Sunday, October 14, 2007

3 Week Travelogue In Summary

Concluding Leg - Siem Reap Cambodia

Siem Reap, the famed Angkor Wat! After much bargaining with our tuk tuk driver, we finally reached a package price for the 3days of transport. Not cheap i tell ya, but what to do...USD29 for 3 days, transport to & from temples, include sunrise & sunset, include far away temples (like Beng Melea which is 2hrs away, Kbal Spean & Banteay Srei). Bloody expensive but well, what to do as i said..At least we don have to worry abt where to go, when to go etc..a driver will always be there to pick us from point to point...

Me@ Angkor Wat with my pass

Angkor Wat at dawn

Me with the face of Bayon

Our 3day Angkor wat tour started the next day with an early morning trip out for the sunrise. Had to wake up at 430am, left guesthouse at 515am for the sunrise. Paid USD40 for the 3day pass, complete with our photos taken digitally on the spot for the pass. We thought we could just submit a photo but well it's the age of IT! Ended up taking a really ugly photo with BAD lighting (cos it was too early, no sunlight, they used flourescent light to shine on our faces) Looked ghostly in the photo & i wasn't even looking straight at the camera! Well, as expected, it was a sunless sunrise (rainy season, so sky was damn cloudy) Disappointed but expected. So begun the 1st day. With tired body & mind, we embarked on the tour of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom & the other great temples...

It is really amazing how they managed to build these temples, & yes how free they were! Plenty of time at hand during their time to spend tens of years to build the temples & carve the walls! Lots of restoration & renovation have been done to the temples to keep them intact but still retaining the traditional look & method of building..

1st day ended by 2pm cos we started out early. Took a short nap & ventured out for dinner near our hotel area. Ended up eating along the rows of hawker stalls selling the same thing. Yes, there were at least 10stalls & they all sell the same thing! Fried noodles or rice or soup noodles.. We ended up settling our dinner for the next 3 nights at the same place..

2nd day started our longer travelling to the further away temples. Worth mentioning is Kbal Spean. The road to this temple is so damn memorable for its bumpiness! Yes it was dirt road all the way, worse than the road to Phnom Penh. At the end of the ride, we both had sore bums... But also, Kbal Spean was nice! It was a forest walk uphill to the riverbed where carvings are made on the river beds... Amazing!

Carvings @ Kbal Spean

Ta Prohm

On our 2nd day, we were starting to feel burnt out by temple overdose. Hahha. Went for sunset viewing up a hilltop temple, but as expected it was a sunless sunset as well... But the view from atop was amazing!!

Me @ Beng Melea

Ruins @ Beng Melea

3rd day, we went to Beng Melea (not included in the pass but worth a visit). 2hr motor ride to reach. With 2 of us behind the driver, it was not a comfy ride, esp under the HOT HOT sun. Yes, it was HOT (whatever happened to the rainy season prediction). We wanted to save USD5 per pax, so opted for motorbike. Entrance fee of USD5 is required to enter but it was worth it. I like it very much! A different experience from the other temples cos this one is really inside the forest, left untouched. We could see all the ruins of the temples & had to climb up & down the stones & fallen temples to explore the insides of the temple. The temple was destroyed by mines (which have been cleared). We were fortunate to be guided through the temple with the help of a local police. It was an interesting visit & I highly recommend it!

On our way back, our motor broke down, & had to wait for abt 1-2hrs for it to be fixed. And so ends our 3day tour of Angkor Wat! It was alot of climbing & walking. The stairs up the temples are bloody steep & tiny in width. Not easy to climb up & even more difficult on the way down! And lots of sunblock is needed! You're on the move all the time & exposed to the harmful effects of the sun! Yes, the result of my 3wk travelogue was the slipper tan...Terrible..Trying to tan it away now...

My Slipper tan

Our last full day in Siem Reap was spent doing nth much. Shopping a little for souvenirs & massaging our tired feet... Then just lazed in our hotel room, watching tv & reading until the evening for our last dinner at our usual stall...

Our dinner spot!

A final packing of our bags & off to the airport on the next morning for our flight home... Guess what? My bag now weighs 16kg! Double the original weight!! Yes, all thanks to those tailored clothes. With my twice as heavy backpack & darker skintone, we flew back home...Back to civilisation, back to familiar home terrain, bye to our 3weeks of adventure!!

Me with my 16kg backpack @ airport

More pictures on my online album (& note that I only uploaded half of my total pictures. 300+ out of 600+ taken)...

Well, didnt meet many pple most prob cos this period is not the period of travelling for students from other countries (summer holidays over) so most pple we saw were couples or families. Hai, no 艳遇 so sad....But it was a great experience & eye opener. Vietnam is really very interesting, I will go back again! Every city is so different! Cambodia? Hmm maybe not so... But maybe i have not really researched into places in Cambodia...

When will be my next adventure? I have no idea!!!!

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