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Old 28th August 2011, 09:47   #61
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Thanks Vignesh for the information, very useful on all counts.

4th day is a buffer on the whole trip as the flight out to Bangkok and out from Bangkok to Mumbai would be back to back. Don't want any mishaps, for no shows there's no refund Tonle Sap covers the floating village. Air Asia looks more economic than all else. After all is said and done, we need to get the leaves approved for 2 weeks, trip can happen only then.

Please drop the Sir, Ramky to you.

--Ramky
=====


Quote:
Originally Posted by vigneshnr View Post
1. I took 'Sokha Komar Tep Co.' bus. Even Mekong is good. Depending on the amenities they charge ($6 to $10)

All the buses anyway look similar

2.

a. Hotel - Tanei - Location is the best thing as it is closer to night market.
b. Tuk tuk rates sounds like a deal for 4 days. But what's the 4th day for ??
c. Guide rate is perfect.
In our case we had guide only for the Angkor Wat + Ta Phrom + Angkor Thom circle i.e 1 day. Rest we covered with the help of guide book. There are fantastic guide books available - I would suggest "Ancient Angkor" by Michael Freeman & Claude Jacques (US$4 & upwards purely based on nego skills)

As we are Indians, we know most of the Hindu stories - who is shiva etc.
SO, This was just a cost saver idea.

d. Tonle sap - Does it cover the floating villages ? If so there are major two - Chong Khneas (bit touristy) and Kampong Phluk (more real). If it covers any of the villages then its a deal else just a boat ride will be not so exciting IMO.

e. We didn't visit 'culture village' rather we visited villages to see the culture. But completely depends on your interest sir. If you day 4 to spare you can lots of them.

f. Apsara Dance is a must see. We really enjoyed. But there are many restaurants who conduct free shows while you dine. Once you land there, you'll come across many. I recommend a restaurant in pub street - 'The temple'. There is no per pax. Just order food - show starts @ 7:30 every night .

There is a special theatre which showcases Apsara dance & other cultural stuff with Ancient Angkor history in 3D + Newage tech - "The Smile of Angkor". Check if you like that way.

g. Flights - we took Malaysian airlines (INR31k per pax). Other option was Air Asia - pretty cheap. This being our precious holiday time we stuck to the most reliable.

Will add more - if you wanna know more sir.

Happy Holidays. Team-bhp needs more travelogues on Cambodia now.
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Old 28th August 2011, 12:46   #62
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Originally Posted by vigneshnr View Post

The view from the terrace pronounces that you are the king standing amidst those lions.

Whoa! This pic just firmed up my decision to visit Cambodia sooner than later.

Awaiting pics of Angkor Wat...

--Ragul
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Old 28th August 2011, 20:37   #63
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Default Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

Day 4 (Contd)

Next temple in the list is Ta Som

Where : Ta Som

The temple gate with deities faces

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1426.jpg

Its a child's play !

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1428.jpg

Tree holding the temple entry.. actually engulfing ! This is the first instance of such tree growth in our trip.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1430.jpg

Kids learning few English words from the temple visitors.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1431.jpg

Its a Temple in the jungle. One proof.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1438.jpg


Next stop over was at Neak Pean temple. The route to approach the temple was as interesting as the temple itself.

Take a detour from the main route into a jungle.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1447.jpg


Soon we got to see a wooden bridge.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1448.jpg

Then stepped on. Really loved the way the route was unveiling for us.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1450.jpg

This bridge is for walking / cycling and nothing beyond. The clear stream beneath was fast flowing though not frightening.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1455.jpg

A piece of the temple peaked in now.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1456.jpg

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1466.jpg

This is actually a jalmandir - A temple on water. There is a main shrine in the centre surrounded by multiple large tanks. I don't remember how many tanks where there but the sight was beautiful. And the entire temple was at eye level compared to other recent temples visited.
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Old 28th August 2011, 21:23   #64
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Day 4 : Coming to the close of Grand Circuit Temples

Bon 'Am was prompt in keeping us cool with supplies of wet towels to refresh ourselves and chilled water to quench our thirst after each temple.

Such a sight on the way is equally refreshing

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1147.jpg

"I'm-big-enough-to-handle-it' Girl

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1474.jpg


Where : Preah Khan

This is a large temple compared to Ta Som or Neak Pean. The restoration is still under progress. Style of the temple is a kind of curtain raiser to what we gonna see tomorrow (Day 5).

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1471.jpg

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1478.jpg

This tree has been growing for the past 358 years. How do we know ? Just agree ki we know it.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1476.jpg

Posture of the Guardian

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1479.jpg

The rishis on rituals. The leaves engraved on the stones were awesome. Pl download to zoom in to get a feel.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1498.jpg


So many tiny apsaras dancing .

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1521.jpg

A tree that shades the temple.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1510.jpg



Tired & Happy Feet on their way bk .


Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1537.jpg

Last edited by vigneshnr : 28th August 2011 at 21:53.
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Old 29th August 2011, 09:47   #65
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Great going Vignesh. Whats the age of these temples? Apologies if you have already listed it earlier the thread.

A special note on the "A tree that shades the temple" picture - Its a lovely composition.
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Old 29th August 2011, 10:16   #66
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Great going Vignesh. Whats the age of these temples? Apologies if you have already listed it earlier the thread.

A special note on the "A tree that shades the temple" picture - Its a lovely composition.
Hi C300

Most of these temples are from 9 to 11th century AD. I've stayed away from these details in my travelogue as these details are widely available.

to get some appreciation on the pics. Now, anyway the TL is becoming a PL.
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Old 29th August 2011, 12:25   #67
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Default Re: Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

Hey Vignesh,

Nice account of your travel to Cambodia. We are loving it. We all should be proud that our own Archeological Survey of India was responsible for restoration of Angkor Wat temple complex and train the locals in restoration as well.

In fact, Bandalike ruins in Shivamogga district is supposed toe be a forebearer of these temple complex as Raja Suryavarman of Cambodia was to have visited the Hoysala kings and was deeply influenced by the sculrures. If you notice, the Khmer script is highly influenced by ancient Pallava script.

Take a look at this nice video on Bandalike



Read the ebook Imperial gazetteer of India .. (Volume 6) by Great Britain. India Office

Also take a look at my post on Balligave and Bandalike

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...und-jog-2.html (Around Jog)
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Old 29th August 2011, 17:23   #68
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Hey Vignesh,

Nice account of your travel to Cambodia. We are loving it. We all should be proud that our own Archeological Survey of India was responsible for restoration of Angkor Wat temple complex and train the locals in restoration as well. [/url]
Thanks, Fauji !Well said.

ASI ( Archaeological Survey of India ) has taken up many restoration projects as you mentioned. Their projects are commendable.
Currently they are doing extensive restoration of Ta Phrom temple ('Tomb Rider' fame).

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1794.jpg

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1793.jpg

I sincerely appreciate your interest in this subject.

My next post will be on our experience of Day 5.. The Most Awaited Day !

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Old 30th August 2011, 16:36   #69
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Originally Posted by aryasanyal View Post
Great choice of destination, great tour itinerary, great writeup and great photos to follow them up!

Glued to this thread. Keep it flowing, Vignesh. Looking forward to the rest.

Rated the thread 5 stars.

Question - you left out Battambang and Sihanoukville-Kampot. Any reasons (apart from paucity of time) for leaving these out?
Or let me put it this way - is there enough justification to visit these two places in case one plans an itinerary?
Hi Aryasanyal, Thanks a lot for your generous comments .

Why we din't include Battambang/Siha... is because

0. We wanted to spend enough & good time in Siem Reap (for temples)

1. Siha.. is a beach -This vacation is not about beaches. IMO this is not the best beach to go- if all we wanted to do was beaches.
2. Battambang - we actually didn't give it a thought.

We were quite focused on what we wanted out of this trip in a way (sounds like very profound thought )

If someone has followed this thread this long, for sure he/she will thoroughly enjoy this country.

Time was not a problem we had 8 days in hand !
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Old 30th August 2011, 20:16   #70
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Originally Posted by vigneshnr View Post
Why we din't include Battambang/Siha... is because

0. We wanted to spend enough & good time in Siem Reap (for temples)

1. Siha.. is a beach -This vacation is not about beaches. IMO this is not the best beach to go- if all we wanted to do was beaches.
2. Battambang - we actually didn't give it a thought.

We were quite focused on what we wanted out of this trip in a way (sounds like very profound thought )
Thanks for your response!
My main attraction for Kampot is the Bokor Hills that offer excellent vistas and also the ghost town of Bokor Hill Station.

Yes, if the sole intention is to enjoy Siem Reap then it doesn't make sense to go to Kampot. Agreed!
Battambang, the 2nd largest city, also seems to have some nice temples.

Sorry for the digression. Now, back to your wonderful journey.
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Old 31st August 2011, 07:50   #71
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Arrow Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

Day 5

A sparkling fresh day !

7:10 am.

Today's breakfast was excellent.
This trip had been a trip of many firsts for us. For the first time, I had fried rice in the morning. It was awesome.

7:40 am.
Guide arrives along with Bon 'Am.

-----

The long awaited day finally arrives. Angkor Thom & Angkor Wat.

Angkor What ? A Mini - Glossory

Angkor - City
Wat - Temple
Thom - Great / Big

This Angkor Thom (Great City) is one of the largest of khmer cities. It was built by Jayavarman VII in 12th century. This remained as the capital till 17th century.

In Angkor Thom we had our star list prepared - Prasat Bayon, elephant terrace, Ta Phrom, East Mebon
Then, Yes - Angkor Wat.

----

The grand south gate entrance. In total,there are five entrances to the city.This entrance is well restored and commonly used by all visitors to the city.
This has the depiction of the famous Hindu mythological story of churning the holy sea with mount meru by asuras & devas for 'amruth'.

Welcome to the Grand City !


Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-01.jpg

The devas on the left

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-02.jpg

The asuras on the right

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-03.jpg


Large 'Airavat' - the three headed elephant of Lord Indra. This is sculpted on the either side of the gate.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-2.jpg


Where : Bayon temple

The temple showcasing the cluster of gopuras. From a distance it looks like a rock bed but closer you go - more you get awed.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-1.jpg


'The Face'

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-3.jpg


Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-7.jpg


View from the temple terrace. We kept feeling that 'Are they speaking something ?'

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-4.jpg


The ancient war scene depicted on the temple walls.


Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-6.jpg


Warriors taking lessons from the gurus.


Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-9.jpg



Apsaras dancing on the lotus.


Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-8.jpg


This was pretty interesting - like a lead dancer with back ground dancers (Bollywood style)


Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-10.jpg


Shot from the terrace.

There are totally 54 gopuras. Each having 4 faces.
A quick maths : 54X4 = 216 faces carved out of stone. 216 !!

This temple is a marvel to see.

Bayon will astonish you. And this temple is our top favourite . Priya just loves it.

Whenever we think of Bayon, the might & grandness strikes us.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-12.jpg


Buddha in the main shrine to worship.


Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-13.jpg


Faces & Smile - 58th

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-14.jpg


Faces & Smile - 116th

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Faces & Smile - 144th

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-16.jpg

Come 'Face to Face'

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1630.jpg

Pile of rocks which are yet to restored. Awesomeness hidden in the heap.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-11.jpg

Out of 54 towers, only 37 are standing today.
Attached Thumbnails
Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-5.jpg  


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Old 4th September 2011, 09:34   #72
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Day 5 (Contd)

After the magnificent Bayon we started towards the next most popular destination - "Ta Prohm" - Tomb Raider Fame temple.

Guides & locals take pleasure in introducing the temple as 'Lara Croft temple' / 'The tomb raider temple'


The walk through into the temple.
Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1727.jpg

The first sight of what's in store for us.

Looks like the tree is holding the wall,right. May be the next shot will tell us the reality.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1735.jpg

Does this need a narration

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1737.jpg


What rains can add to the visual treat.. We enjoyed walking through this green covered pathways.


Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1741.jpg

Grown over all and spreading.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1745.jpg


Extensive restoration of the temple under progress and trees have been removed carefully in places to avoid further damage. But many sections been spared with the trees.

And this is one of the most popular picture spots. We had tough time to shoot this sans people

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1756.jpg


Like a huge snake wrapping around !

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1784.jpg


As I had posted earlier, this section was restored by Archaeological Society of India. Never seemed like a restored place rather looked as antique as the temple was. Beautifully done.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1795.jpg

May be moving those thick stones tires you off soon !

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_1799.jpg

That's Ta prohm.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-p1170395.jpg
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Old 5th September 2011, 10:44   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vigneshnr View Post
Day 5



Welcome to the Grand City !

Bayon will astonish you. And this temple is our top favourite . Priya just loves it.

Whenever we think of Bayon, the might & grandness strikes us.
Bayon is definitely a gem of the Cambodia. I envied my colleague - an American - who had gone on holiday to cambodia last year and had brought back these beautiful pictures. Seeing again in your TL makes it special.

BTW, These places are built in such a grand scale it resembles namma own Hampi.

Quote:
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Day 5 (Contd)

The walk through into the temple.
Attachment 604118

Looks like the tree is holding the wall,right. May be the next shot will tell us the reality.


Grown over all and spreading.
I read a nice article on restoration of these old trees in Angkor in deccan herald yesterday and here comes your post!! Nice coincidence. Here is the link.

Saving giant trees, temple ruins
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Old 5th September 2011, 12:48   #74
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As I had posted earlier, this section was restored by Archaeological Society of India. Never seemed like a restored place rather looked as antique as the temple was. Beautifully done.
Quote:
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I read a nice article on restoration of these old trees in Angkor in deccan herald yesterday and here comes your post!! Nice coincidence. Here is the link.

Saving giant trees, temple ruins

With so much of negative publicity around the corruption in various Government departments, its refreshing to see FRI and ASI doing a great job restoring these temples.
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Old 5th September 2011, 14:15   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
Bayon is definitely a gem of the Cambodia. Seeing again in your TL makes it special.

BTW, These places are built in such a grand scale it resembles namma own Hampi.

I read a nice article on restoration of these old trees in Angkor in deccan herald yesterday and here comes your post!! Nice coincidence. Here is the link.

Saving giant trees, temple ruins
Quote:
Originally Posted by C300 View Post
With so much of negative publicity around the corruption in various Government departments, its refreshing to see FRI and ASI doing a great job restoring these temples.


Very interesting to know. In fact, Indian Govt has been consistent is providing support for restoration & development in the past two decades.

Thanks Fauji for a live update

Its high time for an Indo-Cambodian effort to increase Indians tourists visiting cambodia. This will be a great help for this needy nation to grow out of their poverty. I wonder why they have not done this so far. Even the options are drying out for Indians to venture out (Malay, s'pore & thai are now beaten tracks)
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