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Cambodia---Angkor Away!


This discussion is about "Cambodia---Angkor Away!" in the "Destinations" forums.
There's more to Cambodia than just being the shooting location for Tom Raider Cambodia conjures images of mystique, poverty, and battle-ravaged beauty, thanks to Lara ...

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    C.I.A. Peenut's Avatar
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    Default Cambodia---Angkor Away!


    There's more to Cambodia than just being the shooting location for Tom Raider

    Cambodia conjures images of mystique, poverty, and battle-ravaged beauty, thanks to Lara Croft.

    A nation only about 10 years out of its war-torn history, around half of its population is under 15 years of age. It is a poor country with a rich heritage that goes all the way back to the first millennium AD, coming down to present-day as an amalgamation of French Indochinese and Buddhist influences. Understanding the upheavals that have come and gone throughout its history leads a fuller appreciation for the resilience of the Cambodian people.

    What strikes a visitor a visitor upon arrival at Siem Reap is how friendly and sincere everyone is. Despite years of tourism, majority of the locals seem to have none of the jaded outlook that characterizes inhabitants of many other highly touristed places. One marvels at the gentle demeanor of our hosts, and being aware of the violence in their history furthers the wonder.
    Diving through the elegant French Quarter, adults watch with half smiles as a tuktuk (the local equivalent of the tricycle) goes by, and kids wave back with toothy smiles.




    Feel like a Lara Croft for a day.

    The highlight of the trip is the ruins of Angkor, the seat of Khmer Empire. It is a cluster of Hindu and Buddhist city and complexes the most famous structure of which is Angkor Wat, built in the 9th to 12th century. Bring along a guidebook to glimpse the story behind the fascinating stone structures, or better yet get a tour guide to maximize your experience at this sprawling UNESCO World Heritage Site. One can get a one or three day ticket for the highlights, while diehards can purchase a week-long pass to explore everything. Don't miss the sleep, vertigo-inducing climb on all fours up the central tower of Angkor Wat, the beautiful carvings of Bantay Srei that's best seen at sunrise, the four-faced Buddhas and intricate bas-reliefs of Bayon Temple inside the Angkor Thom complex, the long hallways of Preah Khan, and the giant trees of the jungle wrestling with the ruins of Ta Prohm.
    Traditionally, visitors end the day watching the sunset atop Bakheng Hill, with some riding the elephants to the summit. Despite the crowds, Angkor steals over you like a calming draught, a great stillness from the old stones and ancient archways that have stood the test and scars of time.

    When the sun goes down and the ancient sites close, the Siem Reap nightlife comes alive in the Old Market area. Trawl through the mini-shops for souvenirs, and consider the eye-catching scarves and bags made of Cambodian silk. Soothe the day's tiredness away a traditional Cambodian massage--a different yet thoroughly relaxing experience.



    Where to grab a bite.

    Have a very western dinner at Blue Pumpkin, an impressively cool, all-white lounge-y restaurant that serves up interesting flavors both its mains and desserts; pick a scoop or two from its interesting ice cream selection. Or taste local fare from the folks at Khmer Kitchen who turn out hearty, tasty Cambodian food for cheap. Tuck into their yummy version of fish amok, a native stew of rich coconut milk and tender fish slices. Or, cap off an epic day at the Angkor Wat with an epic evening experience at the gorgeous Hotel dela Paix. Slip off your shoes and stretch out on a chaise in its soothing, unpretentiously luxe-lounge, then have a thoughtfully prepared dinner in its restaurant. Be pleasantly surprised by the flavors of its one-of-a-kind desserts, or take home some goodies from the cafe bakery.

    But wait, there's more... If you have an extra evening, take to the capital (it's a five-to-six hour bus ride away, or you can take the plane.) A number of people may miss the more laid-back vibe of Siem Reap as Phnom Penh exudes an edgier, more urban air. Locals are more street-smart and the touts more persistent, the cuisine a bit more worldly and sophisticated.

    Stay, eat, drink, and sight-see at Sisowath Quay, an area of hotels, restaurants, watering holes, and happy pizza parlors. The FCC serves a great breakfast, while Metro has good continental food and cocktails. Also in the area is the expansive beauty of the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, as well as the UNESCO office housed in a nicely restored colonial house. Shop at the Russian Market and pick up an opium case, "antique" coins, or more of the colorful native silk. Perk up with an unbelievably rich coffee done the old-fashioned way.



    You can party in Cambodia!

    After dinner, stroll down Pub Street, Siem Reap's party central. Savor a cocktail at the Red Piano while people watching, or down beers, meet fellow travelers, sing out loud to old-school rock, and scribble messages on the walls at Angkor Wat bar.

    With a half a day to spare, kill time with a boat ride down the Tonle Sap River which leads to one of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia. Along the way are three villages built on the water with houses teetering on stilts, and a "river forest" of huge mangrove trees submerged in water.




    If you really want to feel Cambodia.

    For history buffs who are strong of heart, a visit to the Tuoi Sleng Prison is a disturbing walk down Cambodia's memory lane. A former school turned prison and interrogation center, this was where Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge tortured "enemies of the country." A bit further away from the city is The Killing Fields, where people were killed and buried in mass graves.


    Come to the Kingdom of Cambodia with an open heart. It is an experience, an almost-spiritual journey that elicits a wide spectrum of feelings. There is awe for the ancient Khmers' ingenuity, compassion for its bloody history, wonder at a people's ability to survive, and hope that inspite of it all, we endure.





    Angkor Wat - Built at the height of the Khmer political and military strength, King Suryavarman II had this temple dedicated to the Hindu God, Vishnu. There are five lotus-like towers that go as high as 65m from ground level.

    Bantay Srei - This temple is made out of pink sandstone and displays intricate carvings of Khmer art. Visit the temple before 10:30 a.m or after 2 p.m. The sunlight gives it a nice glow.

    The Bayon Temple - There are 37 standing towers, each of them displaying the carved faces looking towards the four directions.

    Houses on the floating village of Kampong Khleang along the Tonle Sap - It's better to go during the monsoon season---otherwise, you run the the risk of your boat getting stuck when the water level is low.

    Ta Prom (Ta Prohm) - Jayavarman VII (The King) dedicated this temple to his mother. This temple has been reclaimed by the jungle and was intentionally unrestored; otherwise, the temple would fall apart if the trees were taken out.

    Bas reliefs on the walls of the Bayon Temple - Displays everyday life during the 12th century. Some bas-reliefs feature detailed scenes in a market place, cockfighting games. The walls of the south-side feature the historic battle between the Khmer and the Cham in 117 A.D
    Last edited by Peenut; 08-03-2013 at 12:00 PM.

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    C.I.A. Peenut's Avatar
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    And oh I forgot, bring your camera.

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    waaaaaaa!! thank you so much for creating this thread bro! very informative.. i really do appreciate it. saved all the info here on my PC nah. i'm planning a DIY trip (hopefully) next year to thailand-cambodia-vietnam. it's one of my travel goals to see Angkor Wat!

    this year, singapore-malaysia lang sah. God willing.

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    C.I.A. miyay's Avatar
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    wow! thanks. mga pila sad kaha ang budget if we try your itinerary?

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    Junior Member Carla03's Avatar
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    If possible, post also how do we get there

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    haay! i always dream of traveling across indochina...see angkor wat and then head to luang prabang. someday maka save ko enuf money.

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    Senior Member kurt_ian's Avatar
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    Interesting........Anyone na naka anhi? Cambodia has a lot to offer....lots of ancient locations...

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    I went there last february via air asia. I think that's the cheapest option currently. Clark-KL, KL-Siem Reap.

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    C.I.A. Peenut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrs.caulfield View Post
    waaaaaaa!! thank you so much for creating this thread bro! very informative.. i really do appreciate it. saved all the info here on my PC nah. i'm planning a DIY trip (hopefully) next year to thailand-cambodia-vietnam. it's one of my travel goals to see Angkor Wat!

    this year, singapore-malaysia lang sah. God willing.
    You're very welcome.
    Hope you'll complete your journey around South-East.

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    C.I.A. Peenut's Avatar
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    @Jackdi:
    Quote Originally Posted by lehboy View Post
    I went there last february via air asia. I think that's the cheapest option currently. Clark-KL, KL-Siem Reap.

    This is right.
    Preferable cause it's cheap.

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