Tom Vater

Cambodia’s Top 10 Temples

Cambodia’s most famous temple, Angkor Wat, now attracts up to 6,000 visitors per day. Others, almost as spectacular but more remote, attract but a handful of visitors. Whether you’re looking for a secluded spot or something more well-known, these ten historic sites will not disappoint.

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Happy New Year, Cambodia Style

Choul Chnam, the Khmer New Year, celebrates the beginning of the Buddhist religion. For three days in mid-April, thousands of Cambodians head for the Angkor temples to celebrate, picnic, and sight-see. Learn more about the holiday and how it’s celebrated.

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Chaul Chnam Thmey: Happy New Year in Cambodia

In many places around the world, December is a month filled with holiday celebration. In Cambodia, a predominantly Buddhist nation, the New Year is celebrated in April (right in the middle of the hot season) and is the most important spiritual and social event of the year. Author Tom Vater discusses how the holiday is celebrated.

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Encountering the Khmer Smile in Angkor Wat

Tom Vater believes a “trip of a lifetime” need not be a trip to the end of the world, but it does perhaps need to be a trip that will linger in the memory long after one has returned home. For him, the very first time he visited Angkor Wat was such a trip, and he shares the moment that made him fall in love with Cambodia.

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Moon Guides Author Spotlight

Moon author Jason Frye

Jason Frye (Moon Great Smoky Mountain National Park)

Raised deep in the mountains of West Virginia, Jason Frye first fell in love with North Carolina as a kid during family vacations to the Outer Banks. In 2002, he swapped his mountains for sand dunes and his river for an ocean when he moved to Wilmington to pursue a master of fine arts in creative writing. There, his love for North Carolina deepened into a longing to stay, settle, explore, and be a part of the people, culture, and history of the state.

Along with his wife, Lauren, Jason has kayaked the marshes and waterways near his home; hang glided off the Outer Banks; explored the cityscapes of Charlotte, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem; and wandered the woods and wilds around Asheville.

A member of the Society of American Travel Writers, Jason has contributed stories to VisitNC.com, AAA’s Go Magazine, Our State magazine, Southern Living, Salt, the Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer, and acts as a culinary critic for the Wilmington StarNews.

Keep up with Jason on Instagram @beardedwriter.