Catch A Chili Crab Hon

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Koh Kret

Filed under: Thailand, travels — Shirley @ 9:29 pm

Of all of our trips to Bangkok, we never before got over to visit to Koh Kret, an island in the Chao Phraya River, 20 km north of Bangkok. One of the ways to the island is by ferry, which costs .06 cents U.S.ย  We were at the wrong dock so we ended up grabbing a water “taxi” for a lot more – $4.00 U.S. When we saw one of the ferries we decided that it was worth the extra money; by the looks of it, when you hear of ferry accidents due to over crowding . . . that ferry was right out of the headlines!

The island dates only to 1722, when a canal was constructed as a shortcut to bypass a bend in the Om Kret branch of the Chao Phraya river. As the canal was widened several times, the section cut off eventually became a separate island. The island continues to serve as a refuge to the Mon tribes who dominated central Thailand between the 6th and 10th centuries and have retained a distinct identity in their flavor of Buddhism and, particularly, their pottery; renowned above all as a center for kwan aman, a style of Mon pottery, which is fundamentally just baked unglazed red clay carved with intricate patterns.

Koh Kret Pottery Koh Kret Pottery

The one with the white sticker in the right picture is the one we purchased. We decided on one that wasn’t cut through.

There are no cars on this little island. The locals may have a motorbike; otherwise it’s walking or bicycling. And if you want an adventure, you can rent a bike to circumvent the island. We just walked; and we were only interested in checking out the pottery and the fish cakes that the island is noted for.

This kiln was reminiscent of the dragon kiln here in Singapore. This one is called Turtle Back Kiln.

Koh Kret Pottery Koh Kret Pottery

These look like pie plates featured in cooking catalogues but I doubt it unless these are for export. There were few people around and it probably wouldn’t have mattered since little English was spoken here.

Koh Kret Pottery Koh Kret Pottery

Snacking on the island:

The island is famous for the fried fish “cakes”. They’re really more like big popcorn fish. That’s all I can say; they’re a little chewy, not fishy . . . but not yummy.

Famous Koh Kret fried fish cakes

At first I could not tell if these were sweets or savories but they were pretty. I don’t know what is under the white topping but it’s red capsicum and basil on top. Someone left their sausage cart out drying in the sun. I didn’t see brakes on the wheels; luckily it didn’t roll off the dock into the river but that may be where it gets its unique flavor?!

Koh Kret Sweets sausages drying on a dock

These siblings were manning a little stand cooking and selling fried quail eggs. The cooking vessel looks like one of those dishes they serve escargot in. They were so cute but I’m not sure they wanted to be on the other side of the lens.

little vendors

We didn’t snack on alot but I did have to try these – very lightly tempura battered fried flowers.ย  I got a bag of mixed flowers. I don’t know the name of the purples ones, but the magenta colored ones (on right in left picture) are orchids. In the right picture, the reddish flowers on the very left were actually a little spicy.

purple flower and magenta orchids mix and match

The island population seems like one large colony of artists. Here are some sweets for sale: so simple and so beautiful – coconut candies with little handles, and beautiful sugar roses too pretty to eat.

Koh Kret Sweets Koh Kret Sweets

This gal was creating these flowers from a ball of “dough”. Sorry I don’t have any info on the dough that she’s working with. It looked like a marshmallow to me.

Koh Kret Sweets

She used an instrument much like a pair of tweezers to pinch the leaves of the flower and did it quickly.

Koh Kret Sweets

I wish now I bought some to try. Next time.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sunrise, sun . . . what set?

Filed under: Oslo, travels — Shirley @ 10:53 pm

I haven’t been on a long flight in such a while that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to have jet-lag after getting home. I’m not sure if it was just the long flight, or a combination of that and experiencing a week of looooong days. Sunrise was @3:45 am and the sun didn’t set til @10:30 pm. Talk about losing track of time!

Our directions to get to the hotel from the airport was to take the train, with our luggage (we’ll address this later) to the National Theatre stop. From there a short walk over to the Radisson; which at 21 stories is the tallest building in Oslo.

People coming and going in Oslo walk around dragging a wheeled carry-on bag. It’s not so easy to drag two suitcases, wheels or not! But the Radisson was only a short couple of blocks from the station. Taxis are available, but unlike Singapore where they are affordable, cabs in Oslo are outrageously expensive; shuttles are ok but a longer ride than the train. The pictures below are some of our first impressions of Oslo. On the left is a pretty “dandelion” water sculpture but off when we arrived. On the right is the view towards the Oslo Fjord from our hotel room. The tall buildings you see are the City Hall buildings at the water-front.

outside the trainstation from our hotel room towards the waterfront

To stretch our legs and shake off the economy class seating, we dropped off our bags and headed out to explore. The Radisson is very well located for exploring the city. First stop, the Royal Palace in Slottsparkken, which is literally around the corner from the hotel. We didn’t go in, just walked to and through the grounds.

palace

. . . then down to the water-front area and Aker Brygge, think Harbor Place. This is looking at Aker Brygge from Akershus, the castle and fortress opposite Aker Brygge. It’s summer time in Oslo and with the long days Norwegians take to the outdoors for eating and catching as much of the sun as possible. If the sun gets blanketed by a cloud and the temps dip a little, the outside cafe’s have overhead heaters (think Vancouver). Some cafes even provide sheepskin fleeces to sit on, and even a blanket for your lap if you’re from somewhere like Singapore where you actually find it chilly – refreshing, but I was about the only person in a turtleneck ๐Ÿ™‚

Aker Brygge

We came upon a weekend festival with live music and food! I was drawn to the food; you’re not surprised. With only our airline breakfast under our belts I thought we’d try the cod cake sandwich and local beer. The guy is stirring up a pan of mussels; there is another pan filled with seafood, then the cod cakes on the griddle. They’re served on a bun with cole slaw – Delish!!! And of course we had to try a local beer. I was too busy eating to photograph it, but Mick took a shot of me noshing – too unflattering to show you!

waterside festival food local beer

Oslo is a city of sculptures. Everywhere you turn there is a sculpture, everywhere . . . full blown, bigger than life, abstract, life-like, busts, etc. Mick says he hopes to capture a picture of every sculpture in Oslo before we leave!!! Guess what he’s getting for his birthday – his very own camera.

sculptures around town sculpture along the outside wall of Akershus

On one of our outings we walked over to Akershus, the castle and fortress that guarded Oslo from outside threats when it was named the capital of Norway. It suffered from numerous fires and battles, and has gone under many renovations with parts of it destroyed to accommodate population growth. It’s a museum now, and also serves as a venue for concerts, and theatrical productions but remains as a military installation.

Akershus Castle & Fortress Castle building

One of the highlights on the 4-hour bus tour I took (while Mick was at work) was going to Vigeland Park. It was the home and studio of Gustav Vigeland. The grounds are beautiful, with 212 granite, and bronze works. His most renowned piece is Sinataggen – Little Hot Head. It’s on the bridge where each of the bronze sculptures represent an emotion. I think this is popular because everyone has experienced or witnessed a bit of a melt-down at some time. Though none of the little munchkins out on their field trip was affected by the sculpture!

Sinataggen "Little Hot-Head" Vigeland Park

The highlight of the park is the 14m high Monolith, and the series of sculptures on the steps depicting human emotions and activities.

center-piece of Vigeland Park statue groupings

We went to see our apt and explored the neighborhood where we’ll be living. It’s very nice, a little over 2 miles outside of the city proper. A nice walk to and from the Embassy in the summer; and a quick ride on the Trikk (tram) in the winter. The tram station is about a 5 minute walk from the apt, and about 5 minutes from the stop in town to the Embassy. Watch for the new Oslo blog for all the details ๐Ÿ™‚

I think Norway has a boat for everyone man, woman, and child! I may have to take up sailing . . .

sailing class

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Valley of the Kings – Prambanan

Filed under: Indonesia, travels, Yogyakarta — Shirley @ 7:20 pm

Oh boy, I’m back. Sorry for the hiatus but time sure does get away from me. Have you noticed how much faster time flies these days and not just when you’re having fun; or is it just I’m getting older? Anyway, here is the next part of our adventure in Yogyakarta. (It’s pronounced “Jdokjakarta” also known as Jdokja. I know how much this helps you ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Off we went to Candi Prambanan, the largest Hindu temple complex in Indonesia. Candi means stone monument, shrine, or mausoleum. Prambanan lies about 10 miles outside of Yogyakarta in the center of the Valley of the Dead, or Valley of the Kings because these candis are considered to be royal mausoleums. The main complex consists of eight buildings.

Prambanan

These three are the tallest and the main shrines. The 47m tall central Candi, Candi Siva Mahadaeva, dedicated to Shiva the Slender Maiden, is flanked on each side by slightly smaller ones and are placed in a north-to-south line. On the north is Candi Vishnu, and south is Candi Brahma.

Prambanan lit at night

Prambanan

Opposite the three main structures are three smaller temples that housed the “vehicles” of each of the gods; a bull (nandi) for Siva, a gander (hamsa) for Brahma, and the sun-bird (garuda) for Vishnu.ย  By the way, the name of Indonesia’s airline is Garuda. Only nandi remains today and you are able to enter the shrine to see the bull statue. It was too dark inside to get a good picture though. The shrines are elaborately decorated with carvings and sculpture details, even gargoyles.

IMG_2825.JPG Prambanan

Away from the main structures on the temple grounds are ruins of many smaller temples and stone figures.

more ruins relics

Even from here we could see Mount Merapi!

view to volcano

We timed our visit to Prambanan late in the afternoon so when we were done here we would head to the adjacent Trimurti Theatre for dinner (the night shot above is taken from our table), and an open-air performance of the Ramayana Ballet; staged on moonlit nights between May and October. We caught one of the moonlit nights! And to prove it was truly open-air, a little bat crashed into Rachel during the show and landed in the empty seat next to her!

It’s a modern version dance-drama of a traditional Javanese story that is also told in bas-relief sculptures adorning some of the temples. In a nutshell, the drama is about a father’s contest to find the right husband for his daughter. While she’s out in the forest with her suitor and brother, they come across a deer. She wanted the deer captured, but before her brother and suitor go to chase it, the brother draws a magic circle around his sister to keep her safe; but despite the power of the circle, the daughter is kidnapped by the suitor’s rival, who has disguised himself.ย  The daughter is saved from the rival (by a white monkey), but the suitor now no longer believes she a virgin.

Ramayan ballet beautiful costumes

In the battle scenes against the suitor’s rival, there was even an archer on stage who shot real arrows!

archer

In order to prove her virginity and holiness, she is asked to burn herself. She proves her holiness when she not only does not burn but becomes even more beautiful. Her suitor then accepts her as his wife. They live happily ever after! The End.

The costumes were beautiful and the dancing graceful. But the finale was spectacular when they set the stage ablaze!

finale of the Ramayana ballet

And I now know why this portion of the story is only performed when they can have it in the open-air!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Reaching Nirvana

Filed under: Borobudur, Sunrise, travels — Shirley @ 10:16 pm

We started our journey to Borobudur, an hour’s drive from our hotel in Yogyakarta, at 4:00 AM to see the sunrise over Gunung (Mount) Merapi. Merapi is an active volcano and is always smoking. You have to look closely to separate the trail of smoke from the clouds. (It was also quite hazy looking East.)

sunrise over Merapi

Borobudur, the world’s largest Buddhist monument, believed to have been built in the late 7th, early 8th century, 300 years before Angork Wat, and 200 years before Notre Dame. A century after Borobudur was built, it was mysteriously abandoned; then in 1006 Gunung Merapi erupted burying Borobudur in volcanic ash for centuries.

Erin captured this shot with her wide-angle lens.

borobudur temple (by mintyfreshflavor)

The rediscovery of Borobudur began in 1814 during Thomas Raffles stint as governor of Java (before he founded Singapore). He visited Semarang and heard that there was “a mountain of Buddhist sculptures in stone” in the area. Raffles conducted a massive clearing operation of an overgrown hillock of trees that was scattered with hundreds of andesite blocks. After finding and uncovering the elaborate structure, he didn’t dig further so it wouldn’t be damaged, but left it unprotected, so for almost another century it suffered from decay, plunder and abuse. Many of the stones were taken by villagers; and priceless sculptures ended up as decorations in the homes of the rich. Many of these irreplaceable Indo-Javanese art pieces are now in private collections, and museums around the world. The official restoration project didn’t get underway til 1973 and ten years to complete!

The temple of Borobudur is constructed on ten levels, and represents a mandala, a geometric aid for meditation; or sometimes referred to as the “wheel of life”. This is a replica of a bird’s-eye view of Borobudur. We all wished there was some of way to see it from above. We were on the eighth level, the middle ring, looking out towards Merapi.

mock-up of aerial view

The 1400+ hand carved relief panels on the walls that surround the stupas (bells) is the only existing complete story of the life of Buddha and spans over three miles in total length. You enter the temple from the east and ascend the terraced monument circumambulating each level, clockwise.

Our guide Fatah bas-relief story of Buddha

In each niche, in each direction, there are 92 Buddha statues, with or without its head.

Erin and Rachel one of the entrances

Each of the 72 stupas, at one time, contained a statue of Buddha, but during the restoration it was found that many of the Buddhas had been stolen, or its head removed during the time it was left unattended. There are no carvings or decorations on the levels of the stupas.

sunrise at Borobudur the mist

And several of the “bells” are missing, rendering a statue of Buddha to appear it is sitting in a hot tub!

Buddha w/out bell serene view

Some of the stupas were constructed with stones cut in an X pattern and forming a diamond cut-out pattern; other stupas were constructed with notched square blocks forming square cutout.

diamond patterned square blocks

There is one stupa with a fully recovered Buddha sitting in the lotus position; for women, if you can touch the Buddha’s heel, your wish will come true. For men you must reach the Buddha’s hand and run your finger down the finger of the Buddha’s hand in its mudra (position). I can’t find a rendering of how the Buddha is holding its hand to give you a better idea.

buddha's foot and hands

We gals could not reach the heel, here is Rachel trying her best! But Mick reached the finger so we asked him to ask that all of our wishes come true!

Rachel Mick reaches the Buddha's hand

The very top stupa, the largest of the stupas has no cut-outs, no door and is empty inside. This top stupa represents Nirvana. Everyone reaches it in their own way, and you reach Nirvana when you have no more desire and no more want.

Nirvana

I imagine it’s no easy feat. I’m not even close!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

. . . always wash your hands

Filed under: travels — Shirley @ 7:28 pm

It’s not often you would take a photo in a ladies room. But Rachel and I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to show you something unique. This is the sink area of the ladies room at the JW Marriott in Kuala Lumpur. Notice the wheel is spinning (great catch Rachel!). The attendant will spin it to bring the water to the tap. Only one temp of water though. And real cloth towels for drying your hands.

always wash your hands

The stalls are real bricks in the walls creating the pattern you see.

Mick says the men’s room sinks were nothing like this – an attendant would use a hand pump to get water to run through a bamboo “tube” and into the sink! No pic, sorry ๐Ÿ™‚

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

All corners of the globe . . .

Filed under: travels — Shirley @ 1:31 am

You can run, you can hide, but you cannot get away from those fast food chains. Is there a place on earth, outside the deepest rain forest where people still hunt for their food with a spear, that our fast food restaurants hasn’t infiltrated. They’re in India where the cow is sacred and they don’t eat beef!

The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Disputed to be the tallest building in the world with the opening of the 101 Building in Taipei, Taiwan. Maybe there’s some other building boasting to be the tallest by the time I write this.

Petronas Twin Towers Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I guess everyone needs a little “TGIF” at the end of the work week. And in case you’re flying in and want to know where to find The Colonel, you can’t miss him on the side of this building.

Friday's KL the Colonel KL

Do they even know what the BMT sandwich stands for? Do you? I do. I wonder if they have special Malay toppings for their pizzas, like, I don’t know what!

Subway in KL Pizza Hut KL

In need of a slurpee? The machine in this shop was just beginning to “slush” the ingredients so I couldn’t quench my thirst with one. Yes, that’s Wendy with her pigtails and all.

7-eleven KL Wendy's KL

Should you be out late partying, or you wake up in the middle of the night with a craving for a Big Mac and fries, come downtown to the 24-hour McDs. We were parked next to this car and as I was passing by to get in our car, I spotted it. A true McD’s lover would sport one of these on their windshield.ย  I bow down to this person, how often do you go that you have a VIP Drive Thru sticker!!!!! It scares me to think that they would even have these to give out.

McD's KL VIP Drive Thru

All of you travelers out there, tell me where you’ve been and how many of these places you’ve seen. We have all these and loads more here in Singapore. Ones that are not even any longer in business in the States.

Stay tuned, the real Kuala Lumpur posting is coming up. A traditional Hindu wedding.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It’s good to be king!

Filed under: Bayon, Cambodia, travels — Shirley @ 7:34 pm

Bayon temple is the epitome of one man’s ego – King Jayavarman VII’s ego – there is a collection of 54 Gothic towers decorated on all four sides with coldly smiling faces that is the very resemblance to the king. That’s 216 faces watching over his empire from every direction. It is thought that the 54 towers represent the 54 provinces of the Khmer empire of that time.

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Researchers, after many years, realized that Bayon stands in the exact center of the city of Angkor Thom. Though it’s known to be the temple built for King Jayavarman, there is still a lot mystery associated with its exact function and symbolism.

We entered Angkor Thom through this gate. It was one-way traffic for anything bigger than bicycles or motorbikes; and when there is two-way bike traffic, you probably have to pull in your elbows. On our approach to the gate, I was surprised that our vehicle fit through the opening – how were they to know back then how wide to make it for a Camry to pass through? You can see faces on three sides of the gate tower. Bayon is oriented to the East and seeing it just after sunrise gives the faces a warm glow.

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The temple is built only on three levels because King Jayavarman VII started this late in his life and he was afraid it would not be finished before his death. Starting on the first level you walk clockwise up. The first level contains vivid bas-relief scenes ofย  everyday life in 12th century Cambodia.

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The second level not so many carvings; and the third level is where you come upon the towers with the faces.

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The very top of the tower is crowned with the lotus flower – a symbol of Buddhism.

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Everywhere you turn you can see one face-to-face โ€”

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โ€” or several at once โ€”

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It was a beautiful sunny day and with not a cloud in the sky the face in the tower looks like it is staring right towards the crescent moon appearing clearly before it even got to evening.

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This is my favorite of the temples. I think Ta Prohm has a lot of intrigue and atmosphere with the trees but these tower of faces have alot of appeal.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tomb Raider

Filed under: Cambodia, Ta Prohm - Tomb Raiders, travels — Shirley @ 2:01 am

Just to show you some of the roads we travelled on – this is one of the smoother ones mainly because it was headed towards a small market and parking lot. But it was all this color, dry, and dusty. On the right is a Cambodian Tuk-tuk. The passenger cab is attached to the motorbike (not shown). So there’s more seating and napping space; opposed to Bangkok where the driver sits in the tuk-tuk and there’s only three wheels.

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Ta Prohm is another highly recognized temple for the astounding trees that have embraced the ruins. There are several of those trees that are amazingly tethered on top of walls and other structures of the temple. Most notably is the now famous tree in the movie “Tomb Raider”. I have to admit, I’ve never seen the movie but it has peaked my interest to see how they used it in the movie.

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When these trees are on the ground they are amazingly tall – rivaled I think only by the California Redwood. So imagine them growing on top of walls and temple structures. Just look at the size of those roots; yes they are really that big!!!!

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Ta Prohm was built from 1186 and was a Buddhist temple dedicated to the mother of Jayavarman VII. It actually has inscriptions that provide information about the temple’s dependents and inhabitants.

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Looks like someone just dumped a box of jigsaw puzzle pieces out! Some of the blocks have been carpeted with moss.

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Do not sit under this tree and roof for shade!!!! Even without the tree, some of those blocks that were used to build the temple weighed a ton, figuratively and literally!

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As much as it looks as though the temple has been taken over by a jungle, it’s really quite manicured. They keep a close eye on the growth of the tree: how much the roots have pushed the blocks and how big the crevices are widening. They trim branches, and even cut down trees that may fall and cause real damage to the structure. The remaining trees and the roots casts very interesting shadows.

The temple is comprised of towers, closed courtyards and narrow corridors; though many of the corridors are clogged by stone blocks that have been dislodged by the roots.

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You can barely see the temple for the roots. But look closely in the center picture – do you see the face in between the roots? In the other picture, we’re not as big or wide as those roots!

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Almost a strangulation of this part of the temple!

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We came upon an opening and Chamnan pointed out that this was one of the tourist’s favorite tree –

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There is humor even in Nature ๐Ÿ™‚

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Filed under: Angkor Wat, Cambodia, travels — Shirley @ 12:06 am

In under a two hour flight from S’pore we arrived in Siem Reap, Cambodia at 7:05 AM local time! Our guide, Chamnan was right there to greet us and away we went heading off to the hotel to get checked in before setting out on a day of touring. No time to lose and not a moment wasted. Chamnan came highly recommended by others at the Embassy who have used his touring services. He speaks very good English and is knowledgeable on the history of the temples and his country. And generally, a really nice guy! He studied to become a tour guide and is licensed; and he even has his own car. More on him in a later post.

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I have been looking forward to seeing Angkor Wat and visiting Cambodia for a long time. It was after a “Where In The World Is Matt Lauer” episode that I caught one morning on the “Today” show many years ago, when it really peaked my interest. It looked old, dark, and mysterious.

Angkor Wat – the largest and most breathtaking of the monuments at Angkor – is believed to be the largest religious structure in the world. The temple is oriented towards the west, which is symbolically the direction of death and thought to be built as a funerary temple and mausoleum for Suryavarman II to honor Vishnu the Hindu deity with whom the king identified.

Our initial sighting of Angkor Wat as we approached the temple.

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Angkor Wat is surrounded by a moat, as are all temples. Though some have the moat inside the wall, Angkor Wat has the moat outside the wall. The moat is 190m wide and forms a rectangle measuring 1.5km by 1.3km.

To enter the grounds you walk across a sandstone causeway that spans the moat. These sandstone blocks from which Angkor Wat was built were quarried more than 50km away and brought down on rafts on the Siem Reap River. Lining the avenue from the main entrance to the central temple are naga balustrades – naga is the nine headed serpent. Most of the serpent’s heads have been lost through time. (You also saw the nagas in my postings from the temples in Thailand!)

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The temple of Angkor Wat reflected in the lily pond:

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This is one of the two libraries that flank the avenue. One is still under restoration.

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Below are pictures of aย  multi-armed deity inside one of the towers and one of the side corridors that seemed to go on forever. And one is looking up through the ceiling of a tower. I don’t know if it was meant to be opened or the blocks have fallen. Though Angkor Wat is the best preserved temple in the area, there was still “rubble” around. As you will see in these pictures and those of the other temples, the renovation project is similar to doing a big, life-size jig-saw puzzle.

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I didn’t see any monks in the temple, but I did come upon this nun who had a small altar and incense burning at one of the statues inside the temple.

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All of the windows had columns inserted into the opening and all of them contained an odd, prime number usually 5 or 7.

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There is so much to see and there are just so so many carvings. I don’t know how many times you would need to return to see even 1/2 of them.

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So much of the temple is carved in bas-relief.

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Long corridors where the wall is completely covered in bas-reliefs tell either a mythological story, or the story of everyday life in Cambodia. Also in some places you can find the original Sanskrit, which no one can read today.

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Angkor Wat is famous for the beguiling aspara (heavenly nymphs). There over 3,000 carved into the walls of the temple, each of them unique with more than 30 different hairstyles. Most have long sarongs; some wear a mini sarong! The most unusual ones are the ones that are smiling showing teeth! I think they’re a little too strange, myself.

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Chamnan took us into a small “echo” room. Doesn’t sound like anything different – you yell “hello” and you then you hear “hello, hello, hello” back. But this room’s echo doesn’t come from your voice or a clap.

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The room was about 3′ x 5′ at best. You stood with your back against the wall and with your fist thump against your chest. There was a deep thud sound off the walls and ceiling. If you hit any other part of your body – no sound. If you stood too far from the wall – no sound!

This vendor is selling palm sugar drinks in bamboo “glasses”, hanging from a bamboo pole.

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The left photo could almost be a black and white picture except for the beautiful blue of the sky. The temple is all gray. At one time it was painted red but it is not the norm, nor can I imagine it. It was too beautiful in its natural color. And splashes of the saffron robed young monks.

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I went up in one of those tethered balloons for an aerial view of the Angkor Wat compound. I was still a ways away but you can see how big it is.

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Here, I tried to get the width of the moat.

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Angkor Wat is imposing – but just wait til you see the uniqueness of the other temples; they’re not as big but just as breathtaking.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

We did nothing . . .

Filed under: friends, travels — Shirley @ 11:40 pm

We did nothing . . . and we did it well!

After running the gals all over Singapore and through the sights of Bangkok, before heading out to Thailand, Mick booked us into the Angsana Resort in Bintan, Indonesia for our Thanksgiving celebration. If you’ve seen or followed the international news, on Tuesday (25th), we got out of Thailand with only about an hour and half to spare before they closed down the airport due to the protesters. We deserved to just have some big down time to relax.

welcome

We went to Angsana recently and enjoyed our time so much that we decided to go back. Mick booked rooms with views of the beach and the South China Sea.

view from the room

Linda and Alex on their balcony.

linda on the lanai alex on the lanai

Mick, Alex, and Linda all booked massages for the late afternoon, and dinner reservations were at the beach-side restaurant. The most strenuous activity we did was try to figure out how to wrap our sarongs!

getting wrapped up sarong 101

TA-DA!

tada

Strolls on the beach, and sitting in the jacuzzi section of the pool was just two of the relaxation activities.

three amigos bubbles

Alex and Mick went for a dip in the ocean and found that it is saltier than any other body of water they’ve been in! Their funny wave reminds me of preparing for a synchronized swim move!

hi from the south china sea splash

The beautiful blue sky was beautiful matched to the blue of the pool.

blue sky and pool alex and linda

Dinner and the local brew . . .

dinner local brew

Homeward bound on the ferry. It was a fantastic trip and a fantastic time having Alex and Linda visit and getting the chance to show them our Southeast Asia home. I’m zonked! Miss you gals!

ferry ride home

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