A Travellerspoint blog

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat and many more temples

Fo some reason I never had Cambodia on my list as a place to visit. But I have changed my mind! It's a fabulous place to see. This is a country that has had major political challenges. I would recommend reading this brief history. I found it helpful.

http://www.localhistories.org/cambodia.html
"In 1975 a horrific and tragic era of Cambodian history began in the reign of the Khmer Rouge. They were led by Pol Pot (or Saloth Sar) also known as 'Brother Number One'. How many people were killed by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge is not known for certain but it was probably at least 1.5 million and it may have been as many as 3 million."

Everyone I talked to knew a family member or friend that had been killed during reign of Khmer Rouge. Tragic. It was interested to see mostly young people in the city working. The aftermath of killings.

It was so green and beautiful, and hot! Very humid and hot. Water everywhere. Beautiful rice fields. The city was so vibrant and busy. As a foreigner I was treated like a princess. From the moment I was picked up by the hotel until I was dropped off, I was treated so kindly and taken care of so well. And after eating chicken and rice for months, it was nice to have some pork. And the fresh fruits were plentiful. All kinds of wonderful fruits. What a nice change. I loved the massages in my room at night for 8$ an hour. The hotel was right near the Night Market where shopping was plentiful and cheap. I'm good at bargaining, so I came out with some really good deals on some clothes and jewelry. I didn't even bargain for the pair of Ray Ban sunglasses that one guy offered for 3$. In the countryside it was amazing to see the houses on stilts and cows being led to pasture. I found out from Saven that teachers are paid 80$ a month. I'm rambling...but this is truly a fascinating place to see.

Angkor Wat (Khmer: អង្គរវត្ត or "Capital Temple") is a temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world, with the site measuring 162.6 hectares (1,626,000 m2; 402 acres).[1] It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple of god Vishnu for the Khmer Empire, gradually transforming into a Buddhist temple toward the end of the 12th century.[2] It was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II[3] in the early 12th century in Yaśodharapura (Khmer: យសោធរបុរៈ, present-day Angkor), the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Breaking from the Shaiva tradition of previous kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated to Vishnu. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious center since its foundation. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia,[4] appearing on its national flag, and it is the country's prime attraction for visitors. (wikipedia)

I was able to spend 2 days touring several temples, including the most famous Angkor Wat. My favorite was actually the Banyan Temple where the movie The Tomb Raider was filmed. Our tour guide was the best. She took excellent photos and was great at explaining things.

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Posted by dianeski4 06:27 Archived in Cambodia Comments (0)

Cambodian Orphanage

Count your blessings

https://www.facebook.com/cambodiankidsCIO/

On my last day in Cambodia I was able to spend some time at an orphanage. I had read in the brochure at the hotel that you could do this, but I was skeptical. I had read that many of them were abusing children and you would do more harm in visiting. I talked to my tour guide, Saven, about it, and she said she had a friend that died and the husband ran off to Thailand and left the twins, and they were in an orphanage nearby. I told her I wanted to visit and she volunteered to take me, without pay. She wanted to see how the kids were doing there.

She picked me up on her motorbike and we set off. I remember riding on the back of Kevin's motorcycle and being scared to death, but even with the crazy traffic I felt like I would be ok. The traffic in Siem Reap is crazy. Tok Tok's are one of the rides of choice, besides motorcycles and cars. What an adventure.
Seven and I

Seven and I

With a helmet

With a helmet

We drove out of the city for a bit and stopped at a small market and I bought 25$ worth of rice for the orphanage. Seven called and 2 boys came out on a motorcycle and picked up the rice.
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They just moved into a new building recently. There are 39 kids and they are taken care of by a man and his wife who have 4 children of their own. They were getting ready for lunch and all the kids looked like they had little jobs to do to help. The meal consisted of rice and a soup with a small amount of meat and vegetables. There are 39 kids residing there. From age 3-18. Once they turn 18 they help the kids find a job and they can live on their own.

I met a lady from Australia who has been volunteering on her holidays for several years. She teaches the kids English lessons. After the kids ate lunch they all washed their own tray and helped clean up. I asked how I could help and they said I could sponsor a child, so I have decided to sponsor a girl named Sokleng. She is 15 years old. I am so blessed. I was adopted as an infant...and count my blessings everyday. I don't understand why it is so hard in this world. Such sadness and such hardships for so many people. I wish I could do more to help.
Sokleng

Sokleng

They insisted on feeding us lunch after. I didn't want to take food from the kids, but they insisted. I felt even worse when they gave us a plate with meat and vegetables in addition to the rice and soup. I took a little tour around the home, talked with the kids, and even taught them The Hokey Pokey. Then we said goodby and left. What a great experience, and one I would love to repeat.
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On the way back to the hotel Saven had me try fried bananas and sugar cane drink. We also stopped to see some people making silver and silk things to sell.
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Posted by dianeski4 05:47 Archived in Cambodia Comments (0)

Birthday weekend in Singapore

Another adventure!

sunny 87 °F

Our kindergarten teacher at RAS invited us to come and celebrate her birthday in Singapore. We were invited to dinner and then to stay the night, remember the old slumber parties we had when we were young? Like that!

I decided to ride with Jess, Hector and Kellie. We met up and started the trek across the border. For some unknown reason Kellie had to get out of the car and go into the office where they made some phone calls. Didn't figure that one out. But she rejoined up and we made it past Malaysia and hit the roadblock in Singapore. When you drive into Singapore you have to stop and purchase a road tax card, like a credit card. Then every time you go in you have to swipe it both ways, or you end up paying a fine. They let us through the gate, but we stopped to buy a card, and then the "fun" started. Apparently paperwork wasn't in order and they refused to give Jess a pass. If you buy a used car and someone received a fine, parking ticket or paperwork isn't in order, it is your fault and you have to pay it. But they didn't let us pay for it....even though Jess offered. We were escorted back out of Singapore and headed back to wait in line to get through customs in Malaysia. At this point we were all thinking about calling it quits and just heading home, but "we" decided to try again and take my car this time. No problems! Got right through customs, bought the pass and headed to Amanda's house for some yummy food and great company. I love our teaching group! Then late at night we all crashed. All 10 of us, spread around the house. I got the air mattress, which wasn't too bad!

The next morning I set out to find my church, otherwise know as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Mormons! I had looked up directions, but as usual....I don't follow directions well. I did get to the correct MRT (subway) station. But I didn't take the right exit. My research said A, but I didn't take the right A. Anyway. I came out and had no idea where to go. So, I found the first guy passing by and asked him if he knew where the Mormon church was. He said, "What is that?" But he pulled out his iPad and looked up the address and then nicely walked me all the way there. We walked around a corner and there it was! A beautiful building! The guy's name was Win and he is from Myanmar. I told him that he can find our church there too. Such a kind man. On his way back from working all night.
I was just a few minutes late, but was able to partake of the sacrament, the most important part of the meeting. Even though it is Conference Weekend, we are 14 hours ahead of Utah so we just had our regular meetings and next week we will be watching reruns on Conference. And I can actually watch it now on LDS.org! The amazing thing about modern technology.

This ward was not the expat ward, but a Singapore ward. Wonderful and kind people. So many came up and said hello. There was another couple there from Alpine and we chatted a bit. Found out that they know a family in my ward. Such a small world we live in! Especially being a member of the church.
Me!

Me!

LDS building in Singapore

LDS building in Singapore

This way!

This way!

LDS Church

LDS Church

Happy Birthday Amanda!

Happy Birthday Amanda!

Jess and Amanda

Jess and Amanda

Jess and I

Jess and I

Escorted out of Singapore

Escorted out of Singapore

I stopped in Little India on the way back to Amanda's house and tried some yummy Indian food. Walked around a little bit and headed back to pick up Jess and Hector to go back to Malaysia. Just after I got there the police showed up. We were parked illegally and they said someone in the neighborhood had reported us. I had a nice talk with them and told them about my son, the police officer in Dallas. I talked them out of a ticket and explained that no one lived where we had parked, and we were sorry. They finally left and said don't do it again. They guy at the border told us that there are eyes everywhere. It sounds like many freedoms are given up to live here. No gum chewing allowed. And guns are not allowed! Either are illegal drugs. Lots of discussions could go on about the good and bad of Singapore. But I love visiting this place!
Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk

Little India

Little India

It was yummy!

It was yummy!

Food court

Food court

Need something mended?

Need something mended?

Temple

Temple

Temple in Little India

Temple in Little India

Posted by dianeski4 04:55 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Botanical Garden and the Orchid Exhibit

3rd trip to Singapore

Nothing like a visit to a beautiful orchid garden to ease the stress of living and working in Malaysia. I rode in with Carol and Frank again. I will be making the trip in a couple of weeks alone to pick up a friend at the airport, so I'm trying to figure out all the ins and outs of getting there by car. It's not easy until you have all the documents and paperwork. I had thought about staying overnight, but Singapore is one of the most expensive cities in the world, and I might as well come home to my own bed....it's not that far away. But one of these days I will spend the night there.
Don't mess with drugs in Singapore!
Death!

Death!

It didn't take too long to cross the border today. The traffic was pretty light. We dropped off their car and hopped on the subway (MRT) and after a couple of stops we split up. They were heading a different direction.

I headed to the Botanical Gardens where I have been wanting to see the Orchid Exhibit. It was so beautiful. I can't believe how many different types of orchids are available. The weather was super hot, but most of it was shaded. There was even a cool greenhouse. I wanted to stay in there for a long time to cool off.

They were having a concert in the park that night and so I got to hear them warming up and practicing. Reminded me of the wonderful concerts I have been able to hear in Utah.

I spent some time there, and was going to take the MRT to see Little India, but frankly I'm exhausted from the stress of school, so I made the trip back on the bus. Ended up taking the wrong bus into Malaysia and took a taxi ride home. Oh well...it just means another adventure. And 20 less RM's that I have. It was nice to get a beautiful break!

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Busy guy looking for insects

Busy guy looking for insects

Posted by dianeski4 05:46 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Building on fire?

Mosquito abatement

sunny 90 °F

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And this is how they try and keep the mosquitos away! The first time it happened I had no idea what was happening. I thought the building was on fire. I actually started thinking that my car, the first one I had, had started the fire. There are loud noises associated with it, and smoke was pouring out of the garage and the roof. I was in the swimming pool, and finally asked someone in the gym what was happening. It was pretty shocking that first time.

Today it happened again, and luckily I was inside. Notice the guy doing the spraying. Not any face protection at all. Can't be a good idea! I would think pretty unhealthy!

Our school is past due for treatment. Therefore, the mosquitos are horrific, Going to the bathroom is a horrible experience. Today I was bit several times while dancing and waving and trying to take care of business. I hate mosquitos!

Posted by dianeski4 05:08 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

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