About Me

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I am married to my loving husband for more than 38 years now. I am a mother to 3 beautiful children, until 11 years ago when I lost my youngest son. Since then my life is forever altered but yet unbroken....

My Travel Journal

"There isn't much I haven't shared with you along the road and through it all there'd always be tomorrow's episode" - Elton John

I started traveling around the world since early 80s when I had the opportunity to combine business trips with vacations. Then later when my rezeki is in abundance, there were numerous other trips along the way for vacations, most of the time with hubby and the kids when the timing is right. I have also started to compile the journal and photo-pages covering almost more than 25 years of world wide travel. Some destinations I visited just once, others many times. Many of those places are the obvious famous places people would like to visit but some, the casual traveler doesn't even think to try. I have placed links to my travel at the side bar of my personal page, My Life Reflections, and will be updating them from time to time.

My wish is to continue my travel and complete circumnavigate the globe, insyaAllah…

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Phnom Penh/Siem Reap, Cambodia 2006 - A Gateway to the ruins of Angkor...

"Most of our problems are because we act without thinking or we keep thinking without acting..."

20th December 2006
Day 1 - Phnom Penh - Muzeums and Palaces
Our flight from KLIA arrived at Phnom Penh around noon. The weather was bright and cool. The airport was small and bustling with taxi and tuk-tuk drivers looking for passengers. Our plan was to stay a night in Phnom Penh and look for a transport to go to Siem Reap to explore the temples of the Angkor. We got hold of some brochures from the Tourist Information Centre and took a taxi to Phnom Penh town. We had nowhere to go as we had not booked any hotel. The taxi driver was a great help and suggested some good hotels. We ended up at the Star Royal Hotel situated along the river front.

(Buddha statue almost everywhere)

The hotel was cozy amidst the colonial ambiance reflecting the era when the French were present in indo-china. Located at the confluence of two rivers, the hotel was reasonably cheap too. Around the hotel, there are a few places of interests such as the National Museum, the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda.A distance away from the city will be the Tuol Sleng Prison Museum where we could learn the history of the Khmer Rouge and the Killing Fields, where a memorial stupa and shallow pits remind visitors of the thousands killed under the Pol Pot Regime.

(Resting by the pool-side)

Other attractions are The Phsar Thmei, the Central Market reported to be the biggest domed market in the world and the famous Russian Market where everything from souvenirs to car parts are on sale.Walked along the riverbank and watched the sunset while we eat sweet corn and observed street vendors selling goods and food along the river bank. We had a good relaxing full body massage at the Spa next door before a good night rest.
21 December 2006
Day 2 - Siem Reap - Boat People and Apsara Dancers

(Boat houses on the Tonle Sap)

After a hearty breakfast the Hotel Limousine sent us to the Ferry Terminal at the foot of Phnom Krom to catch the 7 o’clock boat to Siem Reap.The 6-hour boat ride along the Mekong river runs right through the heart of Cambodia offers a perfect opportunity to discover more of this fascinating country. The boat cruised past fisherman and floating markets and crossed the northern end of the Tonle Sap Lake.

(The iconic main temple)

The journey was comfortable and the mat sallehs chose to stay on top of the boat to have a better view of the boat people and fishermen. If you are lucky you can catch a glimpse of the fresh-water dolphins. When we embarked at the Jetty, we were met by the hotel limousine and checked-in the Hotel Angkorian situated in front of the Siem Reap Angkor Muzeum. We rested a while and took the tuk-tuk to Chiang Mai Restaurant for a late lunch of seafood tom yam.

(The Apsara Dancers)

We visited the old market for some souvenirs.Back in the hotel we had coffee by the poolside, a nice place to chill out and relax, while the concierge arranged for tickets to watch the Apsara Dance Show, a Khmer classical dance with buffet dinner at Roulen II. Apsara dancers are celestial nymphs seen on the many ruins of Angkor.Siem Reap is a very safe place in the evenings by our experiences as we ride on the tuk-tuk and observed the unspoilt town of Siem Reap by night.

22 December 2006
Day 3 - Siem Reap - Temple Hopping and Sunset

(The ancient temples)

We had a heavy breakfast of eggs and toasts. We had rented a tuk-tuk for the day and the driver was ready to bring us to anywhere we want to go. Our first destination was the Angkor Archaeological Park where we will visit ancient temples situated within the impressive natural scenery. Even though Angkor Wat grandly portrays the Hindu cosmology, the Angkor Wat remains a shrine for the Buddhist pilgrims.

(An enormous statue)

The day admission ticket gave us ample time to visit the famous Angkor Wat, one of the wonders of the world, and see the highlights of major temples around the area. The sun was intense but it was windy and cool. The temples are far apart so the tuk-tuk driver waited for us at every attractions.Angkor Wat is the largest and most awe-inspiring of all the monuments. As the sun rises we will have the perfect opportunity to contemplate the enormity and grandeur of this magnificent monastery.

Angkor Thom is in the Bayon style, manifests itself in the large scale of the construction of laterite face-towers at each of the entrances to the city and in the naga-carrying giant figures which accompany each of the towers.At the temple of Ta Prohm, roots of a silk cotton tree can be seen running along the gallery of the second enclosure. The trees growing out of the ruins are the distinctive feature of this temple. This temple was used as a location of the film 'Tomb Raider". Around the temples the terrain is landscaped by an intricate system of reservoirs, canals and moats that were used for water control and irrigation.

(A tiring day of Ancient Temples exploration)

After half day of temple-hopping we exited the archaeological park and headed to Chiang Mai Restaurant to have a hearty lunch. Later we indulged in a relaxing foot massage to relief tired muscles. After the short rest, we enjoyed the tuk-tuk ride through rural Cambodian village to the Tonle Sap Lake where we took a boat ride to the middle of the lake and watched the beautiful sunset. If one has a list of places to visit in a lifetime, then surely this must be one of them.

(A beautiful sunset on the Tonle Sap)

23 December 2006
Day 4 - Siem Reap - Phnom Penh

After breakfast we walked around the park to watch a Cambodian wedding at a nearby temple and passed a peaceful demonstration by the farmers and NGOs. Would have love to visit the Angkor Muzium but it was still under construction. The hotel limousine picked us up at 10 a.m. Today we traveled for another 6 hours by road. Stopped for lunch at Kampong Thom and reached Phnom Penh late afternoon. Lazed among the locals at the riverbank watching cruise boats ferrying tourists along the Mekong River.

After a 2-hour of strong foot massage, we had a hearty dinner at the Bali Restaurant next door to the Hotel. Before we sleep, we recalled back all the places we had visited and before we dozed off, we planned for our next travel to another 'wonders of the world'.

Next time we'll try back-packing instead. It would be more exciting...