Blogs from Siem Reap, North, Cambodia, Asia

Advertisement

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap July 22nd 2014

The most dreaded journey of our travels. Phangnan- Cambodia. A 24 hour straight travel mission- ouuuuuuch. And starting at 12pm the day after full moon. Anyhow, it wasn't nearly as bad as we were expecting! As soon as we got to Cambodia, we were in love. So much less touristy and more authentic. The people are just so incredibly lovely as well- proof money doesn't buy happiness! We loved Thailand, but it had been a bit too touristy for our liking, so we were excited to get a feel of some proper Asian culture in Cambodia. On our first morning in Siem Reap, we arose at 4am to do the Angkor Wat sunrise tour. I'd definitely recommended a private tuktuk driver if you're going, as you can visit the exact temples you want to, and go ... read more
image
image
image

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap July 18th 2014

'Breathtaking' is not an over statement when attempting to describe Angkor Wat. In fact there are not enough words to describe the gob-smacking magnificence of Angkor Wat & all its surrounding temples. When the French naturalist, Henri Mouhot, first discovered it in the mid 1800's, after centuries of being hidden in the jungle, he described it as, "A temple that would rival Solomon, erected by some ancient Michelangelo. It is grander than anything left to us by Greece or Rome." Angkor Wat was built in the 12th century. It was the centre-piece of the mighty Angkor Empire, an all powerful & consuming empire that dominated most of SE Asia but little known by the Western World. The city of Angkor was a mega-city, the largest ever constructed in all of human history & remained so until ... read more
image
image
image

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap July 13th 2014

Cambodia is so hot at the moment. The monsoon is threatening with a reprieve. The Khmer people perservere in wearing jeans, long sleeves & hats. I realize they are not as affected by the heat as we sweaty Westerners. But I also know, like most Asians, they are protecting their skin from its darkening rays. Unlike us who grill ourselves brown for the desirable 'I've just been on holidays' tan. The young girl in the photo was having a skin bleaching treatment. She was prepared to sit for 2 hrs wrapped in solution & cling-wrap and part out with 2 weeks wages, to acquire a paler skin. Im not convinced that it works anymore than l am convinced that anti-wrinkle crèmes work. And lm horrified at what the long term affects might be. Meanwhile Westerners are ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap July 7th 2014

Angkor Watt Friday morning I was up very early for a sun rise visit to Angkor Wat temple. So I was up for 4am and met the girls at 4.30am in reception. We'd organised to take a packed lunch to keep us going as it was going to be a long day. Kat came down at 4.25am and had only just woken up lol. I had to go and wake Elly and Liz as they had over slept! Only Liz came as Elly had seen Angkor before and was a little hungover from the night before bless her. So the 3 intrepid girls set off with their guide Kim who was a softly spoken man who talked at an easy slow pace. Kinda like you wanted to wind him up a little lol. We took the ... read more
image
image
image

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap July 5th 2014

The morning after our home stay we all got up and had breakfast, again provided by our hosts. Omelette with a baguette and mango for after. Some of the local kids started gathering as word had spread that we had brought books etc. After breakfast we cleared away the dishes and organised ourselves to give our gifts to the local children who had gathered. We gave each child a book, 2 pens, an eraser and pencil. The children aged from the very young around 17 months right up to about 10. The children all waited patiently in lines ready to receive their gifts and their little faces said it all. They either lit up with joy or kinda looked in amazement that we had given them the gifts. Some were very excited and looked at their ... read more
image
image
image

Advertisement

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap July 3rd 2014

Yesterday we took a guided tour of the Angkor complex including Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, baphuon temple, and Prasat Kravan. Within the Angkor complex there are dozens of temples, a walled city, reservoirs, and thick jungle. The wats vary in size, decoration and even religion. Over the span of the Khmer Empire, the official religion switched from Hindu to Buddism and back to Hindu. In places like Angkor Wat, Buddha statues were placed amongst the images of Vishnu. Angkor Wat (city of temples) is the largest single temple of the Angkor complex, consisting of a moat, walled gallery, and a 3-story central building. It took only 30 years to build (insert Big Dig joke here). The building sits on a foundation of sand and porous stones, which accommodates the rise and fall of the underlying water ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap July 3rd 2014

Given the sweltering heat and the need to rest our tired feet, we decided to get a bottle of water and a snack from the gauntlet of vendors set up on the northwestern edge of Angkor Wat. As we approached, several women ran over to greet us with plenty of pant and shirt options as well as tall cold bottles of water. Not wanting to venture far, we purchased water and what appeared to be imitation Pringles from the first vendor. To escape the persistent children selling postcards and magnets, we opted to return to Angkor Wat to eat in relative peace and shade (the heat index was around 100 degrees). Within the first level gallery of the wat, we found a cool breeze-filled corner to enjoy our snack. Refreshed we began to pack up. Well, ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap July 2nd 2014

One thing I've noticed in Bangkok and Cambodia is how hard the beds are. There is no such thing as sinking into a soft plush bed. No heavenly bed or extra soft memory foam. Just a larger than full not not quite queen sized stiff mattress. On the other hand, the pillows are wonderful. If my suitcase was bigger I'd consider taking one. ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap July 2nd 2014

Today we finally let ourselves sleep in and wake up according to our own body clocks. Even after going to bed at an early hour, we still managed to sleep until 10am. It was our last full day in Siem Reap and tomorrow we were getting picked up early once again, to head to Koh Chang island back in Thailand. Today we were off to do the "large circuit" with temples more spread out, and less more off the beaten track. We decided we didn't really need a guide for today's temples, and it would be nice to wander around and just soak it all in on our own. Of course, our tuk tuk driver, Heng, was the one to take us around from temple to temple. Right off the bat when we saw him he ... read more
IMG_0887
IMG_0914
IMG_1094

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap July 1st 2014

It was SO early when we woke up -- 4am. In the empty lobby was a father daughter combo who were seeming a bit frantic. I guess they had booked a guide for today and he was a no-show. We had also booked a guide to take us around to the "small circuit" which are all the main temples in Angkor. The father was a bit...intense. You could just tell. They asked if they could join us and pay for half (the guide was only $30 total for the entire day...) so of course we let them tag along. We learned later the father duo was from Washington DC. The father was Chinese but had been living in America for 20+ years and his daughter was our age and graduated from college the same year we ... read more
image
image
image




Tot: 6.657s; Tpl: 0.009s; cc: 10; qc: 82; dbt: 6.386s; 82; m:apollo w:www (50.28.60.10); sld: 3; ; mem: 6.5mb