Tag Archives: Siem Reap

Ancient Sticks and Stones and Floating Homes

In Siem Reap, Cambodia we visited what is probably my favorite ancient site I saw on my trip through Asia – The Bayon Temple in the ancient capital city of Angkor Thom.

Ancient City Entrance

The temple was giant and from afar you don’t notice right away what makes it extra spectacular- there are 53 towers with 4 giant Buddha faces on each side of each tower. So the temple is decorated with 212 giant Buddha faces.

Entire 1,000 year old temple, 53 towers with 4 buddha faces on each. Amazing!


A couple of the 53 towers in the temple.

The heads of dancers were stolen from all over the temple to be sold.

I love how it looks as though the sky is opening just at the point of the temple.

We also went back to Ta Prohm, the temple with all the trees where “Tomb Raider” was filmed and had a tribute battle.. of course.

Tomb Raider Tribute.. of course.


Dad wins? Oh mann.

Our tour guide said this was the first time visitors have asked him to take photos of a tribute battle.. who would have thought! Poor guy.

Trees growing from everywhere!


I love how the trees just form and melt into the temple.


Melting Tree

After we finished exploring these ancient marvels, we took a boat to a floating village. Wasn’t sure what to expect, but would have never imagined what I saw! It was an entire huge village all floating on bamboo rafters. There were restaurants, stores, schools, farms, and homes. This is one of many floating villages along this river, 80,000 homes in all.

A village of floating houses and grass.

The grass you see is a plant that grows on the surface of the water, and is extremely thick in parts. We ended up getting stuck in it a few times.

Such thick grass on top of the water! We got stuck several times.


House on bamboo rafters.


Storm coming(house along the bank of the river)!


Pretty peaceful place for a nap!


Laundry Day


Such a beautiful and happy family! They would not stop waving.


There was boat after boat with kids of all ages rowing to school, some had to fight the grass in thick parts too.


Jumping between floating school buildings to get to class.


After school ice cream, a tradition everywhere!


Floating house of nakey boys. The oldest is being modest.


This Face!

When I told the girl on the right that she was beautiful she replied with “Thank you, but my brothers are also very beautiful.” I didn’t expect that response but you can see in her what a beautiful person she is!

Beautiful Family

Another wonderful day of sites that I never could have imagined I would be seeing or even existed.

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Bad Camera Day…

… everyone has one, and today was mine.

We visited another part of Angkor today where giant trees have grown in and around the temples. It is an unexplainable sight, and almost seems staged. I expected Indiana Jones to show up at any minute, or a roller coaster to go by like the “ancient” worlds in Busch Gardens.

So how could it possibly be a bad camera day you ask? Well, as you could assume, I went crazy with the “click, clicks” at every corner of the complex, but when I got home to upload the photos only half were there. HALF.

I held my composure, and have decided to relive today again… tomorrow. Luckily trees and stones won’t be moving around on me tonight so I should be able to get some of my shots back tomorrow.

Here are two of the photos that weren’t deleted to give you a sneak peak, but I will be posting lots more tomorrow.

Tree growing on temple at Angkor


Peek- a-boo

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Angkor Wat and Chanting Monks

This morning we took a flight from Luang Probang, Laos to Siem Reap, Cambodia. The airports were both so tiny and the flight was only just over an hour so it was an easy trip!

We arrived at our hotel, called the Grand Hotel D’Angkor – the oldest hotel in Siem Reap. I jumped right into the pool and then got changed to go visit Cambodia’s most prized posession- Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is a temple complex built for the king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his personal temple and capital city. It is a world heritage site and the world’s largest religious building.

Outside Angkor Wat

Me at Angkor Wat


Bass Reliefs at Angkor Wat, 1,850 girls throughout the temple.


Buddha inside Angkor Wat


Monk praying at Angkor Wat


Rock formations found throughout.


Oh daddy..

It was also used in “Tomb Raider.” We ran into a film being shot while we were there and when we asked what the film was we got the response of “it is going to be like Tomb Raider, but with Tigers! And Chinese.” Keep an eye out!

Filming of a Chinese movie "like tomb raider but chinese and with TIGERS!"

After we finished walking around Angkor Wat, we went over to a small temple next door. It was around 6 p.m. which is when the monks gather at each temple and chant. They do this twice a day, once before sunrise, and once right before sunset. We sat with the monks before they began their chants, and I was surprised when they began talking to me and looking me in the eyes. I have been under the impression until now that you are not to look a monk in the eyes or talk to one if you are a girl. This is because they have given up the ability to have any type of relation with a woman, so talking to them or looking them in the eyes is seen as tempting them. While it was still clear that I was not to touch any of them or even get too close, it was nice to have a conversation with them.

Their chants were almost hypnotizing. I closed my eyes and took in the humming and words of the ancient words. It was beautiful.

Sunset chant

After we listened and watched the monks chant, we walked back through Angkor Wat in the dark. A slightly eerie but also a spiritual experience. We were the only ones left in the complex because it had closed almost 2 hours prior.

Silhouette of Angkor Wat at night.

Good night!

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