I’m the Sweaty Whitey

There may be a place hotter than Cambodia, but it’s guarded by the river Styx.

Speaking of supernatural post-life hangouts, the extreme heat of Cambodia made me contemplate that the cold apres-ruin shower is closer to Nirvana than my Buddhist friend here will ever achieve.

That is Sokhoun there wearing a fetching summer ensemble of dark red robes. He has 6 different color robes that he wears on different occasions. I assume these occasions are more or less dictated by whichever robe is the least sweaty.

I'm the Sweaty Whitie

Angkor Library Sunset

I spent the entire day from with Sokhoun, a Theravada Buddhist monk and now a good friend (and email buddy!). It’s a long story I will tell later.

But at the end of the day, we went into Angkor Wat for sunset. The guards made everyone else leave, but Sokhoun and I went around the backside of temple to watch the sunset by ourselves. The local security guards lets the monks do whatever they want, of course.

As we were walking around the temple grounds, we came across this old library just as the sun was dipping below the evening storm clouds.

Screaming Buddha

Buddha Stroll Through Angkor Wat

Here we are at the heart of a wonder of the world (in my book).

I sat in the corner of the temple for a long time, just chilling out and listening to my ipod. Dozens of monks from all over Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Tibet, and places even further away came streaming through the temple complex to meditate.

The monks from the local wats are allowed to choose from six different color robes, and you can see two of them below.

Buddha Stroll Through Angkor Wat

Swallowing the Ruins

 

Daily Photo – Swallowing the Ruins

I made it to the heart of Ta Prohm, an undisturbed Bayon ruin out the outskirts of Angkor Wat. It was late in the day and there was a break in the afternoon summer showers.

To me, the best thing about these temples and ruins is that you can go anywhere, high or low, safe or not. There are hundreds of tiny nooks, old broken stone doors, lost hallways, and mysterious carvings peeking out of the overgrowth. There are no tort-related legal signs barring you from going anywhere… explorer beware. Besides, if you got injured, the jungle and insects would eat you alive before the night was over.

As soon as I walked into Ta Prohm, the thunder started rumbling around and dappled clouds rolled in. The thunder was extra eerie and chest-thumping inside all the mossy and vegetated old tombs. The rain started and stopped several times, so I would take refuge in crumbling crypts and hallways until the rain let up. I took some wrong turns, but I eventually ended up here with a break in the storm. I popped out with the 10 mm get this shot.

The temple was built in 1181 AD and was the home to 18 high priests, 615 dancers, and 12,500 people. I don’t know why the dancer stats are so important, but there you go.

Swallowing the Ruins

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-08-12 07:18:30
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/4.0
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10mm (15mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Sunrise Discovery of Angkor Wat

I now fully fit the role of a British explorer with khakis and a safari hat, surrounded by my cadre of Cambodians at $18 a day. They drive me around, carry my tripod, bring me water when I am thirsty, and seem anxious for me to colonize the area. A member of my cadre woke me up early this morning at 5 AM. I emerged from the jungle netting to walk around the angles of the ruins of Angkor Wat to find something to start the morning.

Also, I just launched www.treyratcliff.com – let me know if you dig it… also, let me know if you like Song 1 or Song 2… I get mixed reviews on which one is the best for the opening song! I trust your aesthetic taste so, I’d like to hear what you think!

Thanks… and I’ll be out searching the ruins all day… trying to find interesting things and beautiful things for y’all! 🙂

Sunrise Discovery of Angkor Wat

Headed Deep into the Jungles of Cambodia

I feel a bit like a British explorer with all my garb and Cambodian minions about me. As I begin to embark on this little exploration, I thought this would be a good picture to post. I’ve gotten my visas and special pass to visit the archaeological ruin area of Angkor, so it should be soon when I start getting some shots of the heart of darkness.

On the way to the deep jungles of Cambodia

Afternoon Near Ground Zero

I shot this in New York right near the World Trade Center husk. Also, I attempted to put the point of this cube right inside the phi sweet spot for your maximum viewing pleasure!

Afternoon Near Ground Zero

Kung Fu Hustle

Here is an old woman I met in the back streets of Bangkok. She was with her granddaughter and they were serving soup out of their garage / kitchen / home.

Kung Fu Hustle

Norse Gods at Moonfall

Hallgrimskirkja is just about the coolest church in the world. I’ve never seen this style of architecture before, but it’s very satisfying from a phi-golden-ratio-geometric standpoint for some reason. I can’t put my finger on it and I don’t know why such a simple geometric style has never really been attempted in any real way by other cultures around the world.

Icelandic people are very interesting, tough, and independent. I’ve found that their thought and creative circles are almost completely separated from the traditional Western Europe (+US-spawnee) and the Far East. This leads them to do things a bit different than the rest of the world and it was refreshing to talk to the locals and see how they approach everything from a design perspective. It’s got a lot of that Scandinavian clean elegance, but still very much its own.

Norse Gods at Moonfall

Summer Storm over Kuala Lumpur

Well I am back in Kuala Lumpur today. It’s nice and muggy, like it is 364 days out of the year. On that one other day, it is REALLY muggy.

The 28+ hours spent in planes and airports was once again a wonderful experience full of crying babies and frantic mothers stepping on my toes while I tried to concentrate on my computer screen and Gotan Project blasting out of my earphones…

Summer Storm over Kuala Lumpur

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