Around the world. (Part 5)

This is another post on my travels in Asia. This trip was in  winter 2014.  After visiting Northern Thailand and many places in Vietnam, we flew to Siem Reap where we  visited many temples. It is best  to have a guide who can tell you  about each temples. He knows when it is good to visit them according to the amount of tourists around. We had busy days but  when we travel we know our days are not for resting. This can be done later when we get home.

Angkor Wat is an unique place. I am so happy I got to see it.

We had one more country to see during that trip. From Siem Reap we flew to Hong Kong. When we arrived at the airport, we  bought an octopus card . The MTR is a great way to travel in HK.

When you  see  all the skyscrapers you cannot believe that so many people live there.  We were busy travelers.  Every day we explored a different area of this big city. As usual I brought back tons of photos.

We discovered some quiet areas  such as  the Nan Lian Gardens. We visited a few  temples. We saw nice art in display.  We got to see the Big Buddha on Lantau Island.

After 35 days in Asia ( 4 countries)  it was time to go back home.  If you missed any of my “Around the world” posts,  you can find the 4 previous posts published earlier .

It was an incredible journey that we will never forget. I am  looking forward to other adventures, take more pictures , meet new people, discover other parts of  the world. I learn more about myself as I get out of my comfort zone.

Fun and Life ( which is the title of this blog ) is coming to and end with this post. I am not sure at this time if there will be a sequence  (Fun and Life-2  ?) or not. I’ve got to do some thinking and see if my desire to write about all the fun things  ( mostly travel) is still an important part of my life.

Thanks for reading and be sure that  your comments were always very much appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

Cambodia ( part 7)

Today  I am posting photographs of  kids  we saw around the temples of Angkor Wat.

You will feel different emotions while looking at those photos.

  

 

What do you think of kids working a few hours a week to bring home a few dollars? I was told they go to school half day and work the other half. Hanging around the temples is the best place for them as it is where the tourists are. The guards are closing their eyes on them as long as they are not disturbing the visit.

We bought bracelets, postcards, a blouse. It was very difficult to say no thanks when you looked in  their eyes  knowing that  one or two dollars would not make a big difference for us . But for them it would.

It is my last post on Cambodia. We flew from Siem Reap to Honk Kong. It will be the story on my next post. Thanks again for your comments and reading.

Cambodia (part 6)

Today, let’s visit Siem Reap.   Siem Reap today—being a popular tourist destination—has a large number of hotels, resorts, restaurants and businesses closely related to tourism.  This is much owed to its proximity to the Angkor temples, the most popular tourist attraction  in Cambodia.

It has colonial and Chinese-style architecture in the Old French Quarter, and around the Old Market.

We did not try to feed the fish.  Have you ?

Must be laundry day !!

Here we can buy  gasoline in bottle.

I was told the monks are not allowed to drive a car or a scooter. Did you know that ?

A useful bike to carry anything you want. Siem Reap is an interesting city.

I will have one more post on Cambodia. Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

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.