06 Jun Wat Up from Siem Reap?
Posted at 01:19h in Southeast AsiaYes, we missed our bus in Thailand. Yes, we took 5 buses. Yes, we were on a bus for over 26 hours. And yes, the bus did break down on our way… BUT it was totally worth it! The charm of Cambodia cast its spell on our weary group of travelers the moment we crossed the border into the enchanting country. Erasing our memories of the grueling journey, our attention turned to the flat, vibrantly green landscape dotted with tall, skinny palm trees, lotus flowers and small stilted homes with a rainbow painted over the stormy backdrop of a sky. Writing to you from Siem Reap, Cambodia the crew is now lounging pool side in the sun. A not-to-be-missed archaeological site in South East Asia, the group spent the day wandering around the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat. Tourists from around the world travel to the town of Siem Reap to marvel at the largest religious structures in the world. The Khmer Empire dominated the Southeast Asia region from the 9 to 13th century, ruling what is today Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. The array of temples were constructed by the various kings during their reign in honor of Hinduism. However, as the religion of Buddhism swept through the region the temples transitioned with faces of the Buddha taking over. A real source of national pride, the symbol of Angkor Wat is everywhere you look in Cambodia – on the Cambodian flag, their money and perhaps most importantly on their beer! We think you can learn a lot about a country based on the beer they drink. In Thailand, Chang beer. Chang, meaning elephant. In Cambodia, Angkor beer. End point. Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, and Angkor Thom are the three most famous temples in the ancient city. Although the group rolled out of bed at 4:30 a.m. to catch the stunning sunrise over Angkor Wat, there seems to be a general consensus amongst the group that Angkor Thom stole the show. Angkor Thom is a temple at the center of the ancient capital city of Bayon. A shrine to Buddhism, the temple has over 216 stone faces carved into stone smiling down on its visitors and flashing cameras. A crowd pleaser for sure! Tonight we are headed to a roof top beach bar. Well, that’s the plan if we can peel ourselves away from the pool. Tomorrow, we’re off to the chaotically calm capital city of Phnom Penh. Stay tuned. Oh wait, a debate over Ta Prohm being better than Bayon. Will the trees or stone faces win?