Southeast Asia - Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand 2014 travel blog

Bouquet made with banana leaves

Emmy, our guide, next to a wreath of marigolds used for offerings.

The variety of flowers is staggering.






John writing.

Yesterday we forgot to mention that Emmy took us to see a flower market. They sold flowers to use as decorations and flowers to use as offerings at the temples. You could buy a huge bouquet of orchids for about seventy five cents. There were some centerpiece type arrangements that featured large banana leaves - see photos.

The airport in Bangkok is huge and pretty entertaining. There is a large statue that depicts a scene in Hindu/Buddhist mythology. See the pictures above. Then we came upon this interactive display. You stand on a marked spot and your image is displayed on the giant screen. Then while your image is on the screen, the image of a tiger appears and lays at your feet. He moves on and an elephant walks in front of you. Great fun. We flew on Bangkok Airlines and since we had arrived at the airport with lots of time to spare, it was nice to find out that every passenger has access to their lounge. So we could have some snacks, read the paper and have a pleasant place to relax before boarding the plane.

When we arrived in Siem Reap Cambodia, we had to get our Cambodian visas, and picked up our bags quickly. We were met at the airport by a driver from the Tara Angkor Hotel. Once in our room, I found my suitcase lock malfunctioned, and I couldn't open my suitcase. I had to get a maintenance guy to cut it open. The suitcase is still usable, but I can't lock it anymore. I had a chat with a guy from E-Bags (where I bought it this year) and they will send me a gift certificate for a new suitcase when I get home.

Lois writing.

Here in Siem Reap Cambodia we will have an extra day before we meet up with our Road Scholar (Elderhostel) group on Tuesday. I'm really glad that we scheduled our flights from home several days in advance, since by now we are well adjusted to the time change and caught up on sleep. FYI, as I am typing this, it is 6:30 Monday evening, but 7:30 AM Monday morning at home. Also, there is no stress about not making the cruise on time.

One really nice thing about having Emmy with us yesterday was the fact that she told us beforehand how to dress for visiting temples and what to expect. There were several women (and men) who were turned back at the entrances because their legs were exposed, or they had on sleeveless tops. Across from the Grand Palace there were vendors who would sell lightweight baggy long pants (I bet they have a name?), and at one of the temples, they offered bright green robes to put on as you wandered around. Though the printing on the back said "Return to basket", it could just as likely have been "I didn't do my homework". You can tell I'll always be a teacher.

When we were leaving the Bangkok airport, we had to go through the usual security checkpoint (for some reason I was able to keep my shoes on, but not John), but then there was an additional line where we had to show our passports again and they removed our Thailand departure documents. It is interesting that we don't have to go through any US bureaucratic rigamarole concerning immigration when we leave the USA. I guess it's because not many people want to leave the States, whereas a lot of folks want to come in! Once again I am reminded how lucky I am to be an American.

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