Saturday, 13 October 2012

2006: Siem Reap, Cambodia

I started writing a travel blog with these purposes in mind: to relive the experience, to save the pictures (if the softcopies are accidentally deleted, which actually happened) and to help out fellow travelers. Recently, I've been doing some traveling and planning of itineraries, which is the reason why I realized that it is so important to blog about or write things about certain places (tripadvisor, anyone?), because it is a big help to other travelers.

But alas! I did not have this mindset back when I was younger. This is the reason why this blog entry would be more about sharing pictures since my memory of this trip is kind of vague. I cannot remember the exact details of this trip. I was totally clueless back then! You know, it's like I was there, but my mind was totally somewhere else? Haha! Hopefully, I will be able to share more insights and tips on traveling to Cambodia on another blog entry since I will be returning there this coming January! =)

Oh yeah, before proceeding to the blog proper, I would just like to say that I did not take these pictures since I did not own a camera back then. All of these beautiful pictures were taken by my cousin, ate Joyce, like this one here! 

Just a sneak peak! Keep scrolling down for more pictures...
This trip to Cambodia happened around May of 2006. Around this time,  I learned about the term 'backpacker' and eventually adopted the role. So far, this trip has been the longest trip that I have been away from home. In three weeks time, we visited 4 countries and Cambodia is one of them.

I traveled with two cousins and 1 niece; all of us were females and there were three minors, me included. We used Singapore as our 'base' because of its budget terminal. So, what happened was that we flew to Singapore then to Darwin, Australia. We stayed there for a few days then flew back to Singapore. From Singapore, we flew to Siem Reap, Cambodia then back to Singapore. After that, we just rode the bus going to Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which I will be talking about on another blog. 

So far, I guess you have an idea how terribly exhausting this trip was. What's worse, I did not have an idea about what we were going to do. I was just too dependent and reliant on my cousin that I did no research at all on the places that we were going to visit. In fact, I had no idea where and what I would see in Cambodia. My cousin just told me that I would love it there since she knows that I love History and ancient ruins.  

Tired, anyone?

FIRST DAY:


Upon arrival at Siem Reap's airport, we were shocked with the throngs of tourists that we found there. It was really busy! My cousin tried to talk to some other backpackers about sharing a taxi ride to the city, but our group ended up riding our own taxi since there were four of us. We asked the driver to bring us to an affordable hotel and he dropped us at a hotel (I'm sorry, I can't remember the name!) that costs $26/ night for two people. 

After the expensive yet very simple hotel rooms that we've slept in at Singapore, we were amazed at the hotel room that we got in Cambodia. It was quite big and it even had a bath tub for only $26! The food also was quite a gastronomic treat. Up until now, I cannot forget the unique taste of the "Amok" dish! However, I have to say that they also had really spicy dishes that as a sweet tooth, did not really appeal to my taste. 



On our first day, we rented a taxi to take us on a tour around Angkor Wat. Once you enter the premises of the complex, you'd notice that there's a tollgate- like entryway. That's where you need to purchase a ticket/ ID, which would identify you as a tourist. You can get an ID pass for 1 day, 3 days or 1 week. In our case, we took the 3 day pass, which roughly costs around P1, 000.00. Or so I think. 

On our first day, we saw the Bayon Temple, the Srasrang and Ta Prohm. From this point on, I can't remember much so just scroll on for amazing pictures of the Angkor Wat complex!











From what I remember (if it is correct), this is Srasrang or the swimming pool of the king. 



This is the famous tree in Ta Prohm. I haven't watched the movie Tomb Raider yet, but I've heard that they utilized this place in shooting the film.

We ended the day by eating at a restaurant that served our favorite Amok Fish dish while watching a shadow puppet show. It's a pity that we couldn't understand the dialogue since they were using their local language. 


SECOND DAY:


 Since we were on our second week of traveling, it is understandable that we were really, really, really tired and could not wake up early in the morning. So, when ate Joyce asked us to wake up already in order to watch the sunrise at Angkor Wat, the three of us declined and decided to sleep in. Oh, that was such a bad choice on our part! Just look at the following pictures and you'll understand that it's such a waste to have not seen those magical moments! 

These are my favorite pictures and I do think that they are worthy of becoming wallpapers!












It truly was a magical morning. See, there was even a rainbow!










The intricate wall carvings inside the temples. It is simply unbelievable how much effort and care those ancient people put into making their temples beautiful.








We finally woke up and followed ate Joyce. We climbed the peak of Angkor Wat and it was such a hard climb! The stairs were really very steep. I was reluctant to climb it since I was wondering how I would go down. The steps were spaced widely apart and the width was quite narrow. I had to put my feet sideways since the steps cannot accommodate the length of my whole foot. I was really relieved when I learned that there was another stair case at the side of the temple with railings so it was safer to climb down!

















After our eventful morning at Angkor Wat, we decided to go around the city of Siem Reap and came upon this museum that contained bombs and mines, which can still be found in some parts of Cambodia. We were really humbled when we saw the children who were victims of the mine fields. All of them were missing some limbs, which was quite an experience to behold. 


THIRD DAY:


Instead of continuing our tour inside the Angkor Wat complex, we decided to go see the "Thousand Linggas." Well, it is still a part of the complex, but it's really far away! We traveled by Tuktuk and it took us almost 1 1/2 hour to reach it. Unlike the center of Angkor Wat, this was really different since we had to trek a little bit to see the ruins. 


It was a loooong and tiring trek as you can see on our faces. To make matters worse, we saw some snakes glide past us. 




These are the ruins of the Thousand Linggas. It is partially submerged underneath really, really, really murky water.


I love this shot because of the wispy effect of the vines.


Halatang pagod na pagod? 


Our bumpy ride in a Tuktuk! It was a great experience to see the countryside because we saw how the children go to school. Most of them were just walking or riding bicycles!

After our trip to Thousand Linggas, we proceeded to look at one last temple since we were getting kind of restless 'temple-hopping.' As my cousin eloquently put it, 'alam kong sukang- suka na kayo sa mga templo.

This temple is different from the others because of the material used to build it. I can't remember the name of this temple, but it's peculiar trait is that it is composed of red/pink stones as compared to the other ones, which are mainly gray. If I recall it properly, I think this temple is one of the last temples built, which is why it is characteristically different from the others.

















I guess, we're not the only ones tired from traveling. Haha!




More embarassing climbing pictures. Hahaha. Hirap na hirap!




FOURTH DAY:

On our fourth day, we just decided to eat out and explore the city. We eventually entered the Cultural Village, which is similar to the Philippines' Nayong Filipino. After that, we went to see a Cello play, which is a form of charity work on the performer's part then I had my first massage experience! We also had to transfer to a guesthouse (only $12/ night for four people already!) from our hotel since we were saving up for our return to Singapore.










Well, that's all I can remember. Again, I'm coming back there this January so I'll make another blog entry with more useful tips and infos. 


Until next time!


1 comment:

  1. WOW!!! Is an amazing place!!!! Wonderful!!!

    Kisses from Pupe Girl~

    ReplyDelete