Categories
Cambodia General

Cambodia: Exploring Angkor Thom

The inner wall of the Terrace of the Leper King

The inner wall of the Terrace of the Leper King

After checking out the impressive Temple of Bayon, the exploration doesn’t end there. Angkor Thom, is a vast complex surrounded by high defensive walls with 5 gates, thus the name Thom, meaning Big. When Javayarman VII recaptured Angkorian empire from the Chams in 1181, he did some major empire wide constructions and made Angkor Thom as the new city capital. So aside from Bayon, there are other impressive structures just a walking distance from the center of the complex worth noting. So let’s take a brief look into some of them.

Categories
Cambodia General

Cambodia: Angkor Thom’s Bayon

Entering the Great City at Angkor Thom’s South Gate

Entering the Great City at Angkor Thom’s South Gate

We started our first day as early as 5am in the morning. Since Angkor Wat has been getting a lot of tourist lately, I thought that we should avoid the crowds as much as possible. Especially those bus loads of tourist that can easily block your composition view. In this series, I won’t be delving much on the history of each temple as there are a lot of resources in the internet which has detailed information on each temple. What I would focus on more are my favorite temples and my impressions of them. And more importantly the photos. So here we go.

Categories
Cambodia General

Cambodia: Arrival in Siem Reap

Siem Reap International Airport facade

Siem Reap International Airport facade

Our flight going to Siem Reap was around 10am that morning. What I really don’t like about the KL airport is that we have to drive around at least an hour just to get there from the city. We took an AeroBus service which is a Ringgit cheaper than AirAsia’s SkyBus. Fare is 8RM one way and 14RM round trip from KL Sentral. Some people go to Siem Reap via a 6 hours bus from Thailand crossing the border but I don’t want to waste that much time and I’ve heard a lot of Bus Scams there where the bus intentionally tire out their passengers and check them in on an affiliated (commissioned) hotel. So the 6 hours travel extends longer. However, the flight from KLIA to Siem Reap International Airport took only about 2 hours. And boy what greeted us on our arrival is one good looking airport.

Categories
Cambodia General Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Beguiling Angkor, multi-cultural Kuala Lumpur and back

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

The week that was has been a very enriching cultural experience. To be finally able to walk the old stone steps of Angkor was a dream come true. And to visit one of the major cities of South East Asia, Kuala Lumpur and experience its multi-cultural environment was rewarding as well. Allow me to share my brief impressions of both cities.

Let me say this first, that for a third world country, Siem Reap in Cambodia, is a really expensive place to visit. The cheapest food ranges from $2-3 USD. Relatively expensive compared to say Vietnam. Just walking the streets, you’d be hoarded by a slew of vendors and Tuk-tuk drivers that after a few days can get really annoying. Soon you’ll be able to memorize the phrases like “1 dollar!”, “Tuk-tuk sir!”, “Want something cold to drink sir? Something to eat?” But getting used to these nuances and actually dig deeper into their culture and crafts, you’ll find them to be very interesting.

Categories
Batanes Batanes Philippines Travel

Batanes: Hataw sa Mahatao

Sightseeing at Valugan Bay

Sightseeing at Valugan Bay

When you’re in Batanes, always expect the unexpected. This small region is governed by the weather and the people’s strong belief. So whatever plans you’ve layout here, prepare to change it, as every turn on its winding roads, every change in the wind’s direction and the changes in the tide of the sea holds a few surprises. This we learned in extreme ways during our stay in the region.

Categories
General Ifugao Travel

Images of Cambulo

A village amidst the terraces

A village amidst the terraces

I didn’t manage to go around the village that much since we only have a limited time. But I did manage to take a peek into their daily life. Let’s take a look.

Categories
Festivals Mountain Province Mountain Province Philippines Travel

All Saints Day at the highlands

Light a fire for the souls

Light a fire for the souls

I noticed since I was young, Halloween here in the Philippines has been greatly influenced by the American culture. Adorned in many houses especially in subdivisions, are numerous decorations from pumpkins, spiders, cobwebs and the usual monsters we grew up liking to fear like Dracula, Frankenstein, witches and the local mix of Aswangs, tikbalan, manananggal and white ladies. Those talk of ghost and other supernatural phenomenon that seems to populate our TV screens and print media whenever Halloween approaches have waned my interest recently. I used to like them growing up.