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Old 26th December 2011, 14:03   #121
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Talking Re: Footloose in VAMBODIA (Vietnam + Cambodia)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramkya1 View Post
Thaks. That's good to hear, gives energy to those typing fingers
@Ramky1

Awesome, Awwweeeesome, AAaaasum, Ossum !!


I was off the Tblogs for sometime and when I came back.. I'm thrilled to see a new story on Cambodia. And that's from you
Oh..already 8 pages up - I'm gonna read the TL from the page1 now.

Happy to walk around the streets again through your lens and words.

Hey ramky1 - do you rem me, btw!!?

Flash back :
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-charms-5.html (Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !)

" Happy Holidays. Team-bhp needs more travelogues on Cambodia now." this is the line I wrote when I was chatting up with you in MY TL on Cambodia.

Really excited to see the story unfold again.. keep them coming.
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Old 26th December 2011, 19:12   #122
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Default Re: Footloose in VAMBODIA (Vietnam + Cambodia)

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Originally Posted by ramkya1 View Post
Hai, Did you take the same road, same bus and shoot the same cows!!! Talk about coincidence!!

Photo of location of map of Tania Guest House, very near to Pub Street. We gave it a walking tour, pulsing place, alive all the time.
LOL. We booked an Merc 15 seater though, not the same bus! But we saw the same thing, people taking refuge next the highway. But did you notice, no one was blocking the highway.

We stayed at Steung Siem Reap Hotel, almost bang opposite Old Market. Looked like you stayed very close by. Well everything in Siem Reap is pretty close by.
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Old 27th December 2011, 09:50   #123
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Default Re: Footloose in VAMBODIA (Vietnam + Cambodia)

@ramkya: Sir great travellogue. You were asking if people read the entire things you wrote and let me tell you I for one did read. Amazing writeup. You really have patience and passion to rewrite your entire trip.

Great pictures and if i ever plan a trip there i know what to look for. I like your style of planning for trips. Wish i had half that passion to plan!
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Old 28th December 2011, 11:23   #124
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Arrow Re: Footloose in VAMBODIA (Vietnam + Cambodia)

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Originally Posted by maddy42 View Post
@ramkya: Sir great travellogue. You were asking if people read the entire things you wrote and let me tell you I for one did read. Amazing writeup. You really have patience and passion to rewrite your entire trip.

Great pictures and if i ever plan a trip there i know what to look for. I like your style of planning for trips. Wish i had half that passion to plan!

@Vignesh
: Sir, How can I forget you... I read every word of your log on Siem Reap. I think you even told to wear bright colours at Angakor to have a nice shoot. We loved Siem Reap and did things no Indian Tourist has done.. more to come.

It's just that I am a structure freak... I freak out if I cannot plan and execute, not good for my health

@ DOT: I also noticed how disciplined these people are even if they are very poor. Is it because they are more fatalistic? Is it community living that makes them disciplined (you would notice they are very communal and also clannish), breaking the civil code would probably bring in some sort of immediate pain / punishment or sparse population that allows them some sort of substance living.

@Maddy: Thanks Sir. Happy to see someone other than me posting here.

I am in Delhi till 2nd on personal business, will try to re start ASAP.

--Ramky
======

Last edited by ramkya1 : 28th December 2011 at 11:28.
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Old 29th December 2011, 21:30   #125
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Talking Re: Footloose in VAMBODIA (Vietnam + Cambodia)

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Originally Posted by ramkya1;
Some other things that would stand out are: Women in shorts, revealing dress entering temples, them wearing footwear in most places except near sacred statues, the casual way in which they move around in the temple (saw in HCMC), burning money (fake money) as offering to Buddha, them selling non-veg food right outside temples / pagodas and people carrying it inside to eat it on the premises!!!
I am surprised about that ! Didnt see a single women inside your photos . Perhaps your wife in also a memeber at team-bhp

On a serious note a thousand Blue Blistering Barnacles Thanks !! for sharing Tlog with us.
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Old 30th December 2011, 11:11   #126
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Arrow Re: Footloose in VAMBODIA (Vietnam + Cambodia)

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Originally Posted by Kool_Kid View Post
I am surprised about that ! Didnt see a single women inside your photos . Perhaps your wife in also a memeber at team-bhp

On a serious note a thousand Blue Blistering Barnacles Thanks !! for sharing Tlog with us.
Bingo!! Wifey chopped off all those Hot Shots However if you see the Cyclo video you would notice a couple of hot legs. Had some really hot ones from the diving photos with Russian Babes in Bikini, did not pass muster with the Censor board, sorry.

Thanks. It's nice to write to an appreciating audience.

--Ramky
=====
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Old 30th December 2011, 15:51   #127
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@Ramkya1

Your TLog is just what I need. We planned for Cambodia between 15-25 Dec but could not do it since the other family planning to join could not get leaves. So we have pushed it to Feb'12.

Your account now is like a Guide to us now. Plus we re now thinking of doing Vietnam too post reading your experience.

Eagerly looking forward to details on Cambodia. Please don't concise it. More the better. I am loving it!
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Old 30th December 2011, 17:46   #128
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Arrow Re: Footloose in VAMBODIA (Vietnam + Cambodia)

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Originally Posted by fantaboyus View Post
@Ramkya1

Your TLog is just what I need. We planned for Cambodia between 15-25 Dec but could not do it since the other family planning to join could not get leaves. So we have pushed it to Feb'12.

Your account now is like a Guide to us now. Plus we re now thinking of doing Vietnam too post reading your experience.

Eagerly looking forward to details on Cambodia. Please don't concise it. More the better. I am loving it!
Thanks Fantaboyus. Now that ther's some pulse to this thread, I'd put in some more details.

You absolutely must do Vietnam, it's an unexplored gem. Just ensure you that you lock your Visa, bookings and travel in advance, the rest should be easy. They love tourists there and show it too.

--Ramky
=====
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Old 6th January 2012, 16:40   #129
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Arrow Re: Footloose in VAMBODIA (Vietnam + Cambodia)

06-11-2011 - Siem Reap:The Aprsara Dance hall was a huge one, could easily accommodate 700 people and the stage set professionally. Every girl aspires to be an Apsara dancer, but few make it, it’s a long process like that of Classical Dances in India, read about it here.


Robam Tep Apsara - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Koulen II Restaurant - Welcome to Koulen II Restaurant - Buffet and Apsara Dances

The cover charge for the programme was 12 USD per pax, covers one of the most elaborate dinner courses you can imagine and the performance. The dinner was one of the most elaborate ones I have seen, it’s reportedly one of the best value for money deals in Siem Reap. There are other places too which offer similar dance, dinner combo., but not as good as Koulen. Our Tuk Tuk driver Kui dropped us at 0630, when we entered most choice seats were taken up by groups, but we managed to get a good one up front, it was raining outside. The dinner starts by 6 and the show by 0730, so getting there early gives you a good seat in the front and time to enjoy the dinner slowly. Drinks were reasonably priced, we stuck to soft drinks as we had enough stock of alcohol in our room, we were not in a mood to drink either. My wife enjoyed the dances better as she learned Bharatnatyam for 15 years and still is in active contact with the art. She said, many ‘mudras’ were similar to Bharatnatyam and what those girls did on stage was above average standard, it’s difficult to master and takes almost 10-15 years of practice to get to the stage. Even the singing was like Karnatic Music in many segments, only the instruments and décor was different. I could see that most foreigners were enjoying the programme, many of them were video shooting the event, we also did, have uploaded links to the video in earlier posts.

0430 AM, 07-11-2011 - Siem Reap, Angkor Wat:
The awaited day, the hiatus of the trip and the most talked about historical monument in the world. We were excited, rightfully so, read more here:

Angkor Wat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The sunrise watch is one of the most popular, you need to get up early, go queue up, get the tickets and reach the place in time to watch the sun rise around 0530 AM, getting up at 0430 was mandated. Kui was waiting, we were ready but so were the clouds!! The entry fee of 40USD for 3 days is expensive, but you can’t have it both ways; gives you free access to all the monuments within the park. The next 3 days we observed that there are mobile and stationary patrols checking tickets to prevent illegal entry, so those who want peace of mind and trouble visits inside the park, buy the ticket. It’s money well spent, maintaining such a huge monument, employing huge number of people to keep it tidy, clean and safe and providing employment to so many people takes up money. In most places inside the monuments and on the ways you would find ‘Green Brigade’ people wearing green dress cleaning up the place, cutting grass and manning traffic, they have to keep a constant battle with the jungle which creeps into everything.

Notice the punching on the ticket, everyday you enter, they punch a hole in it, looks like a fool proof system.

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These were later daylight shots of the entry points, when we entered in the wee hours in the morning, it was too dark to shoot anything.


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Angkor Wat

0500 AM: Ticket gate, many bays for tickets, constant stream of tourists, fast moving queue, ticket with photo id printed in a minute, you get into the tuk-tuk, another gate to check the ticket and you are on your way.

AD 802, Hindu King Jayarman II, the God King is said to have started off the great build of the temples, the Angokorian period was till 1400, the golden period. Reportedly about 1000 temples, ranging from great ones to piles of dust. Many structures resemble temples of Tamil Nadu and South India but the grand temple, Angkor Wat is the world’s largest single religious structure and attracts about a whopping 20 lac tourists, something akin to Khajuraho, Agra etc., there’s a confluence of Hinduism, Buddhism living, merging and separating on the structure. Though the scale of the structure beats anything I have seen, the beauty of structures and carvings of Tamil Nadu temples are superior, especially that of Tanjore. There’s Acers of history on the structure and India connection, so I’d skip the rest of it.

As we move in the darkness, all we could see is a large expanse of water, which later emerges in daylight as a huge moat outside the structure and a stream of headlights moving up. Excitement builds as the Tuk Tuk slows down in a huge parking lot, Kui said come back by 8-9, we go have breakfast and come back again to the same place. We get out, its dark, need a torch to walk, lots of people carrying torches, you follow the dark shadows of people moving in towards a Red-Fort-like wall, intercept by ticket checkers, flash of light on the ticket and a little on your face and you’re through. Cross the bride of the moat, cross the gate and another 2 KM of walkway leads to the grand structure looking in the dark with dark clouds in the backgrounds.


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Anu sitting guard over the tripod while I was searching for a vantage point to shoot from!! Need not have worried, in 2 hours the place was empty!!

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A very rate one on Angkor, would bet Angkor with a boat on the foreground would be difficult to come by. The boat was just there for one day as some photographic team had it brought in for a shoot.

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We found this guy running loose on the compound, got as many clicks as Angkor Wat

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Photographic teams have taken vantage points, we could see an array of Australians standing with heavy equipment on tripods on the glass and many other teams in various clusters. Up ahead there’s a huge crowd, we could see only heads, so I push in to the crows, tell Anu to sit on top of a parapet while I search for an opening in the crowd. I slowly wriggle my way forward and come to the waterline, a pond on which you can see the Angkior Wat reflected if the sun raises. There’s a photo frenzy out there, professionals with bazookas, amateurs doing all kinds of stunts and some others with mobile cameras!! It was Ramlila. We wait till 6, still cloudy and no chance of a sunrise, light improves and I keep clicking away, at about 7, I join Anu to sit on the parapet to watch the parade of tourist flowing by, most of them clicking pictures.


======

Last edited by ramkya1 : 6th January 2012 at 16:56.
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Old 6th January 2012, 17:50   #130
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Arrow Re: Footloose in VAMBODIA: Inside the WAT

1000 AM, 07-11-2011 - Siem Reap, Angkor Wat: We reach Tenai for a short rest, breakfast and back to Angkor to see more of the most famous monument in the world.

Breakfast is a beautiful affair at Tenai Gueset house, you tick what you want from the options and it’s ready in minutes with piping hot coffee. The service was equally good, they were willing to go out of the way to satisfy, you can eat as much as you want to. They said they had few Indian tourists and would be happy to have us.

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Password changed daily, so don't have any wicked thoughts

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We move to Angkor Wat again, entry, check tickets, long walk on the walkway, almost a KM and climb up the steps. As we enter, we realize the enormity of what lies ahead, it would hit you only after you enter, something like the Rameswaram Temple, if you’ve been there. Please read again here:

Angkor Wat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Towers shaped like lotus buds, broad passageways, axial galleries connecting to the central ones, spires, steep stairs, towers, carvings of Devtas / Apsaras / bas reliefs, narrative scenes from mythology all in an array of mind blowing proportions. The harmony of design, balance and precision has been compared to Greek and Roman ones. Unfortunately many details, heads of statues are lost to vandalism and ravages of time. You will be forced to sit an wonder at the effort, time and resources it took for the kings to construct such a gigantic structure, we found many sitting and gaping with open mouthed amazement. A must visit place, once in a life time visit just to understand the magnitude of the effort and structure is in place.

We click photographs, we had about 2-3 hours given by our Tuk Tuk driver Kui. It’s tiring work walking, climbing, skipping through dark passages, avoiding steps, climbing steep steps to the tower and trying to take some pictures, we gave it a jolly old college try. The photos would speak for the rest.

A shutterbug would go crazy inside, there's so much to shoot, fortunate I am an amateur, so was saved the agony.

Click your imagination, as many as you want!! Let it flow, the tripod in action..

Only half done, more to go.....

=====
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Last edited by ramkya1 : 6th January 2012 at 18:04.
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Old 7th January 2012, 13:03   #131
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Arrow Re: Footloose in VAMBODA: Inside the Wat - Two

1100 AM, 07-11-2011 - Siem Reap, Angkor Wat:

Second Lot inside the Wat: We climb the very steep steps, guards tell you to take off hats, goggles and anything that can snag you, pretty steep, must be all of 300 feets, wooden steps, extreme care, there's another world up there.

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For a change it felt good to be finished with the famous one, we walk back to the wide open world, the pond, the walkaway and a final good bye to most clicked monument on earth.

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See the sweat on my T Shirt, it was sultry as a steam cooker, I was sweating all over. With the walking, climbing and acrobatics you almost drench yourself and then sit to cool off, we had to change choths twice a day, the drizzle made it worse at times. The laundry service at our guest house was pretty cool, they charge by the kilo.

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There were children selling things, but not a single one asked for money. Contrary to what people say, we did not get harassed by beggars, children or others, we were worried about that. Guess we were lucky, or is it all hyped by Firangi Tourists who have not seen any type of begging in their country? After reading accounts of some Firangis we are clearly puzzled!!

==

Last edited by ramkya1 : 7th January 2012 at 13:14.
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Old 7th January 2012, 13:23   #132
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Default Re: Footloose in VAMBODIA (Vietnam + Cambodia)

The photo of the two boats joined together in front of Angkor Wat is too good.
Sadly, the other pic where there were two cigarette butts in front of the cute pup brought tears to my eyes. Reminded me of India again.
Thanks for the pics of Angkor Wat Ramkya.
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Old 7th January 2012, 13:29   #133
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The photo of the two boats joined together in front of Angkor Wat is too good.
Sadly, the other pic where there were two cigarette butts in front of the cute pup brought tears to my eyes. Reminded me of India again.
Thanks for the pics of Angkor Wat Ramkya.
Tnx MX6.

Saw some idiot tourists smoking, throwing things around etc., the guards were warning many people on and off. I think the locals too do their damage after visiting hours, there are people living inside on restaurant near the pond, it's too big an area to keep tabs on all the time.

==========
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Old 7th January 2012, 15:06   #134
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Default Re: Footloose in VAMBODA: Inside the Wat - Two

My 5 year old son saw your Angkor Wat's pictures and asked where was the dead bird ( opposite the Vishnu idol) and a large caterpillar (near the lake) that he had picked up.

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There were children selling things, but not a single one asked for money. Contrary to what people say, we did not get harassed by beggars, children or others, we were worried about that.!

==
We also didnt see any beggars anywhere.
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Old 9th January 2012, 15:20   #135
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Default Re: Footloose in VAMBODIA (Vietnam + Cambodia)

Hello Mr. Ramkya1,

Just finished reading all the 8 pages of your travelogue & have no words to appreciate the same. It is simple wonderful. Yes. this travelogue deserves 5 star rating.

It is like almost being there at that place while reading. You capture scenes, situation & humour in a perfect combination.

Can you also throw some idea on cost of the entire trip, I am not asking for exact details, but some approximate number.

Thanks,
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