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

My Best Friend

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Shasta during a 2006 hike in Salida, where we also attended the FIBARK festival with my friend, Doug. This is one of my favorite photos of her.

It’s early morning in Colorado, dark clouds dot the sky outside . . . sort of like how I am feeling right now. I have been sick the last few days, with the flu. However, this isn’t the reason I am feeling bummed out and sad, tears coming to my eyes as I type these words. Yesterday, my Mom told me my dog, Shasta had passed away while I was on my trip to Vietnam. Shasta was almost 15 years old. She explained that Shasta had been really sick the week before my trip, and they finally had to take her to the pet hospital on February 12th, where they put her to sleep. My mom made the right decision not telling me while I was away on my trip, as that would have really affected me while I was in Vietnam. Continue reading

Vietnam Potpourri

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Sunset at beach esplanade in Mui Ne, Vietnam.

Sunset at beach esplanade in Mui Ne, Vietnam.

I am back in Ho Chi Minh city, where I will stay for a few more days before deciding where I will go next. More on that later . . . I returned from Mui Ne, a seaside resort of Vietnam. Thao accompanied me and the mode of transportation was what they call a “sleeping bus.” Great for Asians, dwarfs and midgets . . . umm, not so relaxful for someone who is around 6 feet tall. Basically, you are in a single person, partially enclosed cabin, that looks like a recliner bred with a go cart. There are two levels or bunk beds, i.e., you definitely want to be on the bottom level and not have to climb into your unit on top. Thao is unusually tall for an Asian (5’7″) and that’s about the maximum size where one feels comfortable sitting/laying in one of these things. I had to take my legs out of the unit and prop them on top. Fortunately, I was in the front of the bus and didn’t hit anyone in the head with my dangling feet, much less bother anyone with foot odor (I am fairly certain my feet don’t stink, but who knows how accurate my olfactory sense is?).

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Driving And Walking In Ho Chi Minh City

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The Vietnamese Philosophy on driving in Ho Chi Minh city.

The Vietnamese Philosophy on driving in Ho Chi Minh city.

So, this post is going to be about motor vehicle traffic (mostly motor scooters), pedestrians, and how they interact in Ho Chi Minh city. The T-shirt above fairly describes the attitude of most Vietnamese about driving in HCM. When I was in Kathmandu, Nepal, I never got on a motor bike and consequently, I always drove in taxis to get around the city. Best mode of transportation, albeit, I described it as being in an action movie chase scene, with the requisite near misses of other vehicles, cows, dogs, chickens, and people. The saving grace was that the traffic was so bad and the streets were either pot-holed or rough dirt roads, that you rarely attained speeds faster than 35 MPH. If you got in an accident, you would probably be a bit “banged up,” but alive.

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