Sunday, August 28, 2016

Back In Bangkok From Cambodia......

Our Cambodian adventure is over for now but the memories will live forever in our hearts and souls.  While the Kingdom of Cambodia might be one of the poorest countries in Asia, it is rich in culture, historic temples and friendly people eager to serve.

Exploring This Temple A Police Officer Pulled Us Aside To Show Us This Opening
That Looks Like A Candle
 
 
 


Our journey began in Phnom Penh (pNam-Pen) where we checked into our cheap but lovely hotel.  Amazingly enough we paid just $22 to $25 a night for hotels that included breakfast, and provided toiletries such as toothbrushes with paste, cotton swabs, combs, bidets, coffee, bottled water, slippers and bathrobes. We were guided around the dusty little city by unlicensed drivers of tuk tuks who proudly showed us their hometown. Both drivers of motorcycles and tuk tuk's in Cambodia have NO formal drivers training and have NO licenses. Scary but true and yes this is perfectly legal there. And even scarier is the fact that no driver of such vehicles can receive a citation when doing something wrong by a police officer.

Family Of Three On A Motorcycle
We've Seen Up To FIVE On One Bike
 
Coke Bottles With Gasoline For Sale Everywhere



 Tuk Tuk In Cambodia Is A Morotcycle With A Cart Trailer
Elsewhere These Are Three Wheeled Vehicles

Apparently Monks Are Allowed To Ride On These
But CANNOT Drive One Himself


 
Glamorous Travel In Tuk Tuks Along Dusty Roads

 


Our palates were delighted to try some local favorites such as fish amok, a delicious curried fish stew cooked with coconut milk and served alongside rice. We learned that frog is commonly eaten in Cambodia and not just the legs but whole thing, but no we didn't partake. While I've never been a fan of rice especially the plain white kind, we both DID really enjoy the Cambodian food more than the Thai food. It was tastier, presented better and had no HOT spicy surprises like food in Thailand does.



Whole Catfish, Kumer Slaw, Mango Sauce


Other Type Of Fish Filet Topped With Veggies
Unlimited Rice Served On The Side

Free Breakfast At Our Hotel....All One Serving


Drinking Mai Tai's At Happy Hour And We Got Happy Sucking On This Carrot


Spring Rolls With Sauce, Rice And Fish Amok

Lightly Salted Peanuts With Hot Chili's On Top Are Served Free Here In Most Restaurants
With Or Without Alcohol


Rice Served With A Banana Leaf Hat
 
Fish Amok Another Night With Rice And Another Mai Tai
 
 

During our short visit to Phnon Penh we managed to visit the gruesome site of the Killing Fields and the S21 Genocide Prison where one out of every four Cambodians living during that time was tortured and laid to rest. But we ended our visit on a festive note while taking in a cultural dance show.

Here is a powerful video I made from our visit
to the killing fields.
 
 
Pictures from the Killing Field
 



 
Pictures From S-21 Genocide Camp
 


 
Here is a video of the Dance performance
 
Dance Troup Pictures
 
 
 






From Phnom Penh we flew to the smaller city of Siam Reap (sim-reep).  From there we would set out to explore the largest religious structure in the WORLD known as Angkor Wat.  In Cambodian the word "Angkor" means "city" and "wat" is what a Buddhist temple is called thus making Angkor Wat a temple city.  Around Angkor Wat were many other Wats of note, we visited quite a few in the two days there.

Angkor Wat
 

Close To Sunrise


 
 


Never Ending Hallways....Feeling Like Indiana Jones In The Temple Of Doom
Since It Was Filmed Here


Looking Like A Tourist With $4 Elephant Pants That Ripped Out In The
Crotch A Few Hours Later.  Reason Was  That His Cargo Pants Were Too Hot In The Heat
 
 
 


Just like the thousands of other tourists we rose at 4am to leave our hotel by 5 in order to view Angkor Wat at sunrise, like so many before us had done. While we're not sure the sunrise thing was really necessary seeing  the gorgeous, ancient city of temples was inspiring. If nothing else getting there that early in the morning allowed us to view the spectacle with some cooler temps before the heat of the day set in fully.  Even though Clyde and I are well used to living in heat after our five years in Panama, the brutal sun, scorching heat and dusty air were hard to deal with. It made us appreciate our driver a whole bunch as he waited for us in the shade with the car's a/c running.


The Bayon Temple
 




Angkor Thom In The Bayon Complex


Over 300 Faces Looking Down At The Tourists
 
 
 
Ta Phrom
 
Ta Phrom Also Known As Tomb Raider Temple
Feeling Like Angelina Here....NOT. I'll Bet She Was Melting In The Heat Too
 

Unrestored The Vegetation Is Taking Over
Giving It An Eeerie Presence


Tomb Raider With Angelina Jolie Was Filmed Here


Really?  We Could Not Believe That Tourists Were Allowed To Trample
Through This Place

Indiana Clyde?  Or Is He Waiting For Angelina?



The Tree Grew Around This Statue

Huge Roots Taking Over
 
 
 
Banteay Srei
 
 
A Cooling Towel Around My Neck, Umbrella And Still Drenched In Sweat




Called The Pink Temple Because It Is Built From Pink Sandstone

 

 

 


Since we really enjoy experiencing local life during our travels we really enjoyed a day out visiting a floating village.  While I certainly can't imagine living like they do it was fascinating to see how people live in these villages.

Trip to the Floating Houses





 
Let's not forget the Monkeys!
 
These Little Cuties Had No Fear Of Humans



 


Instead of describing Cambodia with words I'll let the photos tell the story.  My wonderful hubby and partner in adventure is the photographer of the duo who takes thousands of photos along the way. So I'll turn this blog over to him to post many of his findings through the lens of the camera.....along the gringo trail.