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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Siem Reap, CB16, Cambodia

May 26, 2016 - Off to Cambodia

Up at a reasonable hour for once and down to a crowded breakfast room. Run into the other tour folks who are leaving tonight and said bye. Then back to the room and pack. We have a scale sent up from the front desk and weigh our bags (44 pound limit per bag) and shift a lot of stuff around and fill our backpacks full of the heavy stuff. We finally get it down to the right weight after discarding lots of stuff and wearing my jeans. Down to the lobby at 11:30 and meet Peter, then pack up the van and off to the airport. Peter goes with us to...

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Apr 22, 2016 - Brisbane to Siem Reap

Early rise to catch a taxi to the airport for our flight to Siem Reap, via Singapore. Singapore Airlines once again reminded me why they are always near the top of preferred airlines. Great service, good meals, good entertainment system and friendly staff made the 8 hour flight to Singapore quite bearable (not to mention the Singapore Sling:) ). We only had a short time to our connecting flight to Siem Reap. We had arrived at terminal 3 and the connection was at terminal 2, so we ran (well quickly walked) to the the connecting bus which...

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Mar 29, 2016 - Angkor Wat and the Floating Village

What a privilege it was to be able to visit the 12th century city of Angkor Thom with Bayon Temple and Ta Prohm Temple in the morning, and the temple of Angkor Wat in the afternoon. The incredible architecture and art with the finest detail you could imagine adorns the walls of these magnificent complexes. The 1,970 feet of bas-reliefs at Angkor Wat told story and story, myth after myth, in unbelievably intricate detail, and it would take weeks to really see the place properly. Both Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat were surrounded by large moats...

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Mar 27, 2016 - Off to Cambodia

Happy Easter everyone! We had a sleep-in today until 6:00 a.m., got dressed, packed, had a lovely last breakfast outside on the terrace at Le Palais Juliana in Luang Prabang and then I sat and caught up the blog notes in hopes of sending them when we got to Siem Reap, Cambodia. But here I am, just checked in to the Somadevi Angkor Hotel, and guess what? Crummy Internet reception again. So frustrating. We flew from Luang Prabang on Vietnam Airlines, and after an hour and a half flight, and a somewhat chaotic "visa on entry" process ($30US...

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Mar 7, 2016 - Siem Reap

Without a beach or river to offer a cooling breeze, Siem Reap is a whole different kind of hot. Even after midnight the temperature is above 30° and the humidity is ridiculous. We arrive late due to a lot of unscheduled pick ups on the bus and a flat tyre. But our hotel still welcomes us with refrigerated wet towels and lemongrass juice. We get a room with air conditioning so we spoil ourselves with a lie in the next day. Having been told that there was very little to do here, we were pleasantly surprised by the wide choice of restaurants...

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Feb 9, 2016 - F-loating village

We left the hotel to drive through the countryside to catch the Longtail boat to the village. We drove through little villages so with house so on stilts. They became increasingly higher as we went toward Tonle Sap...the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. Each rainy season it increases in size from 3000 square miles to 12000 square miles. When it recedes the villagers plant their crops. Rice is being harvested in some areas particularly close to the river and lake. The villagers lay it to dry along the edge of the road. They also...

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Feb 7, 2016 - Day Two of Tour

To-day we had a different guide Mr. Touch Vabrun as Sopey was off celebrating Chinese New Year with his family. To our surprise he showed up at 9a with the plastic for our Angor Park passes and to introduce us to ,Mr. John. Mr. John was in fact Mr. Vabrun. We had not heard his name so he gave him a simpler name. Mr. John proved to be quite a character. We learned his ancestry was Chinese and had he realized that to-day was Chinese New Year,s he would not have worked. He is a soldier who is moonlighting as a guide to get ahead. He is also...

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Feb 7, 2016 - Siem Reap

It was actually slightly cooler today & we teamed up with the young Swiss couple & headed off in a tuk Tuk to the local war museum on the edge of town. At the museum we were shown round by one of the guides who was himself a survivor of the civil war back in the 1970s. His family had all been killed by the Khmer Rouge when he was nine years old & he had been conscripted into the army even at that young age. He regaled us with stories of how he had been "killed" thirteen times at least. He even still has shrapnel in his arm, a finger &'his...

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South East Asia 2016

Feb 6, 2016 - Angkor Wat

Off to Angkor Wat today in our little group complete with driver & guide. What can I say? An amazing place. I hadn't realised the whole complex was so big, over 400 sq. kms and with about 300 temples spread about in that area. Amazing to think that until comparatively recent times the whole place had been swallowed up by the forest. One of the most interesting temples we visited was the one where they have deliberately not got rid of all the trees. Some amazing examples of how nature can reclaim the land. We didn't get to see all 300...

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South East Asia 2016

Feb 5, 2016 - Off To Cambodia

Another travel day so up early & pack the cases, have breakfast before our 9am pickup & transfer out to the airport. A couple of hours wait before boarding for the one hour light to Siem Rep in Cambodia. A bit of confusion again about getting our Visas at the airport on our arrival but no great problem & our local guide was waiting to collect us up & transfer us to the next hotel. We have a free afternoon so after checking in it was down to the small swimming pool to have a cooling dip & relax. Just as hot here as it was in Saigon. The...

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South East Asia 2016

Jan 14, 2016 - Angkor Wat

We left the hotel at 5:30 am to view Angkor Wat at sunrise. Well, the sun rose and a thousand people watched but through the clouds and haze from the 99% humidity, not too spectacular. However after sunrise we did get a very good 2-1/2 hour tour of this beautiful site. We then went to an Artisand Center where we toured carving, painting, plating and sculpture workshops. Then in the afternoon we went to an elementary school in a rural, very poor village just outside Siem Reap. We also got to experience the Cambodian taxi - the "tuk tuk". For...

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Jan 13, 2016 - A day at the temples

We departed the hotel at 7:30 and the temperature was already well into the 90s. First visit was to Ta Prohm Temple which has been left largely in it's natural state with many trees and vines growing on and around the temple and its walls. Next was the Banyon Temple, part of the Angkor Thom complex. Then it was on to a modest multi course Cambodian lunch. After lunch we visited the Land Mine Museum which documents the search for the millions of unexploded bombs and land mines left in Cambodia from the decades of wars which didn't end in...

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