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Showing posts from January, 2012

Angkor Wat Under Wraps

My first impression of Angkor Wat was one of total disappointment. I happened to visit the site when it was undergoing restoration work on the front terrace. I could have cried. But there wasn't much I could do about it. So I concentrated on the other features of the temple and there was much to see and learn.


This is one of the long galleries that wrap around the temple. It faces west with a view of the library and causeway. Behind these columns is a wall decorated with bas reliefs. There are some beautifully carved vignettes like the mother playing with her child. It's best to spend a little more time here with a guide who can point out some of the most interesting bas reliefs and give you background information about them to better appreciate this incredible visual library.


We wound up at the back of the temple where we had a full view of the two rear towers. Ankor Wat, like all other temples in Cambodia, were built up (on a height) to emulate Mount Meru, the legendary hom…

Cambodia Land Mine Museum

There are an estimated 6 million landmines in Cambodia. These are for the most part concentrated in the Thai-Cambodian border. Aki Ra, a former child soldier in the Khmer Rouge and later on in the Vietnamese army (which captured and conscripted him), founded this museum to instill awareness of the danger and dire consequences brought about by these landmines and to help street children, some of whom are victims of landmines. These children are now housed in the museum complex.


As a child soldier in the Khmer Rouge, Aki Ra planted landmines. In this little glass pavilion are hand grenades, grenade launchers, rifles, which are just a handful of weaponry gathered by Aki Ra since he started his self help demining mission. All told, he's cleared around 50,000 landmines.


In the image above, bombs line the walkway leading to the museum. The Landmine Museum is located in the Angkor Wat National Park, about 30 minutes from the center of Siem Reap. If you're visiting Banteay Srei, tak…

Siem Reap Essentials

Where to stay:  Prince d'Angkor Hotel and Spa
Sivatha Blv, Mondul II, Sangkat Svay
Dangkom, Siem Reap 93136
Tel: +855 63 763 888
Fax: +855 63 963 334
http://princedangkor.com/
Buffet breakfast and wifi in room included


Convenient location in center of town. I had a spacious room and it was quiet although the hotel is on the bustling Sivatha Boulevard. I also appreciated the fact that my room was very clean. The hotel is a minute's walk to the supermarket at Lucky Mall where I could buy beverage and snacks for my sightseeing trips (It's important to take water and/or beverage of your preference wherever you go because it's so hot, you'll need to hydrate). The buffet breakfast was generous. There was something different for me to eat everyday and the staff were attentive to my needs. The hotel also employs tuk tuk drivers so I could easily and safely go around town.

Where to eat:  Lucky Shabu House
Lucky Mall, 2nd Floor
Sivatha Street
Lunch: 11:00 a.m. to 14:00 p.m.
D…