Friday, May 19, 2006

Cambodia: Phnom Penh (Backpacker Lane)

Breakfast @ Russian Mkt

After few hours of shopping, we returned to Backpackers’ lane just outside of Lakeside Guesthouse

There are quite a number of cool cafes

Inside Lazy Gecko

In Cambodia, it is considered rude to touch another person’s head
‘Same same but different’ is a tagline in
Cambodia too

Lamb to the slaughter

Too bad we missed trying out the happy pizza. After all, it's part of Cambodia too.

Overall, I really enjoyed this Cambodia trip. Thanks to the endless supply of jokes, act-cute antics and wacky ideas permeating the group.

Ahbsolutely, Sorrya , Mushroom, Happy herbs, Indian accent

Or Kun Tom Tom!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Cambodia: Phnom Penh (Lakeside Guesthouse, mkt)

Lakeside Guesthouse

Which has a nice view of the lake

Initially we wanted to go find Ling @ her Cambodian sch but she wasn't free

There used to be Capoeira here…

Russian Mkt-souvenirs & t-shirts for tourists

Wet mkt just outside Russian Mkt

Where JM suddenly became very trigger-happy abt the food sold while Derrick patiently tested his tolerance to the wet mkt smell

Cambodian school children

This is how they ride motorbikes

Nithiya pretending to enjoy the too-dry Barbecued Banana

How ironic to watch the movie ‘The beach’ here

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Cambodia: Sihanoukville (Island-hopping)

We registered for the Island-hopping programme organized by the GST guesthouse. Snorkelling was negligible cos visibility was very bad. But at US$10 per person for the boat rides to 3 islands, breakfast and lunch, it was still worth a bargain

Derrick’s expression after seeing the boat that we were abt to take

On the way we passed by several nice islands

The Cambodia flag & us on 1 of the islands

Some of the more memorable things that we did: singing Capoeira songs on our boat rides, to the amusement of the other passengers; Derrick doing his back-somersaults off the boat...

Barbecued-fish lunch

When we came back to Sihanoukville beach, it was crowded with the locals

So we started pulling off some tricks…

…which the kids were quick to emulate

Most of the Sihanoukville beach look set for major facelifts. Certain tourist infrastructures are in place and thus Sihanoukville may have potential to rival those in Thailand. But to me, the water just ain't as beautiful as those in Thailand.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Cambodia: Sihanoukville (Arrival)

This was an awfully boring day.

From 7am to 5.30pm, we were travelling on a bus from Siem Reap all the way down, past Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville (supposedly Cambodia’s “leading beach resort”)

The road was quite bumpy & we were in the last row. It was impossible to read. So we were all drifting in & out of sleep. Felt like those bus rides to Malaysia. Should have brought my Portuguese to study or MP3 player

Of course, there were a few stops in between. At each stops, there would be some women hawking suspicious-looking food.

When we finally arrived at Sihanoukville, we pillion-ride motorbikes to our GST lodging.

Had dinner @ beach restaurant w fantastic music

Where Jiamin kept harping on the fact that the alcohol were damn cheap.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Cambodia: Siem Reap (Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, Angkor Thom)

Next morning, we woke up early, hoping to catch sunrise @ Angkor wat

Many tourists were already waiting for the sunrise.

Too bad, the sunrise can hardly be seen due to the clouds

Angkor Wat
-most probably constructed as a funerary temple for the King to honour Vishnu (symbolizes man’s devotion to his gods)
-the largest religious structure in the world
-best-preserved temple at
Angkor cos it was never abandoned to the elements

Coincidentally bumped into Jianming and Melinda! Uncannily, earlier that morning I wondered whether I would bump into anyone at one of the wonders of the world. Ha

Long walls of carvings depicting epic events

Treacherously steep stairs

The central cupola

Headless statues everywhere

Palito doing his favourite pose

Roda in Angkor Wat

View of the Sandstone Causeway & Main entrance from inside the Angkor Wat

Sneak shot

Statue of Vishnu with his 8 arms

Newly weds

After Angkor Wat, our guide drove us to Ta Prohm
-the most atmospheric ruin at
Angkor and a must-see
Buddhist Temple left to be swallowed by the jungle
-filming site of Tomb Raider

The tree that was previously on top this monument has been removed & reconstruction of the statue is now taking place

Victims of landmine


The friendly guide who took us around

Power of the jungle

The Shiva Temple that Nithiya wanted to see

Another temple

The guide then took us to the fortified city of Angkor Thom, which encloses many impt monuments

Giant Buddha statue @ Tep Pranam

Intricate carvings

Sexless statue @ Terrace of the Leper King

Terrace of Elephants

Baphuon which is a pyramidal representation of mythical Mt Meru. Too bad it’s closed for reconstruction

Bayon , seemingly like a pile of rubble, is at the exact centre of the city of Angkor Thom

Nose-rubbing the statue

At one of the monumental gate to the city of Angkor Thom

After Angkor Thom, we climbed up a hill to catch the sunset.

Again we can’t see the sunset due to the clouds

When will I ever be able to do a bridge like this?

Too many/much rocks

Phew, this must be the tiring day for the entire Cambodia trip after all that climbing & walking. I am so glad that we only took the 1-day Angkor Wat pass.