We enjoyed Cambodia immensely. Why?
- we hired a great guide before arriving and planned where we wanted to go and when (he was actually one of the first guides operating in Siem Reap at the end of the war and also had a hand to play when the television show, The Amazing Race, visited Angkor Wat);
- the food was fabulous;
- Siem Reap is a marvelous city with a great Night Market and ridiculously fun Pub Street;
- considering what Cambodians have been through (and not all that long ago too), they are warm and welcoming;
- the ruins of Angkor Wat are awe-inspiring on oh-so-many levels;
- Blee joined us while there;
- Karen and John joined us for a bit while there (they are friends of ours who live in our condo); and,
- the trip up-river to the Floating Village was out of this world amazing.
We had a gorgeous suite at the Le Meridien Angkor during our stay, which is a short hop to the ruins, and had one of the best breakfast buffets of our stay. The bar was great (and empty) and the spa on site professional and very affordable.
2) our awesome suite at Le Meridien
3) we had a daily gift from the team while in residence; 4) the Le Meridien pool – perfect for cooling off after hiking the ruins
7 & 8) the lobby with; ) its teddy bear donation Xmas tree … of course we bought and donated a bear for the kids in the hospital next door
9) G relaxes in the Naga Bar
10) everyone busy watching the show while I photograph them; 11) I was amazed at how intricate some of the hand and foot movements were
12) petals for us all; 13) beautiful
14) the band was hidden behind the dancers; 15) Blee with my Angkor beer at the show with Theirry peeking out from behind the bottle
16 & 17) scenes from the Night Market
18) need a hat?; 19) or t-shirts?
20) lilies at the hotel garden; and, 21) directly in front of Angkor Wat
22) Angkor Wat, built by King Suryavarman II circa 1133-1150AD
23) a short video of Angkor Wat take from just outside the moat
24) originally a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu; 25) it now also serves as a Buddhist one
26 & 27) even today almost 1000 years after it was built, the renovations continue
28) only the royal family and high priests were allowed up there
29) the first level of Angkor Wat has a gallery of bas-reliefs that cover most of all four walls
30 & 31) they portray scenes from the great Hindu epic the Mahabharata and Bhagavata-Purama (pick up any book by the late Joseph Campbell – he provides anyone interested in this with the most accessible re-telling)
32) the south gate at Angkor Thom – on the left gods, the right demons who protected the approach to the city; 33) a close-up of the demons
34) the main gate looking back north; 35) off the beaten track you’ll find new friends
36) looking back north along the causeway and the groupas; 37) elephant rides – a tad tacky I thought – can be had inside Bayon
38) one of the King’s many faces; 39) a shrine to Buddha
40) here the builders where thoughtful enough to think of great camera shots all those years ago; 41) moi with the king(s)
44) the Terrace of the Elephants is where the King used to address the people; 45) detail of the Terrace
46) if you were naughty, the King had you shut-up in one of these towers
47) lunching at Orchidee Angkor Restaurant; 48) fish amok … we ate a ton of amok and LOVED it
49 & 50) “Red Wine by Butter”; and, ) “White Wine by Batter” are but two examples of how endearing Siem Reap is
51) mango salad; 52) visiting Artisans d’Angkor
53) lacquer wood Buddhas; 54) framed aspharas are made with gold leaf
55) tools of the trade; 56) the various types of stone and rock used to build the temples around Siem Reap
57 & 58) little elephants are carved
59 & 60) the woodworking studio is busy
61 & 62) a artisan hard at work
63) the entrance to Wat Preah Prom Rath; 64) our guide guides us through the pagodas
65) detail of the temple roof line
66) our guide and us pause to pray at the massive reclining Buddha; 67) close up of Buddha’s face
69) the outside of the temple floats on lotuses; 70) and is surrounded by pictures of the Buddha’s story
72) Blee relaxes in the before we head out on the town; 73) one night we headed out in an 1950s French Jeep to a restaurant in the middle of nowhere … it was SUPERB!
74) the restaurant was VERY dark as you can see but we had palm heart salad; 75) kebabs
76) fresh crab; and, 77) a Tonle Sap fish done is salt
78) Touich Restaurant is HIGHLY recommended if you ever visit; 79) from there we headed to Pub Street for – too many – drinks
80) we stopped into Red Piano – the bar that made Siem Reap and Pub Street famous when Angelina Jolie visited
81) sights and sounds from the balcony of Red Piano
82) we then crossed the road to In Touch Restaurant for more drinks and fun .. it was way more hopping
83) drinking too much always makes me take pictures of the strangest things – in this case the lights in In Touch Restaurant
84 & 85) done with In Touch Restaurant, we continue for more drinks at Temple
86) we are still trying to figure this sign out?!; 87) yes, it’s blurry but when you have 50¢ cent beers from 10PM to close and $4 pitchers (probably of boot-legged alcohol smuggled in from Thailand) what do you expect!
Nice pictures. One of these days Tawn and I will get over to Cambodia.
I have always been intrigued by the art and dance of the East. Your photos only enhance for me! It does look like a beautiful country.
Been there 3 times (first visit was 2001) , stayed at Le Meridian as well. It’s a very neat place indeed! Oh, how nice to see the local government updating the landmark!