The wonders of Angkor

Today I want to tell you about our trip to the temples of Angkor. You will have to bear with me for this, as there are many photos from this three-day immersion into the history and religious architecture of ancient Cambodia. Marta and Daniel, whom we met while trekking in Laos, were our companions for this part of the trip.

We started with the sunrise, in front of the temple of Angkor Wat, and slowly, walked (or better said, tuk-tuk-ed) our way through the other temples of what is said to be the largest religious complex of the world.

(For readers who are not familiar with the south-east Asian means of transportation: a tuk-tuk is a three-wheeled motorbike to which a cabin with seats for 3 or 4 people is attached. Each country has, of course, its own variations on it. In Cambodia, you can fit up to 4 people in a tuk-tuk and it is the most convenient way of visiting the temples – as no motorbikes are rented in Siem Reap, the base-city for the Angkor Wat exploration.)

And when in need of a break, what other better way than to find a hammock, ask for a fresh coconut and some smoothies and just doze away? A hammock station – a must-have in every house, as our friends Marta and Daniel put it.  With fresh strength, we get up for another round of these amazing temples.

On our last day we rented bicycles and we wandered around the Cambodian countryside, along rice fields, palm trees and small villages. A must – if you want to have a feeling of the real Cambodia. And one of my favorite days in this country.

On our last night in Siem Reap, we tried the (apparently) famous Angkor What? Bar. Good company, a bucket or two (or three) of Mekong-Whiskey-and-Coke, and there you have the recipee for a perfect night out! Topped with people dancing under the pouring rain…

Well, this was to be a first taste of our next destination, Ko Phangan, the Thai island where we are to spend our Christmas and New Year’s Eve: laid back, celebrating, meeting old and dear friends from Romania, on the seaside and into the sunshine. No more looking for accommodation and changing city every third or forth day – this is to be our holiday!

A first step into Cambodia: Phnom Penh

We arrived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city, with the last rays of the sun. The sky was slowly getting darker and darker, as the city seemed to become more and more alive. We walked along the river and passed a small Buddhist temple where people were celebrating – with incense sticks, flowers and, most of all, music. Breathing in the night air, receiving in my heart the beat of the drums and the glittery sounds of  mysterious bells, I was keeping my eyes and my ears wide opened to capture all the scents and sounds in front of me. And I thought to myself: “This is how a religious celebration should be – full of sound and life!”

Later that night we got together with Marta and Daniel, the friends we met while trekking in Laos. And who will be our travel companions to Siem Reap and the famous temples of Angkor.

I began my second day in Phnom Penh with a trip to the Central Market. And continued it in the backyard of the Royal Palace: from the palace of the many to the palace of the few.