the centuries, it established itself as the primary shrine for over 30,000 Inari shrines all over Japan. Now, it is the most visited shrine—during the new years, more …

Beng Mealea: Exploring Angkor’s Most Secluded Temple

Angkor’s most secluded temple: Beng Mealea I love movies like Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider where the protagonist explores hidden temples and uninhabited jungles; the anticipation of adventures, hidden treasures awaiting discovery, or even the thoughts or unforeseen dangers, what’s not to love?! So when I heard that Beng Mealea hasn’t gone through the restoration process, other than the clearing of landmines, I had to go. East of the main temple complex and about 40 km through the Cambodian countryside of endless rice paddies, orange dirt roads, palm sugar stalls and stilted bungalow galore, I went to explore Angkor’s most secluded temple.  Best time to …