Cambodia — Traveling Matters

Siem Reap and Angkor

As a nation that has come out of its shell, journeying to Cambodia came more due to the “fracture” we hunted from our only beyond life of being in Europe. With “YOLOed” for 3 years at the old continent, it was time to check at Asian cultures.

Siem Reap fits perfectly into this pent up desire. From the tomb raider series, we watched Angelina Jolie rappel down the temples of Angkor from the original Tomb raider movie in 2001. We wanted that also. Except we were not “match” enough to actually take action…

So, we spent days in a leisurely exploration of the wonders of the former Khmer empire, even spending long mornings and afternoons while slipping in a lengthy lunch siesta in between. Angkor complex exploration

From our great friends we had been given the title of a Tuk² driver (Mr Ou Hok), just one whom we could trust to not rip us off. It costs us around US$12 daily for his services and we had “block booked” him for the entire length of four days.

Our arrangement had been : we would perform a morning ride out between 7-11am and retire into the comforts of the hotel for a lengthy lunch. Then we would continue from 3-6pm. Since the driver waits somewhere close, he loses a few time and also gets back late.

We paid a little extra in the form of gratuity at the end of the holiday season.

It wasn’t free entrance to the websites. A 3 day pass price US$40 per person. We’d analyzed the Tuk² into the admissions point and bought our moves on day one.

Sunset exercise

Seeing the sunset is a must on the set of “to do” if in Siem Reap. And we were there with numerous other individuals! You see, the problem is that we all (tourists I mean) gravitate into the exact same Phnom Bakheng hill, a pretty arduous climb.

And as it’s very popular, Mr Ou indicated we put off for it already at 3:30pm! Partly because of the fact it will become congested with many scooters, clocks and Tuk², we heeded his advise and got there early. So early when we grew up, we were still being defeated by the close setting sunlight.

Really this is sunrise in Angkor

We think there are other vantage points nowadays as we unveil this log, but this is something for those readers to discover.

Start from afar

Instead of to explore the nearby, we chose to go the additional mile well outside of the standard on our first full day into what was formerly the Khmer civilization’s capital city. Banteay Srei is a place about 35km to the north of Siem Reap. We’re reaching out for the ladies’ temple. Now while we weren’t disappointed, we’d note the temple is quite tiny. Afterall, this must have been at the “suburbs” of the capital city in these ancient days past.

The kids of employees employed to maintain the area probably play boringly, therefore we were more like a interesting distraction for them to pose photos with. Fantastic thing they did not ask for cash! Not sure if that is the exact same now…

Pre Nup temple (seems just like Pre-nuptial huh?) Is funerary temple and considerably bigger. Definitely a good deal more rock reliefs on the walls of the temple, probably given by relatives for their deceased nearest and dearest.

Crown Jewel

The famed Angkor Wat must be one of the most iconic, though not the iconic site for the nation. Aside from movies which makes it renowned, it is indeed majestic. Just let the crowds to escape your way for a excellent crowd-less movie!

Our article card pic of the three-tower complicated was taken in the moat pools at the primary entrance. At least in this vantage point you won’t have people walking behind your photograph version, unless they could walk on water.

As we mentioned above, its packed. When the cycles come, run!

Angkor Wat10 Angkor Wat11 Angkor Wat12

This complex of temple was constructed at the height of Khmer electricity. There are thought to be almost 2000 apsaras relief. A number of them stay in comparative good condition of preservation as you will see they retain the red paint which once adorned them. In the event you are not in the know, apsaras are feminine spirits of those water and clouds from the Hindu and Buddhist religions. Sort of like fairies and pixies. They are often depicted in paintings and carvings.

As we walked over the temple complex, we saw the locals continue to present their respect to the deities. The nation is still steeped in the traditions of old, which is gradually eroding.

Every one of the looming towers have an extremely steep flight of stairs. We grew up one of these. The challenge isn’t climbing upward, its making the descent. So halfway up, we gave up. Not nice, particularly in case you have another 20 people below you…!

The Actual capital city

Now if you were to make the mistake of believing that Angkor Wat was a funding (no it is simply a temple complex), then you might not thinkg this Angkor Thom is the actual one! At approximately 9km², this remote city was constructed around precisely the same period as Angkor Wat. It came to an inglorious ending from the late 13th century when the Thai attacked and ravaged the city. Its abandonment lead into the jungles to its disappearance.

The most important factor in our view is that the Bayon. This really is a temple complex with Buddha faces carved and confronting four directions. Come to think about it, we did not really see that the faces were smiling.

Finest time to roam about in the late night, about closing time of 5:30pm. There’ll probably be not lots of people all over like when we were not there.

The imperial palace floor in Angkor Thom is large but chiefly a pile of rubble. Don’t expect a great deal. But there is a an elephant patio which lines the palace. Remember that elephants have been regarded as a symbol of imperial power in Indochina, heralding the strong influence in the India sub-continent.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

But the actual gem here’s Ta Phrom temple. This is a former monastic complicated. It’s also here we found that the world famous photos of trees growing over the temple structures. Just added a few of the camera clicks… The exact same can be located at Banteay Kdei, yet another monastic complex.

The Australian Correspondent Club

Our stay during the four days had been with the FCC. Converted from the former clubhouse of international correspondents, just 24 units we believe it’s a boutique hotel. Every morning, we’d have a steaming bowl of porridge with fish or pork packed with Asian carrot and fresh lime. This is generally accompanied by spicy sliced chilies. At the time it cost US$120 per night including breakfast.

Not every evening was spent at the monuments. We also spent time. From artisan schools to jewellery makers (and sellers), we chose time support local industry via the purchase of domestically made handicraft solutions. It’s a good idea to see that the country is moving forward and educating its young, although you’ll still see the rough borders of advancement in the next slide show.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

March 2006