Goodbye Eyang Kakung…

Just heard a grieving news from Jakarta, My grandfather passed away today, 11 May 2005 at around 03:00 AM…. May he rest in peace…

I must say I am not really close to my Eyang Kakung (that’s Javanese for grandpa), but I know he loves me:)

I remember fondly at this particular event from my childhood… I was 5 years old and I was a naughty lil’ biatch So one afternoon after I came back from school, I decided to stroll around the neighborhood in my bicycle and visited my friend who lived around a street away from my house. So I kinda didn’t tell anybody that I’m going off and My gramps was horrified when he went home and found me and ma’ bike were missing. And there were a lot of buses passed by my area during those days.

He wasreally worried actually so He went out and did a “Lil’-Viatch hunt” wearing only his sarong and wife beater top! And I don’t know how but he managed to find me and he was horrified that he dragged me home for about two blocks! I fought for my life of course but he was bigger and stronger and he had me in his left hand and my BMX in his right hand… and during those journey to my house, I knocked my big toe nail and it broke in two! It was fawkin painful OK! My dad had to bring me to the doctor and the bid D pulled out my toenail to prevent it from infection… and I had to wear slippers to school the next day… and to make it worst, the older kids were making fun of me… So, stickin’ to my bad ass nature, I beat them all up… and the principal called my mom to school the next day! WAKAKAKKAKA… It was such a fond memory…

Goodbye Eyang Kakung, I will miss seeing you making your paper clipping at the veranda, I will miss seeing you exercising EVERY MORNING after your morning prayers without fail, I will miss your thoughtful speeches on Every Hari Raya, I will miss your jokes that you repeated every year during those speeches, and most of all I will miss your spirit in life! You are the most discipline person I’ve ever met in my life…You’ve proven to me that when you set your mind on something, as long as you work hard for it, you will and you can achieve anything in life!

You are my role model… I salute You!

Peace out!

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Today is the day we leave Cambodia

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

22 January 2008

Rise and shine… Our holiday is almost over. Mr Lee actually took the effort to wake up at 545 AM to watch the sunrise but unfortunately the sun was overcast and… he went back to bed… I stayed out patiently waiting for the sun. Don’t want none of ’em clouds on our last day… true enough the sun is always brighter in Cambodia!

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As usual, we started our day with a nice breakfast. This time around we tried Kiwi bakery. Recommended by Lonely Planet and deffo recommended by moi. It’s located at 199 Sisowath Boulevard. Prices ranges between US$1.50 to US$5. I had their tuna croissant with french fries… tasty french fries EVVAAA! Mr Lee had a delicious fish porridge AND a chicken pie… YUMMEH! Jeff had a big American breakfast and Mel had something… I forgot what it was, but she was satisfied!

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You know… I realize something… Jeff takes his food orders seriously… like SERIOUSLY!

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From top left: Jeff at Kiwi Bakery, Jeff at Raffles hotel Le Royal, Jeff at Veiyo Tonle, Jeff and Mel at Ponlok, Jeff at Ecstatic Pizza… before he became ecstatic! Hahahaaa… the man really treasures his food! It took him twice longer than the rest of us to choose his order WHEREVER we went!

After breakfast we went straight to The Royal Palace… It has a super mouth-full name: Preah Borom Reach Veang Chatomuk Mongkul… From now on I will only refer it as The Palace! Smart right! Anyway… It’s the principal residence oftheir Majesties the King and the Queen of the royal family… that means I’m most welcome there! I’m Madam Queen Goddess of the Royal Highnes… you may vomit now! hehehe.

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The majesty’s crib is HUGE! There are some restricted areas, but you have plenty of places that you can check out. The entry fee is US$6 and it opens from 8 – 11 AM and from 2 – 5 pm and they are very strit about it OK, so you betta get your arse down there on time so that you can make use of the moleh you spent on the tix.

The first joint you will see is The Throne Hall or Preah Tineang Tevea Vinichhay, since I’m SOOO GOOD WITH NAMES, I will now call it as… The T Hall! ooohhh Three snaps for me! It’s Da place where they held all the official ceremonies. Pretty neat the way they decorate it. Unfortunately nobody’s allowed to take pics inside, so you have to see it for yourself.

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I dig the architectural design… simple but yet divine !

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There’s also The Pavilion of Napoleon III… this one doesn’t have any funny name so I shall let it be. Napoleon presented this crib to king Norodom.

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Wat Preah Keo Morokat (picture shown below) … is also known as the Silver Pagoda or The temple of the emerald Buddha… I shall call it the Bling B.

It draws its name from the over 5000 silver tiles which cover the floor. The emerald Buddha was well… super bling… It’s pure emerald! There is another Buddha statue there… It’s made of gold, encrusted with more than 2000 diamonds ! Now THAT IS MAJOR BLING! They have other barang-barang on display from the Angkorian and Buddha period there as well.

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There are plenty of stupas for you to take pictures with =)

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What is vforviatch without a song and dance number!!!

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“Mari kita ra’yat Singapura sama sama menuju Bahagia…”

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“Why do birds… suddenly appear… Everytime… you are near… just like me… they long to be… Close to you…”

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“Pose for the camera now flick flick flick… You want my body… Won’t you get me bodied”

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“I’m bringing sexy back… yeahhh…. ’em other boys don’t know how to act… yeahhh”

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“I’m Starting With The gurl In The Mirror … If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place… Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change…” NA NA NA NA NA NAAAA NAAAAAAAA

Aiiiteee after the Palace we head down to the National Library… Why do you ask? Well am interested to find out more about the architectural of the building cos it has the blend of French and Angkorian influence… plus the loud and proud N.E.R.D Mr Lee himself would like to check it out… I told you his nerdiness goes back since Pre-Angkorian period!

You need to take a Tuk Tuk to reach there cos it’s quite far away from Sisowath Quay. It cost us US$2 to get there. Plus there’s another French-influenced building located nearby that we wanted to check out, Raffles Hotel Le Royal.

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There’s a statue of Vishnu holding a conch shell on his upper left hand, which represents creativity; chakra held by his upper right hand, symbolizes the mind; a mace held by the lower left hand, which represents individual existence; a Lotus held by the lower right hand, which represents liberation or dispersion. So he deffo represents higher learning!

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While we are playing around with the camera (by we I meant me!), Mr Lee has managed to secure himself in “the shortest internship program that has ever been created, not even the Donald himself could have ever thought of it”.

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He had the taste of becoming a librarian! Yes take a look at his proudest moment! And guess what he’s doing behind the desk while waiting to serve someone… browsing his facebook profile… well well well… ain’t that a surprise!

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After tired of fooling around at the library, we moved on to Raffles Hotel Le Royal. Wow the hotel is so SICK! and I haven’t seen such greenery ever since we arrived at Phnom Penh. This is La Grand place K! We cruised around and finally hang out at The Elephant Bar!

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Posing at our imaginary hotel right in front of our imaginary pool

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Apparently all the glamor has inspired Mr Lee to dwell into his emo side…

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Madam Queen GODDESS of the royal highness and yes you may kiss my feet says: “Mr Lee… I approve! You are officially Knight of the shining Emo… You may kiss my feet now!”

We went back to the hotel and gettin’ ready to check out and to have our last dinner. While I was having my last Bayon Beer, I saw this funny little incident that I think was pretty funny. Out of nowhere came this elephant who took his time walking along Sisowath Quay. Check out the havoc it had created!

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HUAAAAAAAA LAST MEAL AT CAMBODIA ALREADY! Time does fly when you’re having such a good time! Let me leave you (and myself… to remind me how good the trip was) with our last meal pics…

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Hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my Cambodia trip as much as I did writing about it =)

To Mr Lee and Jeffissa… Thank you for all the memories! Love you till eternity and beyond!

 

 

 

 

 

Good Morning Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

21 January 2008

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Like I said before, I made sure that I made used of the moleh that we spent at Hope & Anchor. I woke up at 530 AM to catch the sunrise and it was absolutely gorgeous. I saw the locals go about doing their morning routine. Exercising, getting ready to open their store or just hanging around the riverfront. It is so peaceful in the morning. The noise pollution is almost non-existent during this hour. I just sat there at the balcony until around 615 AM and then I went downstairs to the riverfront. I saw the fishermen making their living for the day… It was a lovely sight. It’s worth the pain of waking up really early! =)

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We checked out at around 8 AM and check in at our new guest house. The friendly Mekong Palace Hotel at Sisowath Quay.

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And then we head off to do our tourist duty… First stop… fill in the increasingly bulging tummy. We had breakfast at this local noodle place somewhere near the National Museum. They have English-speaking staff there and the food was really cheap! We had rice vermicilli soup with beef and it was simply delicious! They had this special sauce along with it, it was spicy and sweet… the sweetness actually tasted like brown sugar/gula malaka… SHIOK!

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After we got our tummy fixed, we head off to the National Museum. They display Pre-Angkor, Angkor and Buddhist statue there. Pretty cool. US$3 entry free and I suggest you to hire a guide, it’ll cost you US$5 extra but it’s worth it. Your guide will put words and meaning to the statues and by the end of the tour, you can differentiate between Pre Angkorian and Angkorian era statues AND you can even tell from which century it came from! hehehe… before you know it you’ll be as nerdy as Mr Lee! wakakkakaka… I kid … I kid Mr Lee, you know I love you… xoxo bitchy V.

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The self-trained tour guide with two gangho door bitchess… you betta dress like a tourist before you enter the museum bitch!

Before you know it… it’s time to… fill in our bulging tummy again… LUNCHHHHHHHHH!

We went to the ever inventive and creative in naming their sandwich shop place call… THE SHOP! It’s located at Street 240 #39. I’m really impressed with the Cambodian’s ability to make pastries… they really know what they’re doing, the French sure left something right to their colony. The price ranges between as little as US$ 1.5 to US$8. I had a mushroom bruchetta with parmesan…. YUMMEH!!! The portion was little though and I was hungry again by 4 PM 😉 Oh and they served these funky juice drinks that are deffo worth for you to try!

Infernal affairs agents seen entering “The Shop”

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After lunch off we went to The Russian Market for a little bit of shopping because it was too early to visit anything. Places are open from 730 – 11 AM and then 2 – 5 PM. So we took tuk tuk to take us to the Russian Market, The Killing Fields (Choeung Ek Memorial), S-21 (Toul Sleng Genocide Museum) and then back to our hotel. Take note that these places are quite a distance away from the riverfront. It’s not like the National Museum or the Palace which are in walking distance. But do bargain if the Tuk tuk dude says it’s gonna cost you US$20. We managed to hire him for US$10, be human and don’t be too thrifty when you bargain cos it’s fuckin far.

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Beware, the following post will be more serious. There are gruesome pictures but it’s very important to know Cambodia’s history to understand where they are right now… Cambodia was ruled by the Khmer Rouge, it’s a communist political party that came to power in 1975 – 1979 and let by the infamous Pol Pot. During those years blood were shed and injustice occurred. The Khmer Rouge followed a radical form of agrarian communism where the whole population had to work in collective farms or forced labor projects.

The Khmer Rouge regime arrested and eventually executed almost everyone suspected of connections with the former government or with foreign governments, as well as professionals and intellectuals. It’s their way of “cleansing” the Cambodians.

All over Cambodia, researcher had estimated there were more than 1 million people killed.

The Killing field (Entry charge US$2) is 15 KM southwest of Phnom Penh. It is the biggest location where the Khmer Rouge regime executed and mass buried their victims. There were more than 17,000 men, women and children buried here. These kind of mass grave were found all over Cambodia.

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We moved on to S-21 (Toul Sleng Genocide Museum) [entry charge US$2] where the Khmer Rouge interrogated and torture their inmates. Toul Sleng was actually a high school and they turned this building into a prison! It is now lies as the witness of all those lost souls.

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You can see pictures of the inmates on display, there are never ending rows pictures of men, women and CHILDREN! And you can tell from the look in their eyes that they have surrendered their faith in the hands of their torturer! Some men have deviant look in their eyes, some gave in, but the women… the women have the helpless look in their eyes… it’s just heart wrenching… It’s as if they know… they are going to die… The younger children don’t know what’s going on… but the older ones are scared… you can just tell by the look in their eyes…

The Khmer Rouge ruled the country for only four years and they managed to create such causalities that it was unbearable to comprehend. And to think that this inhuman act happened only less than 30 years ago…

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This picture of a woman and her baby really touched me. I took this picture from two different angles and it created such an effect that I feel her gaze just follow where my camera was pointing… Her eyes… I couldn’t take it after seeing this picture that I had to get out to catch some air…

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This was their torturing chamber and they displayed the picture of the victims found dead in that chamber in 1979.

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Pictures of the dead victims.

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After that very depressing visit, we went back to our hotel to clean up and take a lil’ rest and regain our happy juice… It’s our last night in Phnom Penh so we wanna check out the night scene there. You don’t have to worry of running out of bars cos at Sisowath Quay, there are so many of ’em.

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We decided to have a Khmer meal at this restaurant call Ponlok. It’s located on 319 Sisowath Quay. We had fish amok and crab meat fried rice, stir fry veggy and some local sour soup. The Amok was served inside a coconut… fawkin cute! Excellent meal y’all! It’s pricier for a local restaurant but as long as you don’t buy the seafood, it’s still affordable.

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My coconut shake bring all ’em boys to the yard… THAT’S RIGHT IS BETTA THAN YOURS! I can teach you but I have to CHARGE!!!

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After dinner we had some drinks and hang out for a while at this cozy bar call Corner Bar accross the street from Hope & Anchor… and then we called it a night…

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Tuesday, 22nd January would be our last day and we made a stop at the Palace!

Expect the unexpected at Phnom Penh

In between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh

20 January 2008

We went to Phnom Penh on our fourth day. We took the 1230 PM bus from Siem Reap. We used Mekhong Express and it cost us US$10 per person. They have two scheduled bus, you can choose to take the earlier bus which departs at 730 AM but we decided to re-lek’ jek’ first at the hotel. The ride took around 6 hours. It was really an enjoyable bus ride no hurdle at all, I fell asleep most of the time… surprise surprise 😉  A little bit of advice… when you book the bus, request for A&B seats Ok, don’t take ours which were C&D cos the sun shines at C&D side! Seriously I should have known that it was a sign that I can’t escape from the sun… later I’ll tell you why!

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We reached Phnom Penh slightly after 6 just in time for the sunset…

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The moment you see lots of run down houses stacking side by side, you know you’re reaching the capital city of a third-world country… The same scenery can be seen in rural Jakarta as well.

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On our first night, we stayed at Hope and Anchor, a guest house at Sisowath Quay facing the Tonle Sap river. It’s actually quite a cozy place, with a balcony overlooking the river, but it’s overpriced for the facilities and the owner is a burly old Brit dude who was rather nasty. He charged us US$40 per room, but we asked for a discount and he finally gave in and gave it to us for US$30 per room. Mel and Mr Lee were really good at doing this! I kept quite, am useless at this cos I know we were on the losing end… We had made reservation already and agreed upon the price… oh well… Mel & Jeff went around to look for other rooms earlier and they had found a nice guest house with a lot friendlier service and better price as well! It’s mekhong guest house and it’s still facing the river… minus the balcony… . So we moved out on the second day. Mr Lee and I shared a US$20 on the highest floor – the 5th floor, Jefissa shared a US$15 room on the ground floor. I guess the Hope & Anchor owner charged the balcony separately, like US$20!

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Hope & Anchor

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After all the drama in our lives, we went down to check out where we can eat, and we were cravings for food other than Khmer foods=) We went to this nice little cozy place call Veiyo Tonle (Number 237 Sisowath Quay) that serves Italian food, burgers, fish n chips and also some Khmer food. The Small size Pizza cost around US$5 and it tastes really good. They have plenty of pizzas for you to choose from! No… they don’t have any special ingredients that will make you feel ECSTATIC cos this restaurant is actually a day centre that helps and train orphanage and disadvantage kids. They have dance performance there on selected days (Mondays, but you have to check with them for other days). Too bad we didn’t manage to catch it.

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Sorry no pizza pics… way too famish to take pics cos we skipped lunch!

Afterwards we walked around the area to check out the scenery. We walked towards this shady alley where there were zero angmohs and plenty of locals… and let me tell you Cambodian are big on Karaoke man! hahaha… We saw this little cafe somewhere in the dark alley It’s call  Sakhanda Cafe. It was so nice and cozy and we only saw one old angmoh couple and they charge in real! The coffee is good and you should deffo check it out. It’s at No. 77 Oknha Inn (St 136)

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My personal agenda tom… to make use of the US$20 balcony and catch the sunrise!!!

Third day is a charm!

Siem Reap, Cambodia

19 January 2008

Last day of our Angkor Temples pilgrimage… We rented the car for the whole day, which cost US$25. We managed to visit 9 sites so be prepared there are TONS of pics!

Sunrise at Pre Rup (No. 13 on the map)Utterly beautiful! It was pitch black when we went up to the third storey but it was worth it! I didn’t move from my spot until I can see what’s going on around me! Yes I’m chicken shizzz when it comes to total darkness! We arrived around 5.45 AM and the sun went all out by 6.15 AM. Gorgeous!

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East Mebon (No. 11 on the map)

This is the Hindu temple buit by Rajendravarman II. It’s like the mini version of Pre Rup. I heart the elephant statues that surrounded the complex, make a pretty cool outline pics.

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OH MY GOD! I look so CUTE in this picture! WAHAHAHAHHAHAHA

Banteay Srei (No. 14 on the map)

This Hindu temple is dedicated to Shiva, very definely-designed bas-reliefs. Banteay Srei means Citadel of the Women and it said it must have been built by a woman because of the fine carvings are too delicate for the hand of a man!!! Way the go ladies from the ancient Angkor! Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy it so much because the joint was swamped with tourists by the time we reached there!

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Ta Som (No. 29 on the map)

It was built by Jayavarman VII, my hero… the narcissistic King of all Kings! Which explains the avalokitesvara, just like what we saw at the Bayon. There was this huge tree there and we sure didn’t waste the opportunity!;)

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I heart this pic… beautiful but yet somehow sad…

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You and me… and me and you… We’re so happy togetherrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

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Preah Neak Pean (No. 28 on the map)

It has a large square pool surrounded by four smaller square pools. I could so imagine in the old days where the place was filled with WATER and there were tons of gorgeous men and women bathing there! hihihi… wishful thinking;)

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Preah Khan(No. 27 on the map)

This would be my third favorite temple (first was Bayon, second Angkor Wat). It’s humongous with never ending corridors and tons of photos opportunities! It was built by… drum roll please… yup Jayavarman VII!

The walkways towards the temple itself is awesome.

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As you can see, Mr Lee has found a perfect place to rest his head! =)

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Check out my background… a big prick holding even a BIGGER prick! HAUHAHAHAHHAHA

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I heart the overwhelming mysterious feeling that I got from Preah Khan! It’s just mystical to me… It must have been super duper grandeur during its prime.

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All together now… “FIERCE!!!”

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Viatch channeling her childhood hero, the one and only… Michael Jordan!

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Mr Lee… channeling Bugs Bunny when he cross-dresses in “What’s Opera, Doc?” Just imagine Mr Lee wearing this:

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Sra Srang (No. 26 on the map)
Relaxing by the Sra Srang, the pool of Ablutions.

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Last stop! Ta Prohm (No. 24 on the map)

This was used as Tomb Raider’s movie set… It is left to be swallowed by the jungle. Beautiful bas-reliefs, ruins and large trees, best if you visit it in the late afternoon during the golden hour cos you can get gorgeous ray of light on your pics.

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GREAT SUCCESS!!! Off we go to Phnom Penh!

Second day was just a preamble

Siem Reap, Cambodia

18 January 2008

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After our eggs or pancakes American breakfast, we continued our journey to the ancient world of Angkor Temples. Next stop is the Angkor Thom Complex, which is located north of Angkor Wat. It is some 10 sq km in extent and was built by Angkor’s greatest king, Jayavarman VII (r1181 – 219). It may have supported a population of one million people in the surrounding region. We started out with the city centre, which is the Bayon (No. 31 on the Map).

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The Bayon is my favorite temple cos of its unique decoration. It has a colections of 216 humongous faces of avalokitesvara; which surprise surprise, bear a passing resemblance to the great king Jayavarman VII himself. Hey… a dude who knows how to leave a legacy… what’s not to love! Hail to the narcissist y’all!

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Amazing bas-reliefs (even though it wasn’t as extensive as Angkor Wat, but hey… it still took a lot of effort to craft all ’em stones y’all) incorporating more than 11,000 figures that depicts everyday life in 12th century Cambodia.

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Ok ’nuff of ’em artistic shots… here are my fav pics:

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Hanoman strutting his style: “This is why… This is Why… This is Why Am HAWT!”

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My emo’est shot EVER!

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Who’s going to be Cambodia’s Next Top Relic Hunter? Is it Melly the farting princess, whose “silent and deadly fart” is capable of killing a nation? Or will it be Viatch the Sex warrior – seen in the picture with her two loyal sex minions?! Stay tuned for the battle of the century!

Aiitteeee let’s move on to the next temple at Angkor Thom – Baphuon (No. 18 on the map). I heart the catwalk – it’s 200m elevated walkway made of sandstone.

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Mel had one of her MANY bimbo moments here. We were reading the info board on Baphuon when she triumphantly laughed at one of the info and said: “hehehe… they didn’t know when the temple was built so they put XX century here!” and we all looked at her… “It’s TWENTIETH century Mel!”, and she was like… “oh…” ROFL!!! I heart traveling with Mel!

After Baphuon, we visited Phimeanakas... I didn’t go up cos I was exhausted so I just lay low and waited for the rest to come back.

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It was around noon and it was really really HAWT! Luckily we took the path that were sheltered by trees. We were on our way to see Preah Palilay that has huge tree comin out of it. I heart the trees there… they are humongous and in silver color… they have character!

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We followed the pathway towards the east and found ourselves at the bottom of the Leper King Terrace (No. 37 on the map). It is a 7m-high platform and was built in the 12th century. It is said that the Leper King Terrace housed the royal crematorium.

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Just south of the Terrace of the Leper King, lies 350m-long Terrace of Elephants (No. 36 on the map) that was used as a giant viewing stand for public ceremonies and served asa a base for the king’s grand audience hall. It reminds me of Singapore’s Marina Bay being used for viewing NDP!

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Another Mel’s infamous bimbo moment occurred here as well! hehehe… We were walking and Mel’s dilapidated shoes finally gave up on her… She said “Eh… where’s my shoe sol! How come suddenly my foot felt so hot one!” In loving memories of Mel’s dilapidated tennis shoes… May it rest in peace!

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FINALLY IT’S LUNCH TIME! We went back to the city and ended our trip to Angkor Temples for the day. We didn’t want to eat there cos the hawker foods are the same price as restaurant foods outside the temples and it’s mainly consist of instant noodles.

We went back to the Alley and had our lunch at Khmer Kitchen Restaurant where we wanted to have our dinner the other night. It’s cheaper than the “Traditional Khmer Food Restaurant” but the Amok was not as nice. We also tried baked shrimps with pumpkin and it’s really nice! Totally Recommended! As always, food pics are with Mr Lee. I will upload them once I got the pics from him=)

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I’ve found my soul mate!!! The Bayon beer! It’s not as light as Lao beer and not as bitter as Angkor beer. It’s JUST NICE!!! HEART IT! A must try y’all!

We went to the New Market to do a lil’ shopping. Unfortunately unlike Thailand, it doesn’t really have a lot of variety of souvenirs… mainly scarfs, artifacts, gems stones, shirts and t-shirts.

And at night we continue to indulge ourselves in gluttony=) We tried out the roadside food, which was very cheap and fully loaded in MSG! hahaha We had a variety of soupy and fried rice noodles and maggie mee.

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Nope… we didn’t stop there… we moved on to a Pizza place cos we wanted to try Cambodia’s special pizza. The joint is called “Ecstatic Pizza”; the name itself is self-explanatory. And you will be greeted by an extremely Ecstatic waiter who laughed non-stop, and that dearie, is a really good sign! We had the meltdown- four cheese pizza babeehhh with da special herbs, and I ain’t talkin abt Oregano K! I recommend you to have more than 3 large pizzas to feel really really ecstatic though! and DON’T FORGET THE BEER!!! I tried Crown Beer this time around.. not bad… but Bayon is still my first love!

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TODAY ON VIATCH – SUHARTO IS DEAD!

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Ex- Indo President Suharto who had reigned Indonesia for 32 years is dead at the age of 86! The cause of death was lung, heart and kidney failure and he went into a coma this morning. He passed away at 13:10 WIB.

Even though he had done a lot of wrongs for all of us (especially the amount of human rights abuses, corruption, nepotism and debt that will never ever EVER be resolved!) he still was our leader… Peace out Mr X-President S, hope you’ll find peace wherever you are right now… Amien…

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