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Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap December 31st 2019

I'm gunna combine three days into one (30th - 1st) as the first day consisted of 11hrs Travel, the third was just -just relaxing - so generating an entry on its own to say "The wheels on the van go round and round" isn't exactly the most riveting. Not that i'm suggesting for a second these blogs are, but YOLO. 6am Start. we break off into two mini vans (why they didn't arrange a 13 seater is beyond me but hey). Our first free Intrepid meal - is just from the hotel we're staying at and consists of a Sandwhich with something I can't eat, two childrens juices (which, incidentally were delicious) and a dogshit coleslaw. Yeah - was going to to be a long hungry drive. Thankfully, I had a suspicion there'd be nothing to ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North December 25th 2019

Blog # 1: Siem Reap, Cambodia December 25 , 2019 - Merry Christmas!! It must be very obvious to you by now that I’m addicted to travel. I’m obsessed with it. I’m always dreaming of where to go next. My head says: save money as it may be needed one day. But my heart says: spend it now and enjoy today. After all, who knows what tomorrow may bring? I’m a biologist and I know exactly how fragile human life can be. I am passionately following the “live life now” option. I feel that I have indeed made precisely the right call. So, I am pleased to say that we are back here in South East Asia, one of our favourite travel destinations. We booked flights several months ago and so here we are, in sunny ... read more
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Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap November 6th 2019

Today was the last day of our tour around Cambodia. From the outset, we have been going non-stop to see as much of the country we can in our limited time here. This final day was no exception as we started out well before sunrise in order to catch the sunrise from Angkor Wat. Stepping out into the pre-morning darkness, we made our way past hundreds of other tourists as well as vendors selling coffee and breakfast items in order to stake out our spot for catching the sunrise. As sunrise was approaching and we started seeing the faintest glimpses of light above the towers of Angkor Wat, we along with a few hundreds of other visitors gathered tightly together along the edge of one of the reflecting ponds. It was here many of us were ... read more
Sunrise at Angkor Wat
The Crowds for Sunrise at Angkor Wat
The Crowds for Sunrise at Angkor Wat

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap November 5th 2019

Today was going to be another full day of sight seeing and probably the reason we all came to Cambodia as we would be visiting the world famous ruins of Cambodia. We set off for the official ticket center where we picked up our local guide Johnny for the next 2 days and obtain our 2 day pass to the Angkor Archaeological Park. From here, we made our way into the hot Cambodian jungle. Spread out over 400 square kilometers, the Angkor Archaeological Park contains approximately 1,000 temples of various sizes and states of decay, the most famous among them being Angkor Wat. Built in the 1200s, Angkor Wat is known as the largest religious monument in the world. We began our tour of the Angkor Wat temple at the eastern entrance, and our group began ... read more
Macaque at Angkor Wat
First View of Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap November 4th 2019

This morning was our last morning in Phnom Penh and we had a couple of hours before we had to go to the airport and catch our flight to Siem Reap. After another delicious and relaxing breakfast on the rooftop, I went for a morning walk to soak in the city for one last time. I walked along the riverfront watching people starting off their day, shopkeepers sweeping and hosing the fronts of their shops, and others just out on their morning walk. It was still quite early but the nearby market just outside of our hotel was already a beehive of activity. I did a quick look around the market and wandered around the various stalls selling fruits, vegetables, animal parts, and insects. We eventually made our way to the Phnom Penh International Airport where ... read more
Exploring a Street Market
Exploring a Street Market
Exploring a Street Market

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap November 1st 2019

Siem Reap is an amazing place for a holiday. I constantly get frustrated on web forums such as Tripadvisor where ‘experts’ and others constantly advise people that all you need is 2-3 days in this amazing part of the world. Crazy! Each and every time we go, we stay a little longer.. and if life was not so committed here, I would move there tomorrow. Maybe one day when we don’t have pets and the kids have grown up! There are frauds out there currently offering to provide customised itinerary’s for hundreds of dollars… in fact be prepared to pay upwards of $500-1000 for these ‘customised itineraries’… a ridiculous sum when you can scour that same person’s website and get everything for free from their articles.. My experience with a very high profile blogger who I ... read more
Chong Phov Soup
Squid with Kampot Pepper
Noodles

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap August 6th 2019

I had arranged to meet the tuk tuk driver at 4.45am and he was there waiting despite the fact that I was a few minutes early. We headed to Angkor Wat and it soon became apparent that so was half of Siem Reap. Loads of mopeds, tuk tuks and even some coaches were all converging and by the time I got there, a crowd had already gathered waiting for it to open at 5.00am. My tuk tuk was frustratingly slow as we were being overtaken by quite a few others. It had also started to rain, so I was not optimistic about the sunrise. The tuk tuk driver kindly lent me an umbrella. When it did open we all had to funnel through to get our passes checked. I knew exactly where I wanted to go, ... read more
Sunrise Crowds
Preah Promreath Pagoda
Baphuon Temple

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap August 5th 2019

Today, we’re going to Ta Prohm, which is another Bayon temple dating from the 12th century. This one has been extensively damaged to the extent that plants and trees are growing all over it. This actually makes it really atmospheric and very different from the others that we have seen. It was apparently used for the filming of the Tomb Raider movie. We left quite early before it got too busy, but even then there were still a lot of people. It helps if you get there before the Chinese (or “Chinies” as it seems to be pronounced by the Cambodians). Apparently, it was built by the king in honour of his mother. There is one honouring his father, but that was a lot smaller and there is nothing to see there now. Well, we know ... read more
Pre Rup
Banteay Srei
Monkeys

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap August 4th 2019

The guide and driver who picked us up from the airport yesterday, picked us up again today for our tour of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. First stop was Angkor Wat and that certainly didn’t disappoint. Mind you, we went in the ‘back’ (east) entrance and my wife was a lot more interested in all the monkeys than in what is the largest religious building in the world. One of the monkeys was carrying a little baby though. Angkor Wat is about 800 years old and took 40 years to build from a mix of volcanic rock and sandstone. It was originally a Hindu temple, but later became Buddhist. The size is impressive, but what is more impressive is the detail. There are carvings all the way around it with three layers, giving various depictions of ... read more
Baby Monkey
Angkor Thom
Angkor Thom Carvings

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap May 28th 2019

After the whirlwind of temple visits, I had a couple days to enjoy life in Cambodia before heading home. We took a ride out on Tonle Sap Lake - which is apparently a big draw for tourists, but it is the dry season and it's a bit low and muddy. It was a nice trip out to visit a floating restaurant and see the gators. We saw the floating villages - houses on stilts, water buffalo and fisherman netting fish in the wake of other boats. Additionally, we stopped at a site where those who were killed by the Khmer Rouge are memorialized (you'll see the building with the skulls, and the buddha). The genocidal devastation brought about by the Khmer Rouge in the late 70s is truly horrific and should not be forgotten. Neither should ... read more
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