Young Buddhists about to endure the rites

Away from the main temples of Angkor, this temple rests about two hours from Siem Reap through thick jungles and a sketchy road. As I made my way through the stone halls and entrance ways, I emerged onto this scene of a bunch of young Buddhists preparing for the next phase of their rites.

I think I ended up talking to almost a dozen different monks in and around Angkor. It was very interesting to hear their version of what happened with the Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot, and that whole mess. They killed over 1 million Cambodians after the US pulled out of Vietnam, eliminating anyone with “involvement in free-market activities”. I was a little afraid to tell anyone there that I sometimes speak at Libertarian conferences, in case there were a few rogue Khmer Rouge agents roaming the jungles!

Some of the stories are a bit sketchy to be reprinted in this format, so if we ever meet for coffee some day, I’ll be glad to tell you… but there is some messed up stuff around there.

On a lighter note, I’m headed to Vegas next week for just a day and a half. I have a little speaking engagement, but I’ll be spending every spare waking moment living with my right brain and seeing what bits are appropriate to capture for you all! 🙂

Young Buddhists about to endure the rites (by Stuck in Customs)

  • Hey Trey, I was curious to know if these conversations were all held in English?
    What an awesome experience to see and hear thsoe stories told.

  • What incredible color! How exactly do you get to spend so much time in such incredible places?

  • Joe

    Ok, I can’t wait for the Lucisart review… is this a multiple exposure piece like HDR or a single shot? I’m not familiar enough with it yet to know. Thanks!


  • You are awesome at writing up these stories that go along with your images. Have you considered working as a photojournalist?

  • tiny pixels

    Trey, nice processing on that photo. The little, uhm, well it’s not a hovel or a shack, the smaller stone building we see directly has some beautiful carvings, that without post-processing we wouldn’t see at all.. I’m enchanted by the fact that there is one boy not in buddhist garb (what’s that story?) and almost everyone in the same white flip-flops. It’s interesting how the rich colors of the foreground do a good job of upstaging the background.

    Nice. Thanks for continuing to post your photos.

  • Brilliant photo Trey. Its incredible. How do you get to travel so much ?

  • Susan

    Wonderful shot Trey! Have a good trip next week!

  • Thanks!

    Matthew – many of them spoke enough English so we could get through… and I had another monk friend I brought with me who would help with translation.

    Zach and Dxtr – I travel for fun and work… For this one, I was doing some work in Malaysia, and on the weekend I went down to the airport and bought a little $99 ticket to Cambodia for the weekend.

    Nick – People ask me that a lot! I don’t know… I am not sure… I kind of do it anyway, a little bit, I suppose?

  • Blake

    Your work is an inspiration to me and so many others. I have just begun my photography journey– and one day, just one day, hope to be half as good as you. Keep up the amazing work my friend, you’re truly an artist.

  • DEE

    Thanks for the story with the pic. Sometimes I wish I didn’t know so much history. But you must have a terrific knowledge of geography, which I like, too.

  • MC

    I dont know what it is.

    I have a 15Mb connection that means i can download upto 1.6MB per second. However this site refuses to load quickly (and i have a quad core 3.0ghz machine)

    Which can only mean your server sux. Please upgrade k thx.

  • I wish I could hear those stories, should be very interesting.
    Speaking of Malaysia, we have two mutual friends there: Amin and Ali. I remember you had a post about them like a year ago.

  • Thanks. Yes Kourosh – I think Amin and Ali are great… very smart and able. I really admire those guys and hope everything works out for them.

  • you’re really wonderful photographer

  • What an amazing photo! Great composition!

    – Moose

Newsletter Sign Up

The most beautiful newsletter ever!