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Tag Archives: Angkor Wat

Simple Travels: Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm

We stopped by Angkor Thom, formerly the capital of Cambodia, for a short toilet break and to change our soaked shirts. I brought an extra shirt with me knowing that I’d be drenched in sweat in Angkor Wat.

The entry to Angkor Thom is a narrow passage that can only fit 1 bus. Hence, entering and exiting Angkor Thom would require both ways taking turns. The pathway was also lined with some of these statues both with and without heads on (as some were stolen and sold as antiques).
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Angkor Thom is also abundant with various pagodas which unfortunately most were being renovated because they’ve been severely damaged. The lush greens and the jungle ahead gives you an idea of what this place looks like in its heydays.
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After a short break, we proceeded to Ta Prohm, site where The Tomb Raider movie starring Angelina Jolie was shot. The entry way to Ta Prohm was also a small structure whose rock formations depicted the head of a buddha.
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After walking through an alley of lush green forest with some monkeys lurking in the background, you’d come to see this structure –
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The entry way leads to this bridge –
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Which leads to this pagoda –
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Ta Prohm is rather dilapidated. However, the trees that have survived make for an interesting site to see. Likewise, as you enter deeper into Ta Prohm, you can also see several other smaller pagodas inside.
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We took a group shot of our bus 2 group in one of the oldest trees in Ta Prohm.
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Some of the structures had these carved in them –
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Another picture inside the pagoda with another old tree –
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As we walked deeper into the main pagoda, we eventually ended up in this famous tree and entry way where the Tomb Raider movie was shot. Unfortunately, you can’t get into this entry way.
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A closer look at the entry way and why it appealed to the producers of the movie. Very rustic. Very Indiana Jonesy type.
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Ta Prohm was our last tourist stop. We were all famished and had a hearty lunch in a hotel near ours. The next itinerary was shopping at the Old Market. I decided that I wanted to relax at the hotel before our Awarding Ceremony at 7PM so I didn’t join the group.

Next post? Food in Siem Reap and Thailand.

 
 

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Simple Travels: Marveling at Angkor Wat

Our day 2 tour started rather early with breakfast at the hotel at 630AM. We departed for a tour of the city at around 8AM. There were 3 major stops for the day – Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm.

Angkor Wat or City of Pagoda is the grandest of all Khmer temples. It was built during the reign of Suryavarman II and was dedicated to the Hindu god, Vishnu. It was said that Cambodians would visit this temple before getting married as Vishnu is said to be also known as the god of love. This is the largest sand stone structure in the World. The city is a sight to marvel as it was built in a span of 35 years using 4000 elephants along with hundreds and thousand pairs of human hands.

We were forewarned by the batch before us that the weather is extremely warm with the air being dry. Armed with a hat, an umbrella and LOTS of sunblock, I walked around Angkor Wat City for almost 2 hours (shopping included!).

First stop was getting our pictures taken for our tour passes.
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A manmade moat surrounds the city. We entered through this causeway where it is evident that this was built much later than the Angkor Wat structures.
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This huge structure is what you’d initially see upon entering. We entered another entry hall leading deeper into Angkor Wat city.
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A group shot of the China Jade group that adopted me in this trip
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Armed with tons of sunblock
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A shot of the hallways we passed through
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A closer look at the carvings on the wall
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Other structures leading up to the main edifice –
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I thought these shots of mine of the main structure was rather dreamy. Enhanced my picture using Lightroom. What do you think?
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Another group shot. Just noticed that I had TONS of sunblock on my face when editing pictures.
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Me and Angkor Wat. Haay … Tons of losing weight still need to be done.
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We stopped for a group photo at the above site. On our way to the main edifice, we saw some street vendors. More shopping to be done after the tour.

A Cambodian seller
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I thought this picture of the Bus 2 group in front of the Main Angkor Wat structure is quite lovely. The colors reflect the actual heat of the environment.
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Welcome to Angkor Wat!
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Entering the main edifice, we had to climb through reconstructed walk ways and stairs.

About to go up the first floor of the main edifice
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Upon entering, we had to go up a few more stairs to arrive at this hallway. The walls were lined with carvings depicting the story of Ramayana.
Doing a peek-a-boo shoot
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Here are a few shots of the inside of the main edifice –

One of the 4 basins in Angkor Wat
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This is how massive one of the basins is
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Check out the Buddha carvings on the walls
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They opened 1 of the pagodas for visitors to visit. As we were running out of time, I didn’t climb up anymore. Here are some shots I took of the opened pagoda.
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While waiting for the rest of the group, more pictures taken.
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Next stop? Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm and a new shirt.

 

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Simple Travels: The Beauty of Siem Reap

Apologies for the lack of blog post. I’m currently writing this from Renaissance Bangkok where we’ll be leaving for Manila in a few hours. The past few days have been great! I got to check off one of my entries in my 100 TO DO list which is to visit the Angkor Wat. This trip is a free trip that I got courtesy of Prulife U.K. As you may know, I’ve been encashing my other trips and this is the ONLY convention I’ve actually attended. Its been great hanging out with old faces and new acquaintances. Have to do this more often.

We arrived last Monday here in Bangkok and was quickly transferred to another plane bringing us to Siem Reap, Cambodia. According to the tour guide, Siem Reap means the defeat of Siam (old name of Thailand). This place has thousands of temples with Angkor Wat being the largest sand stone structure temple in the world. Built for 35 years with the help of more than 4000 elephants, Angkor Wat is actually one of the UNESCO Heritage sites and is part of the Wonders of the World list.

Day 1 found us arriving at Siem Reap airport at around 3PM. The airport is rather small and provincial but is quite clean. I like the touch on the structure and how they incorporated certain elements into the edifice – wood carvings, tons of statues, and wooden windows.
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Bus 2 departing for the hotel
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Our hotel in Siem Reap is Royal Angkor Resort and Spa. This is how the hotel looked.
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Best thing about the hotel – Jacuzzi Bath Tub
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The rest of the afternoon was a free day so we decided to visit the Night Market. Since the city is small, the night market is only 3 km away from the hotel. We took a tuktuk ride to the Night Market. A lot of the items are local while others are imported from nearby countries – Vietnam and Thailand. Negotiation and bargaining was an art that had to be in every shop on every item. Good thing I had my Aunties to help bargain down the prices. The typical bargaining starts at less than 20% from the original asking price. Fortunately or unfortunately, the seller would almost always relent to the bargained price. All shops accept dollars so we did not have them changed anymore. Here are a few of the finds in the Night Market.
Scene when we arrived at around 4PM
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Lots and lots of gem stones from the various mountains of Cambodia
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Cambodian artworks
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Souvenirs
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Scene when we departed the market
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We left the market to catch a dinner buffet at the hotel provided by Prulife U.K. Amidst the Cambodian music, we feasted on a buffet of Cambodian food. Nothing special or unique really. I liked the papaya salad (which is probably inspired by their Thailand heritage). Most were grilled food with some with slight curries. The fruits though were to die for. They were sweet, crunchy and very tasty. SBD goes down the drain in this trip. Managed to shy away from noodles and rice though.

Found this centerpiece interesting. The server said this costs USD$100 in the market.
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Dinner on Day 1
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Will post more of our Cambodian adventure pictures soon.

 

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