Hellllooooooooo from Cambodia!
And Chum Reap Suor to you too, my new Cambodian friends!
Donning a traditional dress with cultural Cambodian designs & elephant motifs!
Sorry I haven’t been updating for the past 5 days.
I’ve been out of the country – as most of you know, if you’re on Twitter & Facebook with me
Touched down at Siem Reap International Airport!
I’ve had the honour of being flown up to Siem Reap with other fellow bloggers around the world to attend BlogFest Asia 2012 : the third cross-border conference & meeting of Asian bloggers & technologists, held in Cambodia this year.
Watch this sneak preview video I’ve just made!
So much more to come, I can't wait to share! 😉
Can't believe that today is already my fifth day in Siem Reap.
Never thought I’d say this – I am absolutely in love with Cambodia already!
The picturesque village area where I took the boat along Ton Le Sap river to the Floating Villages
Cruising towards Ton Le Sap lake brought me a sense of liberation.
Sat at the edge of the boat with the breeze in my face & arms wide open under the sun
All the houses were built on stilts in the Floating Village
I steered/drove a motorboat all by myself!
Being the speed demon I am, I overtook all the other boats (yes, having my boatmen yelling at me at the top of his voice! ) and manoeuvering a canoe around the creek and the narrow, flooded mangrove jungle.
How often do you get to paddle a canoe in a mangrove?
Here's something you don't get to do very often either…
It's not just ANY tuk-tuk…
It's the BATMOBILE
Far from the rural countrysides of Ton Le Sap Floating Village, lies Siem Reap town.
Five days here and I already have my favorite food outlets!
The Blue Pumpkin @ Hospital Street, Siem Reap Town
Rich pastries and a spread of decadent desserts served on luxurious sofa-bed-lounges.
I could stay here forever!
Here are the rest of the food I've indulged in throughout these five days :
They range from traditional Cambodian amok, lok lak, Mexican, Western, other Asian fusions and the exotic!
Every 5 meters or so, you will hear friendly Khmer people beckoning you to try the Dr. Fish Foot Spa Massage
I've also had my first HAPPY PIZZA experience in Siem Reap in Happy Special Pizza!
Full foot massage/reflexology for only USD$3
Little children cooked and served us delicious spinach dumplings
Shopping of all sorts of odds and ends in Old Market, Original Market & Night Market
As dusk began to settle in, there was only one place in mind – Pub Street
Angkor What? Bar
Loved the play of words!
Partying with my crazy bunch of fellow BlogFest Asia 2012 peeps!
I know that my Siem Reap province trip will not be a complete one without paying a visit to the iconic Angkor Wat of Cambodia.
So one fine (actually, VERY HOT!) afternoon, I joined the rest for BlogFest Asia's Heritage Trail.
The Angkor Wat I used to know from the pages of my History textbooks is only THIS SMALL
And now, I see it, life-sized right before my very eyes
I stood there with full admiration for as long as I could, despite the sweltering weather.
It had an ethereal wonder to this classical Khmer architecture.
It ain't everyday you get to lie on the grass with the Angkor Wat right behind you, hey?
Built by the late King Suryavarman II in the 12th century, the Prasat Angkor Wat stands as the largest Hindu temple complex in the world.
As I walked through the redented towers, ancient galleries, pillars, stone statues, passageways and cruciform terraces, I was in awe
Apsaras. History, culture and religion resonated within its intricately carved stone-walls.
I continued exploring the temple grounds! Great adventures with my Pinoy friends, Paula & Ethel
Moving on… we headed to Ta Prohm soon after.
This majestic complex was once a Buddhist monastery & university and was inscribed in the World Heritage List in 1992.
Those glorious, glorious tree roots sprouting out of the ruins looked mysterious but not threatening.
Standing where Angelina Jolie had her Tomb Raider set filmed!
Sovichea Sou, a local Cambodian friend
showed us around and guided us around the temples. Thank you!
Not far from the hustle and bustle of Siem Reap town stood FCC Angkor.
It is a very prestigious hotel which housed a luxurious and elegant fine dining restaurant too.
The glamorous and posh FCC Angkor Hotel
BlogFest Asia 2012's dinner reception was held here last night
I had an amazing time at dinner & drinks with new friends from across the globe
I found Siem Reap to be a busy yet very laidback town with a buzzing nightlife, cheap massages, delicious food (LEMME HEAR A YEAAAHHH!!) and a plethora of night market shopping hotspots.
With such a well preserved exotic culture, ancient ruins & breathtaking temples, it is no wonder people keep coming back for more.
Siem Reap gave me an impression of a town with a marvellous amalgamation of nature,
historical wonders and lifestyle – just the way I like it
5.30PM sunset from my window
All the fun, sights, food and pleasant Khmer people have imprinted remarkable impressions of Siem Reap in my mind.
I have been enlightened by so many new insights, had the pleasure of meeting wonderful people, had so much laughter and adventure, which can only spell beautiful memories of Siem Reap, Cambodia
Not a single day has let me down.
Thank you BlogFest Asia 2012 for a delightful Siem Reap experience!
P/S : With 50 cent beers, who would say no to a good toast? *hic*
Aw khun ch’ran, dear Siem Reap, for a lasting impression & a wonderful stay thus far!
Here’s to hoping my next few days will be even more exciting than it already is.
Chum reap leah! From Malaysia with love,