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Saturday, 24 October 2015

Siem Reap, Cambodia Day 4 (Part 1)




Destination: Siem Reap, Cambodia

Duration: 13 to 16 Aug 2015

Flight:  Jet Star -  2 way rounded up to be S$366  -____-

Accommodation:  Steung Siem Reap Hotel (4 star) - Street 9, Sangkat Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Website - www.steungsiemreaphotel.com

Mode of travel: A local coordinator was with us.  We had 2 vans drove to drive us around.  We engaged a guide for AngKor Wat visit.

Time difference: 1 hour behind Singapore

Currency: USD and Cambodian Riel, but USD is used more often.

Weather: around 33°C with occasional rain.

Note:  The main purpose of this trip was to do voluntary work at schools and villages with Inspiring Stars, but we did have a bit of fun and leisure.


Day 1 - Click HERE
Day 2 (part 1) - Click HERE
Day 2 (part 2) - Click HERE
Day 3 (part 1) - Click HERE
Day 3 (part 2) - Click HERE



16 Aug 2015 - Day 4



Lisa and I left the hotel at 4.30am   TT___TT  That sleep deprivation feel....

The roads were quiet and dark, we reached the entrance of Angkor Wat around 5am, waiting for their ticketing booth to open at 5.30am.
Needless to say, all of us came for only one thing - SUN RISE.

Lisa, having a photo taken for her ticket.

This is how the ticket looks like.
It's US$20 for this one day pass, they have 3 days and even a 7 days pass.

The magnificent remains of Khmer Empire was from 9th to 15th century.   Marked as a UNESCO historical site, it's over 400km2 including forested area.  Our half day tour was literally a touch and go.   We only managed to visit Temple of Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm and viewing Bayon Temple from far T___T.

Moving on after we gotten our tickets, we had to walk with weak torch lights from our phones which was only enough shine less than half a meter away from our feet.  The path was uneven with paddles of rain water.  We could only see the outline of buildings, we followed the guide very closely, fear to lost him lolxx...  So please bring along a powerful torch light if you are going for sun rise view.

We found a good spot by the pond to view the sun rise.
We glued our butts on the rocks for dear life, nobody can make us leave I tell you lolxx....

The pond was fully lined with people.

Angkor Wat Temple in semi darkness with mirror reflection from the pond.

The sky became brighter, and we were all waiting.....

Hues of orange, blue and purple began to form in the sky, the pond looked amazing with smokey water vapour.

Pitch darkness became bright morning like magic.  At that moment, I realize that every day break is magic, it's miracle, just that we had taken it for granted, every day.  What happen if one day, morning never comes?

 We finally able to see the surroundings.
We left the pond, cos' we believed the sun rise was over.

We walked away from the pond, very busy exploring, though a little upset that there wasn't an egg yolk sun rise.

After about half an hour, the egg yolk appeared.

Run back towards the pond.

 Egg yolk with Angkor Wat, good morning!

This little boy was facing the sun rise, alone.
He should be in school, but he was selling post cards after he left the pond (I observed him from far, I was worried....)

A child at his age should be energetic, jumping around, screaming and playing.
But he was like a troubled old man, standing by the pond quietly in his own thoughts.  The sun had probably light up the sky, but not him.....

I couldn't give him money or buy post cards from him.  This will encourage more Cambodian children to skip school.  I had been sweating out physically, supported in monetary wise for the past few days, but the help was so limited.  I wish I am a millionaire, then I can build factories to provide employment, I can sponsor schools as much as I like.   But there's only so much I can do....

Travelling in Siem Reap was so bitter sweet.

Silhouette of Angkor Wat finally revealed it's real beauty.  We were a few hundred meters away admiring this ancient buildings.

Supposingly poetic serene in this historical venue was disturbed by numerous tourists.   Mobile vendors with paintings, post cards and other souvenirs were as busy as tourists.

 I composed myself, tried not get affected and distracted by other people.  See the below pic, you'll know what I mean.
I was secretly wishing that Lisa and I could have the entire place, all by ourselves.

There are a few such palm trees around the pond.
IMPORTANT NOTE:  DO NOT STAND UNDER these palm trees.  I witness a big heavy fruit dropped with a loud thud and it missed a man by a few inches.  I nearly died of heart-attack sia  吓到>.<

Walked towards the left side of the pond where there's a stretch of stalls.

Left side of the stretch were food stalls where tourists could rest their feet over some food or drinks.

Right side were stalls selling souvenirs, clothes and other stuffs.
I later came back and bought a swag looking rainbow pants.

Behind this stretch of stalls is a temple with some monks.  Looked like they had just finished prayer and were preparing breakfast.



Walked pass the temple and found the toilet at last!

Couldn't remember how much I paid to use the toilet, it was quite little and didn't bother.
I was paranoid of giant spiders, I had to trouble Lisa to check the cubicle before I enter.  If it's my own husband, sure will kena scold one.  But Lisa was extremely kind to me ^.^  I feel so lucky and protected with her.

We started to walk back the uneven path we came from.

Looked away from the people, enjoyed some vast greens.

This building used to be a library, but became our "playground".

By this time, those tourists who crowded around this area had moved ahead towards Angkor Wat Temple, happy and we had great fun.

"Trial and error" a few times before we could get this "natural artistic" feel lolxx....

Pic taken view from the window, it's another library.

The structures somehow reminded me of Greece's Acropolis.

The main difference will be that Acropolis was crafted out of marble while Angkor Wat was mainly sand stone.  Since sand stone is softer than marble, many wall cravings could be seen.

The interior.

After leaving the library, we walked towards the main entrance.


We realized that the side entrances were equally exotic though smaller and most importantly, less crowded.


Walked out from this “偏门” we found ourselves at a long corridor, which is the exterior wall over looking the moat.


Sand stone cravings on the wall.

This is called Apsara, a celestial nymphs, bare-breasted, can be seen all over Angkor Wat, it's said it represent an ideal of female beauty.

This is actually a couple of meters away from the ground.  As we had wander a little too far away from the main entrance, we had a hard time trying to get down lolxx...  But we did it with some long jumps lolxx...

The view of the moat from where we were standing.

I have to mention about this enormous man-made drain moat.   It's 200m wide, 4m deep with a perimeter of 5km surrounding Angkor Wat Temple in this squarish layout.
Image from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angkor_Wat
It's calculated and constructed specifically in such manner for some supernatural reasons.  We have no idea how many men and elephants worked and for how long they dig.

Of course, I only get to see a tiny part of the moat at the main entrance.  Here are some pictures of it:





The rest of our team mates came to join us (cos they couldn't make it for sun rise, let the kids sleep more lah sia heeheehee....) and we finally made our way into Angkor Wat.

There's a few really huge bath pools.  The largest one is for the King to have his royal bath before offering prayers.


Though learning everything about Angkor Wat's history may be too much for my pea brain, what I could do was to capture as much as possible with the camera, so that memory will not fade; and that I'll continue to read up the history bit by bit...

I have no idea why are most status headless...




Very intricate cravings...

Another Apsara with her face and breasts touched and polished by tourists' hands lolxx....


As we walked on, the sun was at it's prime.... warm, WARM, VERY WARM.

There were teenagers in costumes waiting under the shade, earning their keeps when people takes pictures with them.

There were 4 flights of incredibly steep and narrow stairs to the tower.  The stairs looked like a wall.  I guess it's only 70 to 80 degree slanted only.  I was told the King would climb up believing in this way, he would be nearer to heaven.   The King must be a spiderman, though obviously he couldn't reach the sky.
After a few accidents of tourists falling down from the stairs, they had no longer allow people to climb up from the actual stairs.  Thus 3 flights were gated and the other one and only, with plywood stairs constructed over the existing stairs were open for visitors.  

Ladies in shorts and sleeveless tops are not allowed to climb up.  Skirts are allowed but hur hur..... the whole world will know the color of your panty.


I was quite worn off by the heat and lack of sleep, didn't climb, just continue snapping with my camera.

I did the right thing by conserving my energy cos' there were some more flights of stairs to conquer in order to move on.

Though started to feel tired, I was still very in awe with the structures.

Fascinated by every corner of Angkor Wat Temple, I started to imagine how it was like back in those glorious days of Khmer Empire and I gotten myself very high.  While people gets high from drugs or alcohol, I gets high from sight-seeing, seriously.


Leaving Angkor Wat Temple, we moved on to Ta Prohm (where Tomb Raider was filmed) and Bayon Temple.   Have to do another separate post on these, I tired sia, heehee....







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