Phnom Penh, Cambodia – Bits And Pieces

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This photo was taken at my hotel, The Plantation, in Phnom Penh. Great place to stay, as I really enjoyed the pool, spa services, and Fashion Show they had during 3 of the days I was there. Very fancy place with reasonable room rates.

This photo was taken at my hotel, The Plantation, in Phnom Penh. Great place to stay, as I really enjoyed the pool, spa services, and the staff is excellent. Very luxurious place with reasonable room rates. I was impressed! Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t give a “shout out” to Sayon, the excellent concierge at this hotel. Without his assistance for a Fed Ex package he tracked down, along with his other services (places to visit, restaurants, etc.), I would have been lost. Thank you my friend. :-)

Even though I have been in Vietnam for awhile, I still haven’t completed my posts about Cambodia and Laos. Which points to the fact, that maintaining this blog is hard to do, especially when you have someone (me) overseeing it who is undisciplined about setting aside time to do it. Ha. I wasn’t always this way. Prior to retiring early in 2006, I was the poster boy for “Workaholics Anonymous.” Umm, that guy has disappeared. Yeah, occasionally I can focus and go on a tear, but it all depends on the project I am working on. It also helps (not) that I have been sick with a low grade fever and sore throat. Consequently, I might as well do something productive with my time. With that being said, let me get back to what this post is supposed to be about, namely Cambodia. Continue reading

The Killing Fields

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Memorial stupa filled with the skulls of the victims at the killing field of Choeung Ek.

Memorial stupa filled with the skulls of the victims at the killing field of Choeung Ek.

The term “killing fields” refers to a number of sites in Cambodia, where large numbers of people were tortured, killed and then buried by the Communist Khmer Rouge regime. I visited one such killing field named Choeung Ek in Phnom Penh. Cambodian journalist, Dith Pran, coined the term “killing fields.” The Khmer Rouge were in power from 1975 to 1979, immediately following the Cambodian civil war (1970-1975). Pol Pot, sometimes referred to as “Cambodia’s Hitler” was responsible for this mass genocide. However, he was never brought to justice – either dying from heart failure or suicide, i.e., no one knows for sure because he was cremated before an autopsy could be performed.

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Artisans Angkor

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Loom for weaving silk. Notice the circular (upright) basket? This is where the silk worms are placed.

Loom for weaving silk. Notice the circular (upright) basket? This is where the silk worms are placed. The entire process is fascinating. 

Artisans Angkor is a place I really didn’t have on my itinerary, but Tola, who works at the Moon Boutique Hotel advised me to go, i.e., he indicated it would be well worth my time. It was indeed! Continue reading

Angkor Wat National Museum, Siem Reap

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Pool and fountain surrounded by galleries.

Pool and fountain surrounded by galleries.

Visiting the Angkor National Museum is something I should have done first versus going to the actual Angkor Wat temple complex. Why? Simply for the reason I would have known or been educated on what I was looking at. Instead, I did it ass backwards. No worries, as I am up to speed after visiting this fascinating and informative museum.

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Angor Wat, Phnom Bakheng And Ta Prohm Temples, Cambodia, Part III

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Some people have called the Angor Wat temple complex one of the seven wonders of the world. In my opinion, I would agree. I have not seen anything like it during my travels around the world. It is singularly unique. This post on Phnom Bakheng and Ta Prohm illustrates what I am talking about, especially true regarding my visit to Ta Prohm. Continue reading

Angor Wat, Bayon Temple, Cambodia, Part II

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The Bayon.

The Bayon.

Angor Wat is so large that I have decided to break my posts into 3 parts. This is the second part of my visit to Angor Wat. By the way, I have seen two spellings for these temples, “Angkor”  and “Angor.” The former is probably the one which most people are familiar with and/or is the proper spelling, but I really don’t know for sure. Since I used “Angor” in my previous post, I’ll continue to do so in this one. So to recap, I started off at Angor Wat, which is the largest religious temple in the world, with a volume of stone equaling that of the Cheops pyramid in Egypt. Wow! It is unlike all the other Khmer temples due primarily to the fact that it faces West and 12th century Hinduism inspires it (architecture). The symetrical towers and other buildings were conceived by Suyavarman II, and it took approximately 30 years to complete. Most scholars believe it was built as a funeral temple for the king. It has been occupied continuously by monks since its construction. Of all the temples, it is probably the best preserved.

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Sunrise Visit Of Angor Wat, Part I

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Moon over Angor Wat.

Moon over Angor Wat.

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One of my best traits is the ability to go all day, with boundless energy. It sort of reminds me of Shasta, who recently passed away. She would chase a ball or a stick until the person throwing it would get tired. However, Shasta would also collapse upon returning home from the park, hike, or whatever activity we were doing. Same deal with me. When I am done, I shut down. I’m out. So, this bit of information segues with my sunrise visit of Angor Wat. In other words, I had a blast at this mysterious site – exploring each temple with enthusiasm, curiousity, awe, and unbelievable gratefulness that I was able to see such a beautiful historical landmark . . . Upon returning to my hotel room later that day, like Shasta – I collapsed and slept the rest of the day and night.  Continue reading

My Flight To Siem Reap, Cambodia

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Not certain, but I think I took this on the Seattle to Seoul, Korea leg of my flight.

Not certain, but I think I took this on the Seoul, Korea to Siem Reap leg of my flight. I was way in the back and I had an entire row to myself.

A very short post about my flight from Denver to Siem Reap (via Seattle and Seoul, Korea). Not too much to tell, except all flights were on time and very comfortable, especially the Seoul, Korea to Siem Reap, Cambodia leg. The jet was half empty (even though it may not look like it in the photo above) and I had an entire row to lay down and sleep. Which I did, for almost 3.5 hours of the 4 hour flight. Nice.  Continue reading

My Trip To The Ancient City Of Hoi An

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The Japanese bridge which leads to the old ancient city section of Hoi An.

The 16th century Japanese bridge which leads to the ancient section of Hoi An.

First, I should point out that I am back in Colorado. I returned from Vietnam on March 26th. Frankly, I haven’t posted because all hell broke loose insofar as my health going totally south. At one point, I had the flu, pink eye, severe athlete’s foot, cold sores on my lips and my usually mild psoriasis broke out to epic proportions. I suspect some of my maladies were caused by someone sitting next to me during the Hong Kong to San Francisco leg of the trip home to Denver (as this person had a chronic cough). Yuck! The rest of my health issues were probably attributable to my immune system being very vulnerable, as well as the dry Colorado climate. Currently, only the pink eye persists, but that is clearing up, after 3 trips to my physician. Last, but not least, upon my return home, I found out my long time companion and pet, Shasta had passed away . . . sigh. Shit happens . . . then life moves on. In any event, it isn’t exaggeration when I tell you that I haven’t wanted to be seen, much less write a blog post for the past month. However, I am feeling a bit better (smiles) and today I will tell you about my trip to Hoi An, the “Ancient City” I visited in mid-March.   Continue reading

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