August 4 - 10, 2013: Issue 122

Around Angkor – 1963
by George Repin

In 1963 Cambodia was peaceful. While in neighbouring Vietnam the government of Ngo Dinh Diem was struggling to contain the growing success of the Vietcong, who were supported by North Vietnam, the conflict was confined to Vietnam. No one foresaw or imagined the horrors to come in Cambodia with the Khmer Rouge.  

Few tourists came to Cambodia and for those who did their interest was Angkor. Siem Reap, the gateway to Angkor, was a small town with very limited accommodation.  The days when hordes of tourists would descend on Angkor were decades away.

Wandering along paths through the jungle to visit sites, with the only sound the chattering of monkeys in the trees, was an enchanting and magical experience – enhanced by the complete absence of other people.

Arranging to be left by a pedicab driver at the start of a walk and to be picked up on the other side, opened up so much of interest and fascination for my wife Pam and myself to see, and to marvel at, in the areas around Angkor Wat.


The accompanying Kodachrome photographs taken in 1963 are a few reflections of an extraordinary time spent around Angkor.

Angkor Wat will feature in the next REFLECTIONS.


How the jungle takes over

Terrace of the Elephants

 Terrace of the Elephants - detail

A sculptured face of the Bayon

Pam at the end of the Naga balustrade at one of the five towered entrances to Angkor Thom

Pam with a group of boys playing in the ruins

 George in front of the central tower of Pre Rup

The slight figure of Pam showing the scale of ruins

An outlying temple

 Copyright George Repin 2013. All Rights Reserved.