Robert Clark’s pictures of Cambodia printed in the July 2009 issue of National Geographic invoked in me a strong desire to visit the country. I found another issue dating back to May 1982 titled "The Temples of Angkor: Will they survive?" in a stash of old magazines in an inn in Napa where I mentally finalized my trip.
The trip almost did not happen. The eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in April 2010 grounded all trans-Atlantic flights for weeks making it impossible for me to leave Seattle. By the time I reached Mumbai, a travel advisory urged tourists to avoid Bangkok as the local troops clashed with the red shirts in the streets there.
Warning notwithstanding, as I started for the airport, my 8 year old daughter - big brown eyes pleading - said, “Papa, please don’t step on any landmine!” Conveniently considering that innocent remark to be a good omen, I flew through burning Bangkok and touched down into the sweltering heat of Siem Reap.
I spent an enchanting week days in the Angkor archaeological park in the hot summer of 2010. When I came back from Cambodia, Cambodia came back with me. I have seen many beautiful lands, but Cambodia has a prominent spot on my mantel of places to return to.
This book, I confess, is primarily for me. I merely added a bit of commentary to the photos that I shot during my trip. If this book makes you go to Cambodia, then it would have over served its raison d'être, and I will have given forward the gift I got from Robert Clark.