Kompong Phluk , over water village
We visited the Kompong Phluk on Tonle Sap Lake , on 28 Dec 2013 as a part of Siem Reap day tour.Transport back and forth already provided by Happy Angkor Tour ,by a Camry sedan.We paid about $ 15 per person for entry fee and speedboat fare.
A lot of tourists came here by Ramork ( tuk tuk ) ,motorcycles,cars ,minivans and even they use some kind of open truck to transport tourists here.
The road was dusty and bumpy,and some area are muddy, because the road itself was flooded during the rainy season.The Ton Le Sap lake expands maybe 2-3 times larger than it should be, during rainy season.
No access to here by land transport in the rainy season all must be done by boat.
We board a long boat and begin our journey in the Ton Le Sap river.The weather was nice and we enjoyed the trip very much.Its like in a strange new world because we rarely see this kind of panorama, plantations partially submerged in the water.
Along the river ,we saw many houseboats , high raised houses , schools ,clinics, and government offices, the villagers kept their live stocks of chickens , pigs ,and ducks on some kind of floating pontoon on the river surface.
A hydroponics garden also floats among the houses.We saw daily activities of the Ton Le Sap river people as they catch fishes in nets.Some small kid floats with a tin bucket, and some resting on hammocks.
As we landed on Kompong Phluk ,more daily activities can be seen, they dried small shrimps , fishes and mussels.people selling daily necessities and etc.
There's a primary school here , and a temple with stupas around it.
Humble and friendly peoples ,a lot of children playing around us , but no one asks for money or disturbed us.
Later we continue to the Ton Le Sap Lake , rested for a while, some floating sampan boats approached ,offering us to buy fruits and drinks , an original floating shop.
After a short break , we proceed to the Flooded Forest where we can ride Sampan boats , for as low as $ 5 per boat.We do recommend this to be done , because its so beautiful in the Flooded Forest .
Wear comfy shoes ,bring your hats and sunglasses,when you visit this place , and wear masks if you dust or unpleasant smells irritated you.There's a toilet on usually every floating restaurants.
- Jungle and Rain Forest
Thommanon Temple is found adjacent to Chau Say Tevoda temple. The temples are like twins that were constructed between 11th to 12th century. This temple as well as the Chau Say Tevoda temple wasn’t as popular like the other temples such as Angkor Wat and Banteay Samre but through them, the styles and the forms of these more famous landmarks became more evident.
There’s nothing much special in this place but it’s good to know where the other famous temples gained their style and structure.
- Historical Travel
Beng Mealea (1)
Beng mealea mean "lotus pond" The pronunciation sounds similar to my Thai languge that pronounce "beung mala" with similar meaning as well = " flower pond" I chose this place to be the must see if I should be in Siem reap.It used to be something like "off the beaten path" ,that's a reason why I wanted to go and the site looks so charming that I'd like to see in real.Beng Mealea was abandoned for long period ot time, nature took its course and the site has been overrun by the trees. We'll see trees grow out of stone, the vines are wrapped around the temple, and roots stretched through moss- covered stone walls. The temple have collapsed from neglect,never been renovated nor preserved, it made this site are very charming rustic ruins.After visitting the place ,many people love this place even said to be the most fantastic place of all the temple in Siem reap.
To get there we have to pay 5 $ for the entrance.You can not use the Angor pass for this place , even you carry the multi -day Angor pass or not ,you have to buy ticket at the ticket booth before arriving the site anyway.Here's the pic of the ticket booth(second pic) it's about 1 km before arriving the site.Firts pic is 7 head nagas at the entrance.
Third pic is a long path from entrance to the main site.Forth pic is the moat that surround the site 1025 m by 875 m large and 45 m wide.We don't see any beautiful lotus anymore in the pond ,actually it's very easy to reintroduce them back into to the pond to make more atmosphere.Sadly ,no one want to renovate anything.Last pic ,some thing to sell along the path.
Because there are many thing to share so I'll write more review about this place ...to be continue...
Beng Mealea (3)
To visit the site you can explore on your own along wooden walk way or pay some fare to get service from local guide.If you need to have picture without people then better go very early .After 10am there'll be too many tour group ,I can say too many..and they are very noisy.I have to wait patiently to get each picture.If some are interested in the place and need to see things slowly ,it can take 2-3 hours to explore ,depends...but if the tour group or someone who just need to walk past the ruins quickly and go back and tell people that "I've been there already " then ..30 minutes is enough.
I did it 2 rounds ,the first round by myself walk along the wooden path counterclockwise through second and third enclosure.The second round I hired a local guide to explore the different route.Here are pic that taken when I walked first round along the prepared wooden path.
1.The wooden path that pararell to the third (inner ) wall.I and the other 2 men in the pic were on top of the inner wall.
2.When standing on the wall ,this is a picture that I like ,feeling like an anaconda just move above my head.
3.The wall of second and third (inner) enclosure,between them is kind of ditch that use to fill with water (information from local guide )
4.The corridor inside the second enclosure wall.It's quite dark inside.There's few small windows but quite high above the ground..(about 2 m. ) To see better in there you need some flash light.This pic taken with flash.
5.One of the raised libraries of the outer enclosure.This one is on the north east.
Angkor Thom (2)
To enter the Bayon area,there are 5 gates ,all five gates are similar,but the south gate is the most extensively restored and is the most complete.Regulary use has helped to save the statues of the gods and asuras (demons) that lined its approach.Most of the heads at another gates have been stolen and only the north gate retains a number of complete figures.Two rows of the figures each carry the body of giant serpent ,a seven headed naga(but now damage) The figures on the left are gods while on the right are asuras.The use of naga balustrades lining the approach to temple and useually across a moat was common and it's beleived that the purpose was to link the world of men(outside) and world of gods (inside) You can see the gate itself is 23 m.high,has triple tower carved with 4 faces ,the first look of the Bayon.But the faces were added late than the main construction.
1.The south gate,it's very narrow that a tuk tuk can pass only one at a time even bicycle has to wait.You can see asuras are on the right.The city walls are 8m high.
2.The gods are on the left side of the bridge.
3.,4 The monkeys waiting for food from people along the passage to center of the Bayon.Some body may think that human should not spoil wild animal by feeding them but local here told me that we have to feed them because there are much less trees and food source for them.Of course the people here are very poor so all the fresh fruits and food are all picked and eaten by human so there's nothing left in the wild for monkeys.So everyday there are many kind people come to feed these monkeys.You'll see them almost all day but many start to come at late afternoon cuz it's a little cool down.But you must be careful not to leave your belongings without attention,cuz these monkeys are still naughty ,not as cute and tame as they seem,they may take anything away from you ,..food ,camera,sunglass...they are not that aggresive or dangerous.. but just watch out your things.
5.The Bayon ..south side.
Beng Mealea (2)
Beng Mealea was built in Angkor Wat style around middle of 12th century with some later additions in the reign of Suryavarman ll .The one who built this place still remain unknown.Beng mealea was built by blue sand stone from local quarries.There's no narrative bas -relief panels as at Angkor Wat but there's still some carving on walls,pilasters and few pediments.The carving showing legends of Vishnu,Shiva and Lord Buddha.The temple marked the center of a town,surrounded by a moat 1,025m by 875m and 45m wide.Four paved avenues lead via cruciform terraces to the entrances at the cardinal point and oriented to the east.East of complex is large baray,with a small island containing a shrine in its center.The plan is similar to Angkor wat but the difference is ..all was built at ground level with no temple mountain.There are 3 concentric enclosures,each one set back slightly to the west with the central shrine at the intersection of the axes.These enclosures are tied together with cruciform cloister just as at Angkor Wat,and in the north-east and south-east corners of the enclosures are small shrines of the kind known wrongly as "libraries"
Pura Vida - Take a Massage!
Two floors for your service and a lot of ladies with powers in the fingers. Foot massage places are in the 1st floor and other privacy needed in the second.
Take a 5$ foot massage every time when passing by, very relaxing and takes about an hour. If you are busy take 30 mins, it's 3$
Even better, if you have more time, there are e.g. Khmer, Thai, anti stress, herbals, Swedish (what ever it is), Waxing and four hand massages and prices vary from 6-20$. We tested foot, anti stress and herbal. Anti stress was really good, the girl had heavy fingers and herbal was kind similar, with aromatic oils and special hot "tool" which I saw but didn't recognize.
Astr ja h 20usd (90min), foot 5 (60).
Friendly and smiling personnel and they get special thanks for honesty, we left by accident a ring to basket, noticed that at the hotel and a phone call solved the problem, they kept the ring in safety box and we picked the one up in the morning. Thank you ladies out there.
Blind's school - Take a massage
The place is a school for blinds, a small disappointment, too gentle hands but the purpose is better than action, support school to educate blinds to normal working life.
Take a tuktuk, you might get it for an hour massage from and to your hotel for 2-3$.
Wat Preah Prom Rath
This temple is located just close to Siem Reap center, between Street 9 and New Street A. It is one of the oldest in Siem Reap, history stats something like 500 years ago. I keep admiring the colorful and complex statues and sculptures (photo 4) and very telling parts of history in paintings (photo 5) which go around the temple in the walls of the wall circling the temple.
The King Ang Chan this monastery to Preah Ang Chang-Han Hoy and to the spirits of Ta Pom Yeay Rat. The providse lodging for monks, the times were different on those early days. In the 1940s the monastery was renamed as Wat Preah Prom Rath.
Monk Tang Ton and Tang Toem are part of the monasterys history and I think I met Monk Tang Toem (photo 3) there.
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
Angkor Wat - The Temple
Angkor Wat is a Temple in Angkor, Cambodia. It was build in the beginning of 12th century in in Yasodharapura (Angkor currently) and the builder was King Suryavarman II to act as capital of Khmer Empire. It's the largest in the area, it's the largest religious building in the whole world. First it was a Hindi temple, dedicated to Vishnu and on 13th century it moved to Theravada Buddhist use. The temple was forgotten for ages from 16th century, there were still life, the locals knew the place.
In the 19th century a French naturalist and explorer, Henri Mouhot, visited the place and he wrote some travel notes (we didn't have VT on those days): "One of these temples - a rival to that of Solomon, and erected by some ancient Michelangelo - might take an honorable place beside our most beautiful buildings. It is grander than anything left to us by Greece or Rome, and presents a sad contrast to the state of barbarism in which the nation is now plunged".
The temple is huge and it's listed in many Top10 lists of the World's most remarkable buildings and similarly, in the lists of most interesting travel sites.
It's the national symbol of Cambodia and has got it's place in the national flag also and it is one of (almost 1000) UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.
When visiting there, take a guided tour or prepare well from documentation, there are so lot to see, understand and realize.
Photo 2: This statue of Vishnu is down in the west Gopura, the entrance porch, welcoming all visitors to the temple. Remember to pray and wish when you come in.
- Religious Travel
- Historical Travel
Angkor Wat - The Stonesand Carvings
The are a lot of sandstone carvings surrounding the first level of Angkor Wat. And I mean lot, the "painting" are is about 1 200 square meters telling stories about wars, living and the history of Angkor Wat. This is why you should book a guide or read a lot, because without the cover story you miss the clue.
The reliefs cover most of the inner wall of all four sides of the first floor and nowadays those are protected, so please don't touch (you can see a lot of shining stone, so you know what has interested people, for example Apsara dancers used to dance bare breasted, so a lot of shining breasts around).
Those were religious but the live was dangerous, one king is said tho have 2000 girls friends, kept life busy, these stories are told in the carvings.
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
the great lake also called the Tonle Sap lake,is a huge bell shaped fresh water lake,its home to over 1 million people and consists of 160 different villages,some floating as the water receeds duing the dry season they move there homes out to the deeper part of the lake,chong khneas is the closest village to siem reap with over 6000 people living there mostly in floating homes and mostly fishing community.everything out here floats the schools,homes,churches,police,shops all floating.there are flooded forest to explore,huge water birds and plenty of fish.the environmental centre is well worth a visit also.if heading out for the sunset can recommend the tara riverboat as they serve up free dinner and unlimited drinks as part of there tours.the sunsetting over the lake is a awesome sight.further afield are villages like prek toal the home of 1000s rare water birds.kompong phluk a huge flooded forest and kompong khleang the main homes beening stilted homes rather than floating
- Family Travel
Siem Reap and Angkor Wat, Cambodia
If you're going to be in the Siem Reap area or anywhere in Cambodia for that matter, I would strongly recommend using Siem Reap Taxi Driver for your transportation needs. He can provide a knowledgeable tour of Angkor Wat and can also furnish transportation to Phnom Penh and beyond. His prices are very reasonable, and he is extremely reliable. His contact information is hand phone +(855) 092 73 03 99
website : www.angkorbestdriver.com
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Ta Prohm is the last temple we’ve visited and I find it one of the most interesting places because of the oldest trees around the area. The trees are very extraordinary and very very old! They have very long roots that almost curl and crawl in the temple. It’s one of the most unusual things I’ve ever seen in my entire life!
This temple was named before as “Rajavihara” or “Royal Monastery” then eventually called as Ta Prohm or “Old Brahma” today. This place became more famous when the movie “Tomb Raider” was filmed here. The movie featured one of the oldest trees with its long roots that stand in the middle of the temple. I find the trees a bit scary because of its very unusual long curling roots that seem like an invisible entity currently resides here…
Many of the temples are really in ruins that most of the structures were supported by steel and logs which I find it good in preserving the natural beauty of this place.
- Historical Travel
Angkor Thom (Big Angkor) is a 3km2 walled and moated royal city and was the last capital of the Angkorian empire. After Jayavarman VII recaptured the Angkorian capital from the Cham invaders in 1181, he began a massive building campaign across the empire, constructing Angkor Thom as his new capital city. He began with existing structures such as Baphuon and Phimeanakas and built a grand enclosed city around them, adding the outer wall/moat and some of Angkor's greatest temples including his state-temple, Bayon, set at the center of the city. There are five entrances (gates) to the city, one for each cardinal point, and the victory gate leading to the Royal Palace area. Each gate is crowned with 4 giant faces.
- Historical Travel
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