Friday, March 18, 2011

The Last Night...

This is our last night in Siem Reap.

After having scrub off those grim, dust and dirt we headed out slightly afresh to Pub Street for dinner and the last night of walking in Siem Reap's town.

Some snapshots of the old market....

From fruits to dry spices and souveniors, we even spotted salted fish and sausages!!

One of the less vibrant street and street side peddlar selling fried mee...

Fresh vegetables aplenty although it's late at night around 8.30pm++ Siem Reap local time. Some stall have already close tho. While walking in the market, we spotted a basket full of black stuff deep fried.

We went closer and look what we saw!





Gross? I find it gross coz i cant make out what it is initially. Just a chunck of black leggy stuff! Go closer somemore and only realised that it is spidey, a real BIG one!!

It ain't the normal spidey you find in your home ceiling or drawers. This is the poisonous spider Tarantula!! yikes!!

I cant imagine myself biting into any parts of this or any other insects found on the streets!!

After strolling thru the old market, we went to the night market to have some last minute shopping as well as to find a good massage place to quieten down our tired and sore legs.

All of us enjoyed the massage thoroughly as our legs feels afresh after having a good rub down! We headed back to our hotel around 1.30am to get a few hours of sleep before catching our flight back home.

Before our trip, most comment we received from friends who have visited Siem Reap is that you will get all dusty from head to toe. However, ours was a different story. At the end of each day, we are rather the same when we leave our hotel except for tired body. Why?.....

cos we were lucky and privilege to be transported in this -> a 7-seater air-conditioned Mercedez Van! hahahaha.....

Ooh yah talking about the few hours of sleep before our flight, my nightmare begun an hour after I got into bed. I was rudely awaken with tummy ached and it went on the whole night right till dawn. I was purging and purging!!
Luckily after consuming some medications that we bought along, the purging stop at least for me to get on the flight and land back home. I even had a nap before seeing the doctor for I am, we are all very very tired from this trip.

What a trip to remember by! Must be all those coconuts used in their cooking that my tummy cant tolerate further. All in all, I have a good trip albeit the last bit of purging o.O

That's it for our escapade to Siem Reap, Cambodia....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Neak Pean and Preah Khan

Being rudely awaken is one thing but when you realised that the road you're taking is getting smaller and smaller not anything for a van to go thru, you will sit upright and look all around you!

Yeah even the locals get lost in their own town! LOL!!

So yeah, as I was saying we were rudely awaken as our van went thru bumpy stretches and miracurously able to cross a rather huge hole with all of us in it. We took the wrong turn. The driver and guide wanted to take the short cut but missed the turning. That's how we ended up in a really narrow road full of bumps and went thru a huge hole!

Nontheless we arrived at Neak Pean safely.

Neak Pean is a unique island temple. The walk is rather long. Again the temple is surrounded by man made moat and this moat is huge! On the way in, we spotted a hut on the moat and it was made known to us that that's a police base! (bottom right pic). Dont think it's in operation now though...

The uniqueness of Neak Pean is that Neak Pean is a small monument in a cruciform arrangement of ponds with a sanctuary tower on a circular island in the middle. It represent the sacred Himalayan lake. This lake was famous for it miraculous healing properties and as the source of four great rivers issuing through the mouths of sclupted fountainheads. You will see the 4 fountainheads in the shape of an ox, a human head, a lion and a horse. Neak Pean is still in use till this day.

The flying horse

At Neak Pean only me and hubs went round the island temple. The rest of our friends is too tired and not fully awake from their siesta and thus they stayed at the entrance to snap some pics :) Actually it's a pretty hot day and both me and hubs were also tired but since we're there, might as well just go one round and look see look see.

On our way out, we spotted street peddlers and those fruit like looks like kuaci to me. Didnt stop to enquire nor buy any to try.

We continued our journey to Preah Khan. It's deep in the jungle and walking thru Preah Khan is rather cooling as the trees above us shades us from the glaring sun.

Upon entering Preah Khan, it gave me a familiar nostalgia feel. It's quite similar to Ta Prohm but on a larger scale.

Preah Khan is actually a Buddhist University and city. The entrance causeways are lined with boundary stones and nagas held by Gods and Asuras. One side is the God, the other side is the Devil. Talk about angel and devil!

As with all temples in Siem Reap, you get to see a lot of carvings detailed carvings. Tree roots are also found growing on top of the temple here, thus the similarity it has to Ta Prohm.

Further walk in, we suddenly stopped and thought we were in Rome! LOL!!

We saw this. Beautiful isnt it? It is actually a unique round columned two storied building. Used to be a dancing hall or something along that line previously.

There were a lot of ruins everywhere but Preah Khan is a beautiful place and large! I mentioned this already didnt I? :)

the doors we went thru, kinda small huh

intricate carvings on steps, beams, walls, everywhere!!

these are not bullet holes but was filled with precious stones/gems

There were a lot of child selling souveniors here and boy they are really determined coz they can follow you a long long way eventhough you politely turn them down! We had a hard time fighting them off!

We ended our tour of Preah Khan by emerging from the other side of the entrance and headed back to our hotel. This marks the end of our Siem Reap tour as the next day we are scheduled to head home.

We have "overused" our legs and they are practically squeaking out for rest! hahahaha......

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Trail Continues ~ Banteay Srei & Kbal Spean

I've been procastinating to finish up my travel post. Too many photos to run thru hehehe... so brace yourself now for the post below and coming posts on my trip to Siem Reap will be loaded with pics. As they say, a picture paints a thousand words! :)

Right! After having a blast at the street party counting down to the New Year, we continued our sight seeing to Banteay Srei after catching a couple of hours eye rest. On the way there, we stopped at one of the villages along the road to taste and see how palm sugar candy were made.

The two bamboo containers you see on the left of the pic is to hold the palm juice extracted. Do you know which is the "female" and "male" palm fruit? The green trunck with "boobs" is the female whereas the two longish is the male hehehhee......

This is how you extract the palm juice from the female fruit. You press press press and then slice it off a bit for the juice to flow out. The juice will be transferred to a big wok where they will be cook until the juice thickens before spooning it into the candy mould. Once the candy has harden, it will be packed for sale.

We were given the chance to taste the palm sugar candy and drink fresh palm juice. Surprisingly the fresh juice is very tasty!

The palm tree very high. Villagers climb up these trees using their self made ladder which hubs had a try on. Bravo bravo! hahahaha.....

After hanging around snapping pics and purchasing our candies we continued on to Banteay Srei.

Banteay Srei also famously known as Citadel of Women or Citadel of Beauty refers to its size and delicacy of its decoration. The uniqueness of it is that it has exquisite decorative carving in pink sandstone. Banteay Srei also prides itself as Jewel of Khmer Art, a temple of great beauty. It is indeed a real beauty to behold.

Agree that it's indeed a beauty? Exquisite carvings in pink sandstone. Amazing isn't it?

Temples in Siem Reap are always surrounded by water or they call it moat. The reflection of the temple on the water always take my breathe away.....

After Banteay Srei, we continued our journey uphill to Kbal Spean. To see the beauty of lingas and carvings on riverbed, we had to hike up the hill and it takes 30 mins.

We went thru open wide paths, rocks and boulders some of which were quite steep as you can see from the photos above before reaching our destination. Along the way, there were huts where you can rest if you feel take your stamina is giving way.

Kbal Spean - river of a thousand lingas. I do believe there's thousands of lingas there as the whole river bed is full of lingas. Some are covered by sand over the years but you can still see the lingas. It's amazing that the lingas has been there for so many many years and eventhough it's under the water, it's still very clear.

Besides lingas, you see cravings of reclining Vishnu. As it's dry season when we were there, some parts of the river is dry.

Lingas througout the river bed arranged in a nice pattern.

See this carefully and you can spot a crocodile like creature.

We followed the trail and went to the waterfall. Here, we saw beautiful yellow butterflies. There were so many of them. Beautiful!!

One of our friend while snapping photos slipped and fell into the water. He was wet throughout but managed to save his dSLR from damage or wet. The floor bed is rather slippery. Luckily for him, there's no major casualty except for a rather apparent bruise on his knee and some knocks here and there.

We continued downhill and went thru the rocks, boulders and it's another 30 mins hike down!

After the hike up and down Kbal Spean, all of us were really tired. We adjourned to a garden restaurant for lunch where we had a very yummy pineapple chicken soup! yum-yumz....

After lunch we were given siesta time in our van while we headed to Neak Pean which is about 40 mins drive away. Most of us after few minutes into the journey knocked out but to be rudely awaken when our van went thru some rather bumpy road....

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