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!

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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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The day when it all started

17 Jan 2008

We left Singapore on 6 AM flight… that’s right SIX freakin AM… I stayed over at Mel’s house and it was a really freakin LONG day at the office, but I was pretty excited about the trip! Woke up at 3 am and dozed off the moment the plane took off. Mr Lee the oh so dedicated reporter didn’t sleep at all cos he had to finish up his work! Poor thing, but afraid not, being the total savvy and NERDY traveler, he blew himself a head rest… Thank god the infamous snorer didn’t snore on the flight… or maybe he did… but I wouldn’t know cos I passed out most of the time=)

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After two hours flight from Singapore, we finally arrived at Siem Reap international airport. It was surprisingly cold when we step out of the plane. It was aircon cold so it’s cool. We went down to the immigration… and I tell you it felt like I’m back home in Jakarta cos the immigration likes to take their time and the amount of chops they put on our passport! AND as part of ASEAN members, I still have to pay US$20 for my visa and an additional US$2 for them to scan my passport pics since I didn’t bring a passport size picture. I didn’t have to pay for a visa when I went to Vietnam y’all!

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Well anyway the hotel picked us up from the airport and took us to our hotel, Auberge mont royal d’angkor. It’s a small cozy hotel, with excellent hospitality and strategically located near the Psar Cha (10 min walk), where all the pubs and restaurants are located. The room is clean and it cost US$33 per night including breakfast and airport pick up. Me and Mr Lee shared a room. It is considered a budget-boutique hotel… After we had a surprisingly cheap – US$2 for a hotel American breakfast set meal – Mr Lee and Jefissa concussed while I hang out at the bar, drank my first Angkor Beer, and finally had the time to read about Siem Reap! hahaha This is the least-planned holiday I’ve ever had! When I went to Vietnam, me and Gani spent almost a month to plan our trip. But we visited 6 cities in Vietnam and traveled from North to South so we needed to plan more for that. This happened in end of Dec 2006! hahaha. I hope I have time to post the pictures! Anyway back to Cambodia… since we are only going to visit two places Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, we decided to plan our itinerary on the spot! Which was fine cos we wanted to visit the major places and of course taste the local cuisine:) (and for me: to taste as much local beer as I could).

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When everybody had woken up and looked reasonably presentable for others:) we decided to start our holiday by making a trip to the amazing Angkor Wat. We hired a car which cost us US$10 cos it’s already late afternoon, and we bought the three days pass which cost us US$40 each. And it was a good idea to rent a car cos it was super hot and dusty, plus it’s economical, there were four of us sharing:)

A little background about the temples of Angkor; they are the soul of the Kingdom of Cambodia, not to mention the source of income for most Khmers as they attract tourists in the peak months of November – March. The principal attractions are Angkor Wat, and my all time favorite, the Bayon, in the walled city of Angkor Thom. Three days is just enough time for you to discover and appreciate the beauty and the history of the Angkor Temples, less than that, would be your lost. These temples dated back more than 1000 years-old. That dearie, is enough reason for y’all to come and visit this magnificent architectural breakthrough of its time… Not only the pieces together millions of rocks, but they also crafted bas-reliefs along all of those temples which mainly tells the story of the epic battle of Mahabharata and Ramayana which were major texts in Hinduism.

This is the map of the Angkor temples complex that I got from this site

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The moment I saw Angkor wat, I was sold! It was utterly stunning! It was build by King Suryavarman II back in 1112-52 and it is surrounded by a moat, which forms a giant rectangle measuring 1.5 km by 1.3 km. It’s hugeeeeeeeeee.

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We went around to see the bas-reliefs on the outside of the central temple (which you must read anti clockwise) and it took us a while to see all nine of them… and we haven’t even entered the central complex yet. Smart arse Mr Lee reasoned that the best way to understand the stories on the wall is by running alongside the walls and the scenes will be connected just like cartoon! hahaha Smart arse… but we did try… and went out of breath in less than 2 minutes=)

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Below are the pictures taken from the central complex.

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I think we spent almost 3.5 hours at Angkor Wat… please bring enough water, cos you need it and don’t forget to apply sunscreen, it’s mighty hot out there!

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We wanted to enjoy the sunset from another temple, Our driver, Mr Ping brought us to Phnom Bakheng, at which we could see Angkor wat from there… but hell… it was a bloody tourist trap! TOO MANY PEOPLE there for us to actually enjoy the sunset… but honestly… looking at the sunset there, it was hard not to appreciate it! I’ve never seen the sun so round and so red before in my life… It was like seeing a ping pong ball slowly slipping down towards eternity.

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After spending half-a-day at Angkor Wat, we went back to our hotel, took the best shower in our life… separately… and went down to Psar Cha (Old market) area to have our first Khmer dinner. We wanted to go to Khmer Kitchen restaurant, located at The Alley-between Bar Street and Psar Chaa which is recommended by our bible, “Lonely Planet: Cambodia”, but it was fuckin crowded… knowing we’re way too famished to wait, we decided to try out “the Traditional Khmer food Restaurant” instead. We had Khmer famous traditional dish call Amok, it’s basically sweet curry, and you can choose between fish, chicken, beef or pork Amok, we tried their vegetable curry, which was like Malay’s vegetable curry only sweeter and we had fresh vegetable spring rolls… it was yummeh! Mr Lee have all the food pics… I was too weak and hungry to take any pics… the pics you’ll see are after i refueled myslf:)

Ohhh… and I had my first Beer Lao there… I still prefer Angkor Beer cos Beer Lao is way too light for me… Lager Queen=)

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Bar Street

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The Alley

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Melisa… Kenyang Bego!

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Mr Lee is such a sweetheart! When it was bed time, he patiently waited until I fell asleep before he slept cos he knows I can’t sleep when someone snores… and believe me Mr Lee snores… REAL HARD! hahaha I witnessed it at noon when he concussed and dang I thought someone was lawn mowing inside the room! hehehe…. thanks Mr Lee for being such a sweetheart!

Ok tom I’ll post the rest of the pics… It’s time for me to doze offfffffffffff NITE y’all

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