Cambodia ( part 5)

Hello readers ! Happy Friday ! Spring is on its way…

The story of my trip in Cambodia continues.

We still had  time to see more temples. Elephant terrace,  Bantey Prei, Neak Poan, Tan Som, East Mebon, Pre Rup.

I have to say that I asked my guide to write the names of all the temples we  were visiting.  How would I be remembering all those names once  back at home ? He knew a lot about the temples and his English was very good. In fact, you can  easily find a guide who will speak  your language as it is such a touristic place.

Choosing which pictures I will add in this post was not easy. I hope you enjoy them! Maybe you can tell me which one is your favorite.

Elephant Terrace. The terrace was used by Angkor’s king Jayavarman VII as a platform from which to view his victorious returning army.

I told you that we go to the temples by tuk-tuk. Here are some tuk-tuks and their drivers resting in the shade while the tourists are visiting  the temples.

More  photographs of temples. Here is Neak Poan. The Buddhist temple of Preah Neak Poan is a petite yet perfect temple constructed by Jayavarman VII in the late 12th century. It has a large square pool surrounded by four smaller square pools. In the middle of the central pool is a circular ‘island’ encircled by the two nagas whose intertwined tails give the temple its name.

We saw many kids around this temple that day. On another post, I will share many photos of kids we saw. They are beautiful and they know enough English to sell you little souvenirs.

Ta Som temple. The eastern outer gopura has been overgrown by a sacred fig (Ficus religiosa) which has grown down through the blocks that make up the gopura and into the ground. You can see my husband in the photo , it gives you perspective of the size of the tree.

Some very good artists selling their art work around the temples. I did not buy anything, somehow it can be tricky to bring back those images when you try to travel light. You know you can enlarge the photo while clicking on it.

That day we spent the whole morning around temples. It was very hot, so we had a rest at our hotel  in the afternoon. Later we went out again  for 2 hours to take pics around sunset.

Another great day. Thanks to our guide, our time in Angkor  had been wonderful. We had one more day to spend in Siem Reap.

I will show you more about that  day in my next post next Friday. Thanks for reading and for your comments. Have a good Week-end.






Cambodia ( part 4)

Hello readers!  It is  Friday  and time to share another story of our travel in Cambodia.

A day to visit  more  temples of  Angkor  with our guide , Mr. Chet. First, we go to see the temple Banteay Srei. Banteay Srei is built largely of red sand stones, a medium that lends itself to the elaborate decorative wall carvings which are still observable today. The buildings themselves are miniature in scale, unusually so when measured by the standards of Angkorian construction. These factors have made the temple extremely popular with tourists, and have led to its being widely praised as a “precious gem”, or the “jewel” of Khmer art.

Later that day, we go to see Kbal Spean . An Angkorian era archaeological site on the southwest slopes of the Kulen Hills. The site consists of a series of stone rock relief carvings in sandstone formations of the river bed and banks. It is commonly known as the “Valley of a 1000 Lingas ” or “The River of a Thousand Lingas”. The motifs for stone carvings are mainly myriads of lingams (phallic symbol of Hindu  god Shiva god ), depicted as neatly arranged bumps that cover the surface of a sandstone bed rock, and lingam-yoni  designs. There are also various Hindu mythological motifs, including depictions of the gods Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, Lakshmi, Rama, and Hanuman , as well as animals (cows and frogs). See  some of the photos I took.

After lunch,we visit another temple close by: Banteay Samre. Temple dedicated to Vishnou.

In the temple, this man is blessing me with prayers and after he puts a bracelet around   my wrist. You wear it until it falls off. I think I had it for more than a year. In fact, I had 3 different bracelets after this trips. I had gotten my first one in Thailand.

Often you see kids hanging around the temples. Some kids sells little souvenirs.

But those girls were serious about selling me some scarfs or blouse. It was very inexpensive. I bought a white blouse and I like it very much. They sell stuff in American money. But the money of  the country is the  Cambodian Riel.   1US dollar is 4059 Riels.

This man is cleaning his animals in the lake by the temples.

What  a day ! Back on Pub street for a cheap beer. I must wear my new blouse!  

A good dinner and a  good night of sleep for us after a long visiting day.  More temples to see the  next day. It is coming on my next post, next week.

Thanks for reading my story . And many thanks for you who write a comment.


Cambodia (part 3)

Today is another adventure.  I have many photos for you on that post.  21 photos for you to understand the lifestyle of the people living over there.

We went to Tonle Sap Lake and  Kampong Khleang (fishing village).  The Lake is an important commercial resource, providing more than half of the fish consumed in Cambodia. In harmony with the specialized ecosystems, the human occupations at the edges of the lake is similarly distinctive – floating villages, towering stilted houses, huge fish traps, and an economy and way of life deeply intertwined with the lake, the fish, the wildlife and the cycles of rising and falling waters  boats ride on the lake.

It is quite amazing to see how people live in those stilt houses ( can be up to 10 m/ 33 ft high). They have to protect themselves as in the rainy season ( Mid-May through October), the rising water of the Mekong cause the flow of the Sap river to reverse and also the lake surface area increases.

We are getting ready to go on a boat on the lake.

We meet a bigger boat with tourists.

You can see that people are living here in that floating house and the clothing hanging.

They must use whatever they are, they recycle everything to built their house.

Isn’t it amazing? This little girl does not seem afraid at all to climb up to her house.

That water does not seem so clean but this is all they have to wash themselves and their clothing.

Our day was not finish , we had more  temples to see. Beng Mealea.  The movie Indiana Jones  was filmed there.

We came from far way to see another world and I can only be thankful I took so many photos to remember and share with you.

Thanks for reading. Always happy to read your comments. Next week, more on Cambodia…




Cambodia (part 2)

We were up early and excited to see more of Angkor. I am really not  a specialist of this history  but I can show you photographs . Behind me is Angkor Wat .

Angkor Wat is decorated with depictions of apsaras and devata;  there are more than 1,796 depictions of devata in the present research inventory. Angkor Wat architects employed small apsara images (30 cm –40 cm ) as decorative motifs on pillars and walls. Deva is the Hindu  term for deity; however, devata is a smaller, more focused deva. An aspara is is a female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu and Buddhist mythology.

Integrated with the architecture of the building, and one of the causes for its fame is Angkor Wat’s extensive decoration, which predominantly takes the form of bas-relief friezes.

Bayon Temple. Many stone faces.

Preah Khan has been left largely unrestored, with numerous trees and other vegetation growing among the ruins.

Ta Nei is a temple hidden in the forest. We had to walk a  bit in the jungle to get there. We are surprised to see a young man selling t-shirt. He paints the t-shirt and gives money to the monks that raised him. We came home with 4 t-shirts. A good cause and a nice souvenir from Cambodia.

Ta Prohm is a beautiful temple, bound by massive roots of huge trees. Back in the days it was very different: one could see walls decorated by precious stones, hear beautiful music, and dancing in the halls. When in late nineteenth century Ta Prohm was discovered by French, they decided not to conduct a full-scale restoration of the temple. The decision was made due to the fact that giant trees, such as fichus and silk trees, were so merged with ancient walls that eventually they became whole.

Isn’t amazing to see this place ? Maybe some of you have been there also and you understand the history of those temples.

More to come on my next post. Thanks for reading and your comments.







Cambodia (part 1)

And now we are going to discover parts of another country.

We arrived  in Cambodia , in Siem Reap, from HCMC. Our guide was waiting for us  at the airport. He had arranged for us to travel to the city by tuk-tuk. We sat in an open  cabin. Our driver was riding his scooter in front and pull us. It was our first ride in tuk-tuk. We used it almost everyday while we were in Cambodia. On the road, we saw many people riding their bicycle or scooter and a few cars.

We left our suitcases at the hotel, we had lunch and then visited The Khmer Artisans shop. The young people we saw are learning the traditional art. They create beautiful objects.

We went to get our pass for the Angkor temples  at the office.  It is located 5.5 km north of Siem Reap. Many tourists come to Angkor ,  a temple complex and the largest religious monument in the world, on a site measuring 162.6 hectares. Angkor , means “Temple City” or “City of Temples” in Khmer. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag,  and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors.

Before it closed for the night, we  had time to see one temple. Kanteay Kdei . It  means a citadel of Chambers. It is a large Buddhist temple.

Over  the next 5 days , we will see 17 temples with our guide.

We had dinner on Pub street , a very animated street. We had a great meal with local food. We had a plan to go back to more of the temples of Angkor  very  early the next day. It is often the best as there are less tourists and  the light is better for photography.

On my next post, I will show you more of Angkor. Thanks for reading.



Vietnam ( part 12)

Our  trip in Vietnam  started on February 9, 2014 . We visited Ha Long Bay, Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Dalat, Phan Thiet and finally we ended our travel in the South in HCMC.

We went to see the Cu Chi tunnels with a guide . I really didn’t know much about the Vietnam war. It was quite amazing to see how people hide and fought. It was a real history lesson on the field. And not an easy one !

Later in the city of Saigon we visited the War Renmants Museum.  Again so much history but very difficult to see. War is not something easy to explore  but it is a sad reality.

Also the  went inside the Notre-Dame Cathedral  built between 1877 and 1883 with material shipped from France.

The  Central Post Office was designed by Gustave Eiffel.

We had time to wander in the city.

We had dinner in a pub where we were  able to watch Team Canada  ( hockey)  playing the final game at the Sochi Winter Olympics.  You got to remember that this trip happened in  2014 ( so 4 years ago) .It was exciting for many travelers to see it. Do you remember than Canada won ? And soon it will be another city for Winter Olympics.  PyeongChang in South Korea.  The games are starting on February 9 which is today  but between Vancouver and PyeongChang there are 17 hours difference in time. I always enjoy  watching the Olympics and of course I hope my country wins many medals.

It was our last night in Vietnam. The next day we were  flying to Cambodia. Will you  follow me ? I will show you  part of this country  with  many amazing shots.

Thanks for reading. And for  your comments also.

Vietnam ( part 11)

On our last  cycling day  in Vietnam, we had an early start. It was pleasant to ride along the coast. We stopped in a small village and tasted fresh jack fruit. Later, we tasted delicious dragon fruit. Very impressive to see how they grow around a concrete post. We got to see the  fruits and the flowers on the plants. And you can see it also here with the photos.  I know when have some  dragon fruits  in our grocery store but with the long trip to arrive to Canada,  I was not impressed with the taste .   To  “eat local food” is always best. Don’t you think so ?

Dragon fruits have mildly sweet flavour which can be compared to a melon. They are great source of Vitamin C.

Around this house, a field of dragon fruit plants.

Here this lady was selling fresh dragon fruits. Delicious !

Later we saw a salt farm.

Have you seen rice like that ? Before it gets to a bag or a box, it looks like this.

We finished our cycling day.  We had  done 450 km in 11  days. We were very happy  and ready for other adventures !! We had lunch before we got in the van for a 4 hours drive to get to Saigon that is now called HCMC ( Ho Chi Ming City).  On our way, we saw plantations of rubber trees.

As we got close to the big city, the traffic got busier and busier.  Look at this man. What do you think he is carrying ?

My next post will be about our visit in HCMC. Thanks again for reading. And thank you also for comments you make on my travel stories.