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 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.
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
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
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
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
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?).
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.
I left Denver, Colorado on time at 12:20pm, February 11th and fast forward thru the time continuum, I finally arrived in Ho Chi Minh City at 1:30am, February 13th. Yawn . . . A bit wiped out to say the least, as Customs and Immigration took over an hour, coupled with a half hour taxi to my hotel, I think I finally fell asleep at 3:00am (maybe 3:30am). Dunno exactly . . . Ha.