Friday, January 28, 2011

The City of Angkor Thom

After completing Angkor Wat for sunrise, we went back to our hotel for breakfast and rested awhile. Noon time in Siem Reap is the hottest and usually tourists are advised to take a break during this time before proceeding further visits.

We entered The City of Angkor Thom where we walked around the Elephant Terrace, a spectacular meeting place in the 12th century where entertainments and dancings were held. Right behind it lies the Royal Palace and Phimeanakas.

Victoria Gate (if not mistaken)

We walked around the Elephant Terrace a little taking in the breathtaking vast land to our right left and front. Were informed that on the opposite road, it used to be where tight rope walkers perform.

Elephant Terrace ~ a long terrace from end to end

We proceeded to the back of Elephant Terrace where we walked thru the ruins of the Royal Palace. From there we saw beautiful Phimeanakas. There's a legend that says the King is to spent the first watch of every night with a woman who represent a Naga in the tower to prevent calamities to his land.

The towers of Phimeanakas

We passed by Bayon which is under restoration at the moment.

headless nagas

Common sight if you're on top of any temples ~ it's a loonnnggg fall!! *splat*

From there, we went to Ta Prohm famous for trees growing inbetween the temple and also because Tomb Raider was filmed there starring Angelina Jolie.

at the entrace of Ta Prohm, see the tree growing on top of the building?, check out the roots ~ huge thick roots (back view of the building)

The many many doors that we walked thru. Ooh, did you spot those "holes" on the wall? It used to be filled with precious stones. Some of the temples are built by the son for their mother as a tribute.

More of Ta Prohm. I get fascinated by the big roots and the way the tree weaves it way in between cracks of the building and grow so so so tall!!

Check out the last picture bottom right. Did you notice that there's a face in between the gap? Fascinating right? No matter how the root weaves around, it didnt cover the face at all!!

You can even play hide and seek around the windows covered roots? LOL :p

peek-a-boo!!!

overview of the temple ground

group pic at Ta Prohm

Aahh... Bayon, my favourite site! :) Just love those faces!

Can you spot em already from here? It's a real beauty!

finely crafted to the details!

sporting a rather sharp nose hehehehe....

more faces everywhere you turn

4 sides also have face!

If not mistaken, there are over 40+ faces at Bayon. It's a real wonder (dunno about you but I'm wondering and wondering....) how they can stack those slabs up so high and craft such lovely displays. Not only that, each face has it's own facial expression!

All of us agreed that we loved and loike Bayon very very much!!

Done with Angkor Thom City, we are so ready to catch sunset now....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Senior's Birthday

I guess I better post this up before the next member's birthday which is just round the corner! *hiks*

We went to Umaiya Puchong this time to celebrate our Senior's birthday. Why Umaiya Puchong so far? It's because one of our member has returned and is working as a Chef in Umaiya, that's why! We had the celebration there so that our Mr. Chef is able to join us on and off while working in the kitchen. Also secretly hoping that we get special foodies hahahaha......

Our food that night. We each had a set and ordered some orders for sharing.... Ended up everyone very very full!

And of course each birthday would not be a birthday (in Cavan's terms) if there's no birthday cake. We got smarter as we celebrate each others birthday. We got the smaller version of cake 0.5kg? This is to avoid passing or should I say forcing each other to finish up the cake! LOL

Birthday boy, why I call him Senior.
Well he is my Senior muahahahaha.....

Of course not forgetting our group's entertainers and bundle of joy ~ the kiddos.....

After a fulfilling dinner at Umaiya, we proceeded to Pacific Coffee next door and had a cuppa before we call it a night! *yawn*

7 Types of iPhone Owners

I came across this while going thru my twitter. A really interesting piece.

So tell me, which type do you fall into?

7 Types of iPhone Users by All Area Codes

by All Area Codes

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Rabbit is coming....

Yes, hoppity hop hop is coming to greet us in a week's time!

We will be bading the Tiger goodbye and welcoming the Rabbit in. Hope that everyone will have a better hoppity hop hop in Rabbit year. Gosh! New Lunar Year is just around the corner and I have yet to finish up my travel posts. Yikes!!

Anyway, yesterday I received a package and once opened it unveils cute cute stuff! It's from Playhouse Disney sent by Sophia of IN.Deed Communications. Thank you so much Sophia! :)

We received gorgeous Mickey & Minnie Angpows packets, greeting card, 2 pieces of door deco and a CD packed with printables of arts & crafts, recipes and games which we can make and try at home for this coming Lunar New Year. You too can try it out. Just log-on to www.playhousedisney-asia.com/celebrationcenter to get all these nice and cute stuff!

Oohh before I log-off here, lil ones can catch special Lunar New Year episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny and Special Agent OSO on February 3rd and 4th on Playhouse Disney ASTRO Channel 613 :)

Yes if you have not realised it by now, I'm a HUGE fan of Mickey Mouse!! :p

Gong Xi Fa Cai everyone!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 2 - Sunrise at Angkor Wat

Again only a few hours sleep, 5 hours max I would say and we were up and being transported to the Ancient Angkor site - Angkor Wat for sunrise.

It was really really dark when we arrive at the ticket counter. Here they will take a photo of you and it will appear in your pass. We bought the 3 days pass. It's either 1 day or 3 days, no option for 2 days pass.

The walk into Angkor Wat itself was quite long. The long causeway is surrounded by manmade moat. On the way in to the temple, we passby the libraby where they used to store their documents. Of course we cant see anything since it was pitch black at that time. Tips : bring a torchlight and extra clothes/scarf. It's quite cold.

After some time, we reached the area where everyone was either sitting, squatting or standing around rooted to the ground. This is the area where each one of us is waiting for the sunrise that will rise right behind Angkor Wat. The area is packed!!

When I say it was packed, I'm not joking. Check out the picture above. Packed to the brim!! We went further up towards to the side to find a spot for ourselves. While waiting, you can hear clicks here and there and occasional flashes of light. Aahh...everyone is adjusting the settings on their camera and testing shots. We did the same :) and grew more and more frustrated as the seconds tock by. It's not easy capturing sunrise.

The sky begins to clear.......

Clearer and spotted the sun rising.....

Closer shot of Angkor Wat

There's a lot of gwailos, Koreans, Japanese and Chinese (mainland China) there. Sad to say the Chinese is rather rude, very rude I would say. They don't say excuse me if you happened to be in their view or if they want some space to capture pics. They will just shove and push you rather roughly (quite hard)!! How rude! No basic courtesy. Ooh well, this could only represent the small minority of them but still we were not happy. Unfortunately, 3 of us encountered them and received the same treatment.

After seems likes eternity at the sunrise spot, we proceeded into Angkor Wat itself. Angkor Wat is the world's largest religious monument. It is the microcosm of the Hindu universe and the 5 peaks that you see represents Mount Meru.

Once I step foot into the temple ground, I spoted balusters. Lots of em. I loike!! :) I call them the olden "grilles".

the many balusters

There were many bas-reliefs, one of the famous creations in Khmer art which cover the exterior walls of Angkor Wat. These bas-reliefts depicts stories from battles, processions, judgement to the famous Churning of the Sea Milk.

the long wall of bas-reliefs

bas-relief depicting King Suryavarman II on his throne before the procession

We climbed one of the towers assisted by man-made stairs. Although there's staircase, the walk up is rather steep. Heard from one of our friend that previously a tourist's wife fell to her death while climbing the tower steps. After the incident, the tourist sponsored some monies so that staircase is built to avoid any such incidence.

It was learnt that olden times, the narrow steps are built so that devotees to the temple takes their time to climb up to offer their offerings as a mark of respect to their God. It just wonders me how they can up such steep steps! The picture of one balancing some offering on one's head or holding it with both hands while walking (should I say climbing) always flashes across my mind while keeping a straight back. How to walk/climb?

man-made staircase built on top of the original steps.
some parts were rather shaky!!

one of the towers beautifully crafted,
every inch and corner even the steps are crafted with fine details


We ended up at the other side of Angkor Wat where we took some group photos before heading to our next destination.


Next ~ Angkor Thom (Elephant Terrace, Phimeanakas, Bapuon and Bayon)

Friday, January 21, 2011

I ♥ Ipoh

It was a cool evening, the roads are congested and we were hunting for a place to dine. Round and round and finally ended up at Sunway Giza.

Been wanting to try this I ♥ Ipoh outlet for quite sometime but never actually make it there. Thus this round, straightaway enter the outlet after parking our car.


We were the only diners there that night. Towards the end of our meal, 2 more diners came. Hmm... kinda quiet compared to the shop next door which is quite crowded.

Anyway quiet is also good, we can enjoy our meal peacefully :)

Our drink orders - Iced Teh Si and Iced White Coffee

Do note that when you order Teh Si here, they do not put sugar. It's a "kosong" Teh Si.

Hubby's dinner - Menglembu Hor Fun

The soup base is not the usual Ipoh Hor Fun you have outside. I can't pin point what exactly for I only took a sip but it's different.

I had the Asam Laksa. Can't resist Asam Laska. My favourite and it's tough to find a good bowl of Asam Laksa here in Kay-el. The broth served here is real thick with fishes. Not the runny clear soup and a piece of fish that you usually gets. Not bad!

My dinner - Gunung Rapat Asam Laksa

Overall, we had a nice dinner but found the price steep. After the 15% discount we had with Standard Chartered promo, still found it expensive! LOL.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hello Cambodia!!

Our agenda started by dropping off our kids at my parents and headed to a friends house in Klang. Slept around 1am? and woke up at 4am to get ready. By 5am, our transport came and we headed out to pick the rest of our lil group in the same neighbourhood and headed to the airport.

Checked-in our baggage, grab a quick breakie at McDonald's and headed towards the boarding gate. Yep! aren't we all ready!!

Ooh did I mentioned this is the very first time we are going abroad as a group? It's very different when you have gatherings locally vs travelling abroad. Planning a gathering locally is already not easy, what more a trip abroad? The 7 of us will be ending the year and starting the New Year together! (ppsstt.... without kids!) LOL!!

AK280 at the back, 0750 hours local time (0850 MY time)

Hello CAMBODIA!!

It was cool and sunny when we arrived. Beautiful clear blue sky....

Here we are at one of Cambodia's provience - Siem Reap, a World Heritage Site known for it's many beautiful temples.

Our group made it thru the cust*ms except for one friend of ours that was asked to pay "tip". What a start! Didnt know that Siem Reap cust*ms expected tips!!

We had made arrangements earlier for an airport pick-up service. Spotted the guy and we were transported to our hotel - Steung Siem Reap Hotel. This hotel is divided into 2 blocks right opposite each other across the street, one is the old wing the other the new wing. Location : it's smacked right in town, easy access to the famous Pub Streets, Old Market and Night Markets.

Surprisingly the hotel room is nice and the bed is comfy. A must since during the day we walked a lot, really a lot!!

Upon check-in, we spent sometime discussing and negotiating tour rates with our guide. Finally we settled upon 2.5 days tour for USD115 per pax. We only had time to visit the washroom to freshen up as our tour starts immediately!!

Left our luggages with the conceirge and away we go! The tour starts!!

First stop - Silk Farm

Top row: baby worms feasting on mulberry leaves, grown bigger (note the color change), raw silk wrapped around the worm cocoon

Bottom row : cocoons boiled and raw silk extracted (see the fine threads?), tie and knot method (where you get the beautiful designs), weaving method

Here, we were introduced to the tedious steps of silk making. We met mating moths, baby worm to adults worm and were even given the chance to take home dead worms in their silk cocoons!!

After about an hour or so at Silk Farm, we proceeded to the Killing Field.

Second stop - Killing Field

It used to be a monastery where during Polpot's reign, it became a massacre field. Young armies were brain washed to kill even their own parents! Now, a memorial stupa is built and in it are the skulls and bones of those killed in this field and surrounding areas.

Third stop - Artisans Angkor

House and training school of Angkor's craft. Here, you are introduced to the many types of craftmanship. Skilled artisan were seen working diligently on pieces of wood, stone etc.. They are also sent to helped in restoring Angkor's site.

Fourth stop - Tonle Sap

Tonle Sap is the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia. This amazing and unique river system is quite unusual. One, its flow changes direction twice a year and the portion that forms the lake expands and shrinks dramatically with the season.

From November to May, Cambodia's dry season Tonle Sap drains into the Mekong River at Phnom Penh. During raining seasons in June, Tonle Sap transforms into an enormous lake! [wikipedia] The lake rises and progressively floods the surrounding forests and rice fields.

Another peculiar habit to note is that people who lives at Tonle Sap lives according to the rising and falling of water levels. They have simple shack that is movable and most of those spotted at the lake is basically built upon boats. Talk about durability and convenience!

Top row : the vast lake which is easily mistaken for sea, view of the houses, goverment building, etc.. on Tonle Sap
Bottom row : simple shacks along the causeways and stilts houses

Spotted naked kids, mostly boys :) I was flabbergastered when I saw how the kids travel from one spot to another. They basically sat inside one big basin and row their way here and there! We are talking about the normal basin you use at home for your laundry maybe?

Can you spot the boy with a slittery friend on his neck? (right pic)

Cambodian residence on Tonle Sap on their everyday tasks

Nicely decorated "water house". Can you see drums at the bottom? The house is floating and is readily movable. They even rear oink oink and quack quack on water!!!

We ended our tour of Tonle Sap by cooling and refreshing ourselves with fresh coconut at one of the floating shops.

Headed back to our hotel to check out our rooms. Rested a bit before heading out to the streets to check out Amok Restaurant recommended by our guide. Food not bad at all and we tried their specialty Amok Fish and Amok Pork.

Amok Restaurant, starter - cold pumpkin soup on the house, Amok Pork

green curry pork, Amok discovery set (fried spring rolls, Amok Fish, beef skewers, salad, seafood tomyam, cant remember what else..), seafood tomyam, fried rice

After fulfilling our tummies, we walk about Pub Street, Old Market and Night Markets taking in the sights and sounds of Siem Reap's night life before calling it a day!

Ooh, another note : Siem Reap people drives rather slow. I meant real slow at 40km!

Next up, another early start of the day ~ Sunrise at Angkor Wat!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year 2011

photo from the world wide web

Here's wishing everyone all the way from Siem Reap, Cambodia

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011!!

Have a magnifique day ahead ~ xoxo

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
 
[life-muses] - a memoir... Blogger Template by Ipietoon Blogger Template