November 26, 2020

Siem Reap – 18 March 2015

Today is Pat’s birthday and we are not visiting any temples. We are headed south out of Siem Reap to Tonle Sap Lake for a private boat ride. This is the largest fresh-water lake in Southeast Asia and officially designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Because we are visiting in the dry season, the village (on stilts over the water) is not reachable, so we are going out to a floating village near Chong Kneas. The people in these villages depend on fishing for their living and are very poor and lead a hard life. After returning to the dock, …

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Siem Reap – 17 March 2015

After breakfast at the hotel, we were picked up by our driver and the travel guide for our next adventure in the Cambodian countryside, The first stop was about 65 km from Siem Reap at Beng Mealea temple. “Beng Mealea is a spectacular sight to behold. It’s one of the most mysterious temples at Angkor, as nature has well and truly run riot. Built to the same floor plan as Angkor Wat, exploring this titanic of temples is Angkor’s ultimate Indiana Jones experience. Built in the 12th century under Suryavarman II (r 1112-52), Beng Mealea is enclosed by a massive …

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Siem Reap – 16 March 2015

Before I go into the day’s events, I want you to see the photo id all foreigners need to purchase before accessing any of the temples at Angkor. It cost $40 USD for our 3 days. After breakfast, we headed to the ancient city of Angkor Thom (“big city”), the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire.”After Jayavarman VII recaptured the Angkorian capital from the Cham invaders in 1181, he began a massive building campaign across the empire, constructing Angkor Thom as his new capital city. He began with existing structures such as Baphuon and Phimeanakas and built a grand …

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Phnom Penh to Siem Reap – 15 March 2015

Our hotel, Teav Boutique Hotel, was a nice place, although not within easy walking distance of the Mekong River, restaurants and other night life. It was, however, clean and comfortable and fine for one night. After breakfast, our guide and driver picked us up and delivered us to the airport for a short morning flight to Siem Reap, the gateway to the temples and cities of Angkor. Arriving at Siem Reap, we met our new guide, Sokna and our driver, Hab. Our hotel room was not yet ready, so we headed out to see the temples of the Roluos Group. But first, …

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Phnom Penh – 14 March 2015

We arrived in Phnom Penh just before 9 AM and were greeted by our guide, Nyphea Khum, holding up one of those signs we all see when we leave baggage pickup at the airport (hasn’t been something we are used to). Because we were about a 1/2 hour late arriving, he and our driver modified our itinerary from the published one – changed the order, not the sights. After driving through a very dusty and dirty part of town that made me wonder what we had arranged for ourselves, we arrived at the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. Although Pat originally …

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3.14 – PI Day in Phnom Phen

Did you know the Kymer alphabet is based on Sanskrit? And that the written language uses accent marks over other accent marks? Two of the many facts we learned yesterday in our one day blitz in the capitol city of Cambodia. I’m tired just thinking of it today after two Angkor beers and a comfy bed. We saw some amazingly beautiful sights – some very sad and heart wrenching ones, but nothing was quite as amazing as the traffic and driving skills in this town. Or I should say lack of traffic patterns! I saw maybe two traffic lights all …

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Getting Ready for Cambodia

We are about packed and ready for our next adventure – tomorrow we are off to Cambodia (Phnom Penh and Siem Reap). Our itinerary, edited from the original document: Saturday, March 14 – We arrive in Phnom Penh at 8:30 AM where we have an English-speaking guide. After checking in at the hotel, we’ll start a tour of the city by Cyclo, an original Phnom Penh means of transportation “and a fun way to explore this lively city”. After return to the hotel for a break during the midday heat, we visit to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, housed in …

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