It is a place where the languid scent of incense drifts through the air. The howl of monkeys crests the walls and resounds through the caverns. A place where your feet want to move slowly and silence is the anthem of the moment. As the sun rises above these walls it awakens the stones, and you watch them grow from grey-black to colors of auburn and iron. It is a place where truly the gods once did walk, a temple fitting of a serene being. Somewhere in the forest monks chant as the golden orb of the day crests above the treetops. There is still a chillness to the air, the last remnants lingering from the fading night.

The poor here are solicited by all, their allegiance bought for a little food and money. The Cambodian Peoples’ Party, aid groups, the church, they all vie for a people who are too tired trying to survive to concern themselves over ideologies. All they have to do is bare their mark. The Party’s banner stands above the door of some homes, others have plaques thanking the western group, family or government that built this house or that well. And the Christians require little from them in this world but everything in the next. Nothing is ever given for free in this world, even recognition of a good deed carries it cost.