there’s more to cambodia than wats. you can explore the untouched rainforests in cardamom mountains, trek bokor national park, spot dolphins at kratie, chill at the beautiful beach at sihanouke ville… all of which… i didn’t manage to do! too much time wasted travelling from pt A to pt P in a horrible bus ride with my already limited time. that doesn’t mean my trip was any less fun tho.
when i told my guide, sarorn i wanted to cycle and explore around the wats, he was amused. “tuk tuk more comfortable. it’s too hot to cycle!” plus he had not cycled since school days! i’m sooo glad i insisted. it was the best time of my trip! CYCLING is such a great way to see a place. you get to explore local villages, stop whenever you want, wherever you want. and you get a good workout (under the scorching sun)! sarorn invited us to his house on the way for a simple home-cooked lunch with his lovely wife and daughter. too awesome.
he later told us that he really enjoyed the day – it brought back memories of his school days. while cycling is recreational to us, bicycle is purely a mode of transport for him since he cannot afford other means. tuk tuk driver by day when he has no tourist-clients and security guard by night. he works really hard to provide for his family. one simple, humble guy. i felt guilty for my travel indulgence for a moment there.
i like SIEM REAP. it’s not just about the wats. go sign up for a COOKING CLASS, buy fresh ingredients from a local market, cook up a storm and make some new friends! or try CERAMIC POTTERY MAKING, which i did and enjoyed! not easy at all. now i really appreciate every piece of ceramic work.
of course, angkor wat, angkor thom and bayon are a must-visit. the rest, i couldnt even remember their names. wat? oh and must see sunrise at angkor wat! expect people. herds of them.
ANGKOR WAT has this grandness, despite being a ruin, that leaves you in awe. it makes you wonder how it looked like in its glorious days. all the cravings are so intricate. each tell a story. it is a piece of art standing the test of time. there is a moat filled with water surrounding angkor wat, lined with trees for shade. nice breeze, beautiful backdrop, perfect for an evening picnic!
BAYON. love, love, love all the giant buddha faces. their smiley faces make me happy. i feel blessed already!
ANGKOR THOM. it’s amazing to see how the trees and temples became one. roots engulfing the structure. truly a piece of art with nature at work.
you gotta see them for yourself. i’ve posted some photos previously: colours of cambodia. will post more in my next blog. stay tuned.
the journey to KAMPONG PHLUK and FLOODED FOREST was too much of a slooow ride. it was however, interesting to see people living in huts on tilts. everywhere they go, they row. even kids row their own boat to schools. sarorn said they usually go to the mainland for daily necessities once a month. a life i can’t imagine. too confined!
so this is my snapshot of siem reap, angkor. as much as i hate to recollect my horrible bus ride to phnom penh, i shall write in my next blog. since i survived to tell the story…
siem reap. phnom penh. cambodia ♥ 15 – 20 december 2011