Friday, July 6, 2012

Angkor Wat (Siem Reap, Cambodia) - Ultimate Grandest


Last night’s dinner hunger story (Ho Chi Minh City)? Hellish! I don't even want to talk about. Cramping bus loads of tourists in one specific, no doubt a spacious space, for buffet and cultural show thrown in. Madness. Hardly any space for even pulling out your chair and standing in the queue amongst the hungry like wolves, all walk of life humans? Not my scene. Not at all. Pushing, rushing and waiting, as though you are begging for free meal. I ate so little and I quickly left. To my room within five minutes walk, I showered and to curb my hunger, a hot cuppa of coffee, before literally forcing sleep over me.   


Next morning. Thank god. Decent hotel buffet breakfast without being bulldozed and for putting my hunger in perspective. Subsequently? The highlight in Siem Reap? Yes. Yes. Angkor Wat. What I have been waiting for. For so many years. Finally. In fact, I hopped into this tour mainly for Angkor Wat. The major pride of Cambodia. The must do. Do or die. Indeed, the ultimate grandest Angkor Wat. UNESCO world heritage site listed as one of world's iconic landmarks. How did it start for us in Angkor Wat? Standing in the queue for photo taking for our pass and you have a choice between a day, or three days or a week to Angkor Wat exploring. Ours definitely just a day. Tips for you before you embark on Angkor Wat? Cotton wear. Flat comfortable shoes. Carry water. Sun glasses, hat or scarf defense mechanism. Make sure you also lather aplenty sunblock on your face and body. Why? Sun in Angkor Wat, in an open really huge area is merciless. Really. Furthermore, please respect the rules and regulations as stated in Angkor Wat. Give respect to the gods and no monkey tricks of yours please.   

For those of you who are in a tour group, stick together. Otherwise, you will troubling the rest and listen carefully to your guide on where to meet later. Right. Your walk into Angkor Wat? Via the long stretch of road. Mind you dusty, and lined already with huge stone pillars and stone sculptures. All the way in and all the way walking throughout Angkor Wat. 






Trust me, all will be fair and fine if you follow the signs for seeing, admiring and picturing Angkor Wat and once you walk further inside, you will arrive in front of Angkor Thom (The Large City). Angkor Thom. The fortified inner royal city built by King Jayavarman Vll at the end of the 12th century and where you will see? The famous Bayon, the Terrace of the Leper King and Baphuon, amongst other smaller temples. This my travel enthusiasts, is the famous location where Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) was shot. Dreams do come true, don' they? It did for me. Seeing in movie against real time live experience. Obviously? Incomparable.   





First half of our day already taken up by this hour, putting a comma to Angkor Wat, we then headed to the road side Eat @Khmer Restaurant for lunch. Deliciousness. Sincerely. A revelation of big, bold, profound tastes. Fresh local ingredients and herbs, coconut milk and burst of chilies. Nothing nor could be faulted. Yummy rocking and energy packing for our second half of the day in Angkor Wat.
(Vegetable Curry)
(Salad)
(Pumpkin Custard)

To Angkor centrality by walking through the bridge and before climbing the really steep, uneven and unbalanced stone staircase right to the top. Be careful. If you are afraid of height or even for everyone. Watch your steps. And once you are up there, a different experience all together for seeing the symbolic meaningful stone walls and Angkor Wat’s religious faith and history in tandem to the gods. While you are still up there, take a 360 degrees look at the surrounding and towards where you walked from, before bidding bye-bye and leaving Angkor Wat. 




Over in Angkor Wat, but tour not over yet. The last draw? Sunset watching. Havoc. I almost died. I really struggled. Walking via the dusty uphill slope until I almost wanted to turn back. Then again, coming this far and not seeing the sunset? Can't be right? Next? Standing in the long queue before being signalled to climb the stair. A massive test of your endurance and strength of your legs and once you are up in Bakheng Mountain? I almost collapsed. 


The best part of this whole thing to sunset watching? Honestly, over-rated. For less than five minutes sunset watching? Sun slowly fading and? That's it. Goodness me. Luckily we didn't do the wee hour sunrise watching. If only I knew. Then again, unless you experience, you will never know. True.   

Angkor Wat and sunset watching? A whole day which socked us up in tiredness and dust browning our skin. Up next, dinner while still under the spell of Angkor Wat and energy literally drained out. We couldn't even focus on eating. Instead, wanting to dash back to our room for showering and immediately hopping in bed. So we did. 



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22 comments:

  1. Lovely Nava. Wish I hv your energy to walk as much as you

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  2. wonderful pics n beautiful place..:)

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  3. Truly a majestic place but i don't like it being too commercialize.

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  4. I love visiting historical places.. :) this is heaven for me
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  5. Wonderful places and love the sunset pic!! how amazing it looks!! Keep updating more :)

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  6. Wow! Nava, you've covered some of the places I haven't even set foot on. This is certainly in my must-go list too!

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  7. picturesque and so beautiful Cambodia is....thanks for sharing these awesome snaps :-)

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  8. Beautiful clicks, I am so excited to see the temples it was like I was walking through them... these steps and towers are beautiful... Back in Tamil Nadu most of the temples on the hills we will climb up the steps, these pics reminded me all those....

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  9. Lucky to visit such a beautiful historical place. Loved going through the pictures. Angkor is on my wishlist. Your holiday must have been wonderful!
    Happy weekend!

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  10. Beautiful temples and statues..thanks Nava for taking us there without leaving home.

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  11. perfect clicks, I adore the patience in you clicking and writing about places you had been to, The snaps somehow remind me of India, feels as though I was in some Indian place when I went through the pics

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  12. Def this temple is a mater piece in cambodia.i have seen some show regarding the history of the temple in smithsonian channel.The king died before this temple was built, and more about the coloring, why some of the color remains some not and how it was while built .Many many things .Very happy to see these pictures in your site

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  13. nice clicks Nava... Angkor wat is my list for sometime now u r tempting more

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  14. Recently went Bsngkok and surprised to see people worship our Ganesha. My next visit would be Combodia only as I want to see our historical temples there. Also if you mention what tourist you went, what places to visit... It would be helpful for people like me...

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  15. This surely looks better than the history book's version....would love to visit it once in my lifetime!!

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  16. what a great journey.....
    i;m feeling that i just needed to take a raunaway travelling now...
    lucky you my friend!

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  17. very beautiful clicks..........lucky to visited such historical places.I would also love to visit these places in future.
    Shobha
    www.shobhapink.blogspot.in

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  18. What a spectacular place. Beautiful sunrise pictures.... oh my god you have to climb up and down those steep stairs. How many are they?

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  19. Lovely pictures! I have friends from cambodia and heard lot about the place. Your pictures are doing justice. Such a beautiful blog you have!

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  20. Lovely clicks Nava ! Thanks for the virtual tour..I've seen this location in movies and thought that this was somewhere in India :) The architecture is so similar to our own Indian architecture :)

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  21. Hi Nava, thanks for the tour. Interesting place to visit, the scenery and architecture are excellent.

    Have a nice day.

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  22. This temple is a master piece I want to visit it for a very long time, hope I will pretty soon.

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