Saturday, August 24, 2013

Angkor Archaeological Park (Angkor Wat)

Listed as one of the 7 wonders of the world, i present to you..*drum roll*..Angkor Wat!! Here's the list of the wonders for reference. mine and yours too! hopefully i will live to visit each one of it :)

So back to our topic, my visit to the angkor archeological park. It was a short one day trip. We started as early as 5am, packing our breakfast with us from the hotel to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat. When you reach the gates, you will buy a pass (one day pass $20), where your photo will be taken, not very flattering as the camera adds cheek fats to your face..haha!  But then again, its just a pass. :)

The pass will be used at all temple entrances, so keep it well. I saw tour groups having it hung around their necks, which was much easier, as for me, i kept it stashed in my bag, cause i didnt have a string thingy-magigy to hang it and nearly everytime i reached an entrance, i would have to search frantically for the pass.

We took the small tour which consisted of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm adding in Banteay Srey Temple

One Day Pass

 We started our tour with really good cooling weather, first stop Angkor Wat for sunrise. yippee! Well the good weather, actually meant no sunrise, it was too cloudy. But owh well, the beauty of the temple is really mesmerizing. A few fun facts that i remembered from our tour guide was : Angkor Wat was a Hindu Temple at first then it was a Buddhist Temple; There are many 7 headed cobra with a lion body sculptures around the temple, which are said to be protecting the temple. Our tour guide told us lotsa things, but erm sorry my memory a bit rusty.


wondering where the sunrise is? it was too cloudy :(

The temple is made up of these stones that were said to be carried by elephants

You can climb up at certain time. There are suppose to be Buddha's statues but it was said that it has been removed.

I'm on top of the world

7 head cobra

Next stop, Ta Prohm aka jungle temple! Gained its fame from the movie Tomb Raider. It was surrounded by forestry. "Ta Prohm is the undisputed capital of the kingdom of the Trees"  It has a magnificent, breathtaking view with an eerie feel to it, in my opinion. The trees practically grow into the temple, entwining its branches around the pillars and in between walls, even at a point splitting the walls apart. 

Gorgeous View
 3rd Stop Banteay Srey! It was out of the short circuit path, took us around 40 minutes to reach. Banteay Srei (Srey) also known as Citadel of Women. It is said that its beauty is tribute to women? .
Based on our tuk-tuk driver, this temple is a must see due to the preservation of its carvings which were carved out of solid sandstones unlike other temples. The carvings of the temple is magnificent and really intricate.

Next we headed to Angkor Thom. By this time, we were actually really exhausted. The weather was burning us too.
Entrance to Angkor Thom

After passing the entrance, we reached the terrace of the elephants! There is a long stretch of elephant carvings, awesome 3D effect. I think its like the tribute to elephants. I love elephants :) As the elephants have been great help as transport and also in building the temples.

Bayon Temple, our final stop.  It was a beautiful and exciting temple. Face carving with emotions. I had a double take at times with the face carvings, felt that they are real as in living. Awesome. Stared in awe.

Facts from internet (thanks to Tourism Cambodia): Over 2000 large faces carved on the 54 tower give this temple its majestic character. The faces with slightly curving lips, eyes placed in shadow by the lowered lids utter not a word and yet force you to guess much. It is generally accepted that four faces on each of the tower are images of the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara and that they signify the omnipresence of the king. The characteristics of this faces - a broad forehead, downcast eyes, wild nostrils, thick lips that curl upwards slightly at the ends-combine to reflect the famous 'Smile of Angkor'.

Steep steps leading to the temple

See the smile :)

We didn't get to go to Phnom Penh, due to time constrain. Therefore, we visited a small tribute.

A tribute to the Phonm Penh Killing Fields

p/s: Bought some munching stuff from the one and only mall in Siem Reap aka Lucky Mall. Got some chips. Nothing special, can get it in Malaysia or Indonesia, just maybe with a different brand name.

If you have time, maybe go for the 3 days pass or 1 week pass. As for me, i'm really satisfied with the one day pass as we got to cover so many unique temples in a day, the best of the best. Sarangheyo Cambodia. :D

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Cambodia Cultural Village

The cultural village consisted of a museum with wax sculptures and traditional weapons. They also have miniature replicas of the landmark buildings in Cambodia. Based on a schedule given, there are shows, wedding rituals and dances performed throughout the day. 

miniature building (if im not mistaken this is a library or museum)

Zodiac park ( dragggoonnn)

Huge sleeping Buddha

Faces park! weird but fun.
Well, in my opinion, i didn't enjoy much of the Cambodian Cultural Village. There were a variety of things to see, and photograph with but ermmmm. Their dances and performances, we went for 2 of it, didn't really wow us, it was just so-so. My sister and I practically enjoyed snapping away at all the quirky and funny sculptures located everywhere compared to understanding the culture. aha. 

p/s: maybe try a different place instead. But then again, mum says ' we will go to Siem Reap only once, as there are so many countries left to explore, so we have to make the best of this trip' Thus, the visit :) It wasn't my cup of tea, but it might be yours! :D


Recently, it was the Ramadhan holidays which gave mum, sis and I, a chance to travel. The break wasn't that long, so we took the chance to go somewhere near aka Cambodia. We had a really short stay, it was a 3 days 2 nights trip. We stayed at Tan Kang Hotel (i forgot to take pictures of the hotel, but i remembered choosing this hotel as they offered a triple bed room, and its really close to the Market for shopping and Pubstreet for food).

When we reached the Siem Reap Airport, we were greeted by our trusty Tuk Tuk Driver Mr Chanthan. . First Tuk Tuk ride in Cambodia. We took around 20 mins to reach the hotel from the airport. I suggest to bring a mask and maybe a scarf when riding a Tuk Tuk for protection, as you are practically having air blown full force at you with an extra hint of dust and smoke as the tuk tuk gets you to places.. :)

Our Tuk Tuk Ride

So, our first agenda when we reached was to fill our tummies. We headed straight to Kitchen Angkor Chey. Well, it was recommended by our tuk tuk driver but we found out it was a tad bit pricey $7 per dish. With that said, the food was satisfying. We tried the Cambodian traditional dishes which were : Beef Lok Lak ( Something like beef with a tomato-ish sauce, it came with a sourish dipping sauce which made it perfect), Fish Amok ( Coconuty dish with lotsa vege and fish) and Khmer Curry.. I still prefer Indian curry which is thicker with spices, the Khmer curry was too watery for me.
Beef Lok Lak, Fish Amok, Khmer Curry
The next highlight was our buffet dinner at Koulen Restaurant. It was a buffet dinner with a complementary dance show. $12 per person. I forgot to take pictures of the spread of food but rest assured that there was ample of variety. It was just that, i'm so used to spicy food, that if the food isn't spicy, i kind of have the feeling it is bland, when its not. Yeah Cambodian Food aren't really spicy or maybe i haven't tried the right food.

Koulen Restaurant Performance
Despite having all those different Cambodian Food, i ate my favourite Tom Yam for 3 meals. Yahoo~ The taste of the Tom yam in Cambodia was really consistent even though i ate it in 3 different restaurants. Suprising! Marvelouso!

P/s The weather in Cambodia is HOT! maybe similar to Malaysia. Despite having an umbrella, cap, triple layers of sunscreen, i still got tanned. :(
Currency US Dollars or Cambodian Riel. but for us we used US dollars most of the time.