Through my eyes

living my life without regrets

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Cambodia 2020 - 32. Good Bye Siem Reap

32. Good Bye Siem Reap

Inside Dining Room Set For Dinner
We were blessed on our trip to Siem Reap. Life here ran its normal course. Hotels vied to find clients, tuk-tuk drivers asked everyone if they needed a ride. Beggars
Chanda, GM and Handyman
had their hands out and small shop owners were open for business at all times.

We were well taken care of at the Anusa Hotel; I need to thank special people of the staff. Ana was the most helpful to us; she was the gal to go to if you needed something. Unfortunately we have no pictures of Ana.  
Phalla (L) and Her Sister Sam (R)

Chanda was the all around man, who brought his wife and his 2 children to the hotel once in a while. Chanda’s wife Phalla spoke English very well. She and her Sister Sam seem to be the main share holders of this hotel. They were not poor. They ran the hotel behind the scenes.
Kunthea Always Working Hard

We had daily interactions with Kunthea, who ran the bar, ran the dining area at the bar; a young woman, smart and on the way up. She was only 18 years old but she will go places.


Then there was Seyma at reception, so soft and well-spoken, so polite and gentle. She was like a shadow, always there, always smiling.

Pana served us in the dining room, when we ate there.

Kunthea (L) In Her Work Area, The Bar. Vannit (R) Helping Out

And lastly Vannit, she is new to the hotel, very young and trying hard.

There was also the room crew, the people who made the beds, cleaned up after us. I saw mostly 3 people working in a group; they were good, efficient and thorough.

The cooks did a great job. Interesting and tasty Cambodian dishes as well as North American fare if we wanted it. We were often asked if there was anything we wanted that was not on the menu because they would get and prepare whatever we wanted.
Mr. Touch - Our Tuk Tuk Driver
With His Khmer Scarf

So to all the staff, thank you very much!

Ah yes, thank you Mr. Touch #2, you are a good man.

We had a few days of loafing, reading, checking notes, arranging for the car to the airport (Chanda took us in the end) and packing our stuff.
In the Lobby, Siem Reap Airport

All of our steps back to Toronto went smoothly, including waiting at the airport in Siem Reap, the layover in Hong Kong and the arrival in Toronto.
Our Cathay Dragon Plane

Khmer Scarves Given to Us By Ana

Arriving Hong Kong

We were a little concerned about the Covid-19 virus news. We took care to not be too close to other passengers but inside a plane this cannot be helped. As luck would have it, we had 2 asses behind our seat. The plane was not that full but we had a cougher behind us. No he did not even cover his mouth. Yes, he talked incessantly to a young woman next to him and his pick up lines were terrible.
Leaving Hong Kong In the Rain

Not good news to have one of ‘those’ behind you inside a plane.

When we arrived in Toronto, we again, avoided close contact with people. As soon as we entered the house we washed our hands, locked the doors and put ourselves on a 14 day self-quarantine. We did not go out at all, saw nobody, just used the internet to let all know we were ok.
Coming Home to Snow
And… we are still ok; we have no symptoms, no fever and no complaints.

We are, like I said at the beginning…blessed.

We had a great time in Cambodia. We learned a lot, we would go back if we had to… but AFTER this pandemic is under control… which does not look promising as I write this.

Stay tuned for further blogs … if we ever get to travel again…

Friday, April 10, 2020

Cambodia 2020 - 31. Preah Khan Temple - Pictures Only

31. Preah Khan Temple - Pictures Only

Devatas Guarding A Gate
Headless Warrior Guarding the Gate










Doors - Watch Your Step
Gate Guardian With Head Intact









Never-Ending Doors
More Doors










Low doors



Etching On the Sandstone









Boat With Figures In It and a Fish Under the Stern
Carvings on Every Wall in This Courtyard








Monks Praying Under Bodi Trees

Many Small Building in the
Inner Courtyard
Narrow Spaces Between Buildings











Nope! Not Climbing These Stairs. But Hans Did

Garuda Surrounding by His
Mortal Enemy,
the Many-Headed Naga



                  And to end on a sweet note:

Park Workers Picking Up Their Children









Awww - So Cute








Gave This Boy a Canadian Flag Pin













Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Cambodia 2020 - 31. Preah Khan Temple - Part 2.

31. Preah Khan Temple - Part 2.

Vishnu Reclining and His Wife, Lakshmi Carved Over a Doorway
Here we turned North and had to find the carving of the reclining God Vishnu and his wife Lakshmi, the goddess of good fortune. If you find her carved image here good fortune will follow you.
Silk-Cotton Tree Root

There are several large trees that have penetrated this temple. Their roots are so large they have raised havoc among these stones. They are the Silk-Cotton Tree, with its knobby, brown, heavy and large roots and the Strangler Fig Tree, whose roots are smaller but massively spread out, smooth and grey looking.
Another Silk-Cotton Tree Root
  The Whole Tree

Sound Chamber 

There were ‘sound’ chambers throughout this temple. You lean on the walls, smack your chest and you can feel and hear the vibrations through your body. I tried it out; this did not work for me. Some people were amazed to see it, I pounded my chest but nothing happened. (Probably because he still had his back-pack on.)
The Greek-Like Granary
All of a sudden Mr. Touch came to visit us. He wanted to make sure we would find and see the Granary. It’s a two story, Greek Temple-like structure with round pillars, on the North side of the main temple building of Preah Khan. The granary has no stairs to the 2nd floor. It must have had wooden stairs that decomposed by now and many people believe it served only as a granary, to store rice. Nothing else makes sense, they say.
Niches Above the Apsara Dancers Used to House Buddhas
But These Were Removed During the Hindu King's Reign.

It’s a bit odd looking among the so flowery decorated other parts of the temple complex. The experts can tell that this structure must have been from the 2nd half of the 13th Century, so it was likely a later add-on.

Now Mr. Touch (our tuk-tuk driver) was our ‘guide’ and he brought us to the hall of dancers; the hall of the Apsara. The friezes along the door frame were plentiful but some of the Buddha figures were destroyed. That was done after Jayarman VII died and the next King, who was Hindu, not Buddhist, did not like to see a Buddha.
House of Fire. Area Thought to be a Staging Area Before a Battle

By now, no matter that Mr. Touch wanted to show us more, we had had it.

The long trek back to the East gate took some time, too.

Long Walk to Moat, Then Another Long Walk
to the Exit Gate
On this long walk back we passed the small ‘House of Fire’. It’s a place where the holy flame was kept the sign said, but I cannot find a lot online supporting this nice building.

The East side of the Preah Khan temple borders the Siem Reap River. It’s a beautiful spot. It would be idyllic were it not for all the small vendors that crowd here, asking you to buy this, or buy that. It takes some practice to ignore them but I am getting better at it.
Siem Reap River - Very Low

I asked Mr. Touch to stop at the Ceramic Center so we could pick up the handicrafts we made.

A Few of the Many Vendors

First Entrance to Siem Reap Resort

Right Side View of Same Resort
And being Mr. Touch, he drove us past some amazing hotels. Hotels built for huge hoards of people. Mr. Touch said mostly Chinese stay in these hotels, but most of these large resorts were empty now that the Covid-19 virus is so virile in China and their borders are closed. Siem Reap and Angkor Wat have lost about 1/3 of their tourists since the virus broke out. This loss of revenue is felt by everyone, from hotels down to tuk-tuk drivers.

Second Entrance to Same Resort

Left Side of Same Resort - Several Rows of Buildings Behind the 3 You See