So I have neglected this blog for an entire year and I have realized, unfortunately, that I miss adventuring. Now while I am stuck on campus finishing off my senior year, there is no reason for life to be boring! So I have decided to pick up this blog again in honor of my favorite type of adventure--cooking!
I love to cook and talk about food so I hope you feel inspired to try some new recipes! Everything here is vegan, sugar-free and absolutely delicious (I promise).
Oh and please email me any time with your adventures (kitchen related or not)! Email me at KarinaHCosta@gmail.com.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Siem Riep

So I have been trekking around the temples for two days now, and it has been absolutely amazing.
The first day I went around the 'Little Circuit,' which included such wonders as Angkor Wat, the Bayon, Ta Kao and Ta Prohm. There is a map below of the two different circuits. Unfortunately, it poured and poured yesterday, which really damped (pun so intended) the day. For some strange reason I decided I was better then the rain and didn't bring my rain coat or umbrella. I was literally dripping water and soaked to the bone all day long. As for the actual temples, obviously Angkor Wat was beautiful but it was so packed with people I couldn't fully enjoy it. It you didn't already know--there is nothing more annoying that have three different Japanese tour groups around you at all times. Each group wearing their respective matching hats and fanny packs.
My favorite temples yesterday were definitely the Bayon (the temples of the four faces) and Ta Prohm. I visited quite a few, but those stood out to me the most. The Bayon completely blew my mind and if it weren't for all of the Japanese tourists trying to kiss the faces, I probably would have spent more time there. Ta Prohm was also incredible, and it is the host to most of the temple photos with the overgrown trees. The way the trees just grow out of the buildings and over the walls is breathtaking. This site was made especially popular a number of years ago because it was where Tomb Raider was filmed. This site was also really touristy, but I was there at the end of the day so I got to rock scramble some ruins while the guards where rounding people up.
Today however was a much more enjoyable day, mostly because it was perfect weather, but also because there were not so many tourists where I went. I realized that my impression of the different sites is 50% architecture and 50% the other people. Maybe if the tours were in English I would be more interested in the history but since I have read a little already I am pretty content just looking and petting the carvings. Today I went around the 'Grand Circuit,' which included Pre Rup, Banteay Srei, East Mebon, Ta Som and Preah Khan. The winners of today were definitely Banteay Srei, Ta Som and Preah Khan. Banteay Srei was a bit touristy, but the carvings were so detailed and intricate. This was one of those sites were my mouth was literally agape the whole time. It is a lady temples so all of the doorways were very small. It also meant that I fit perfectly. Sometimes people would laugh because I was probably one of the only people there that could actually walk through the ruins properly. Ta Som was also beautiful and to top it off there were barely any tourists there so I got to walk the ruins while listening only to the cicadas. Preah Khan used to be a royal palace, and as a result, the ruins were grand and huge. Alot of it had collapsed, but I never mind rock scrambles so it was wonderful for me. Most of the temples are several stories tall will large towers on each corner. This ruin however was only one story tall except for this one structure made from giant columns. None of the temples I had been up to that point had columns, so it was strange to see.
Overall, the temples in general are strange to see because the aging of the stone has given them this unnatural range of colors that is impossible to describe. On top of this, the intense blue sky and giant trees growing out of the tops makes me feel like I am in a dream. There also butterflies and dragonflies everywhere, which will often land on me. Yes, the temples are magical.
The whole time I am walking around the archaeological park, I am with my tuktuk driver, SteangHay. He is probably everything I could ask for in a driver--decent English, basic temple knowledge, and a good person to keep me company but is understanding when I want to just wander off and pet the trees. To seal the deal, his tuktuk has leopard print and heart windows. Its so hilarious I crack up every time I see it. Most drivers just let the customers wander off on their own, but I am glad SteangHay stays with me because walking around all day alone and clueless would get real lonely.
Since I am nor taking any officially guided tours I have few facts to sprinkle this entry with. I'll try to write some history with the photos. I leave Cambodia tomorrow, so next time I come online I will mostly likely be in Tokyo. Despite all my ragging on Japanese tour groups, I am so excited.
Pokemon? Sailormoon? Here I come!

A map of the circuits so you can have a picture of where I go:

1 comment:

gm said...

what a wonderful description of your Siem Riep adventure. I am very excited to see the photos that you have taken. I hope there's with you looking out the heartshaped windows of SteangHay's tuktuk .Enjoy your Japan visit. I know you will have a wonderful time with your friends. I love you. See you next week.