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Showing posts from February, 2017

Angkor Wat

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We saved the best for last. The ultimate destination for the way is the temple complex of Angkor Wat - the largest religious monument in the world. It is my 14th UNESCO World Heritage site.


Built in the 12th century as a state temple, Angkor Wat has been the subject of awe from travelers and explorers alike. The first European to see the temple - a Portuguese monk - was said to have been dumbfounded on how to describe the wonder. It is also said to be the reason why France took Cambodia as a protectorate, and the reason for it to invade Siam, to take control of Angkor Wat (1).

I had a glimpse of how huge the complex is as soon as I set sight of the massive moats that protect the area, surrounding the outer wall. I crossed the earthen causeway to get to the main entrance. Statues of serpents called nagas adorn the balustrade at the entrance. Towers carved with intricate sculptures pierce the sky, giving the complex its iconic look.


I shared the similar disbelief that the European explorer…

Temples of Siem Reap

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Day 2 of my trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia and today the main activity is to visit the temples (posts are reverse chronology)


3:00 pm Angkor Wat

2:30 pm
After exploring Angkor Thom and Bayon we set out to the raison d'etat of the trip: Angkor Wat. I will create a separate post for it, here.


1:45pm Ankor Thom
After lunch we proceeded to Ankor Thom, which means Great City. The complex, which was the last capital of the Khmer empire, is composed of several large ruins, and on its center is the temple callled Bayon.


Among the ruins I visited is the Baphuon. It was a temple-mountain originally dedicated to Shiva but it was later converted into a Buddhist temple. A sleeping Buddha was later built on its western side.

I also visited the Terrace of the Elephants, and the Phimeanakas, which was a three-tiered pyramid built as a Hindu temple.


1:15pm
I had my late lunch at a small eatery in front of Ta Keo temple. I was famished and thirsty so no adventurous food. I picked an omelette filled w…

Live Blog: Siem Reap, Cambodia

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I will be traveling to Siem Reap, Cambodia today, and I will be doing another live blog where you can follow my adventures around the ancient city. Siem Reap was the seat of the Khmer Kingdom in the ninth to 15th century. This is my first time to visit Cambodia. (Posts are reverse chronology).

10:05
Boarding now. ជួប គ្នា ទៀត (joo-up k’neer dee-ut), Cambodia.



7:30pm Siem Reap International Airport
The trip is getting to a close now but I think I arrived too early at the airport. The check in counters will open an hour from now so I will just hang out in a cafe outside and pass the time.

5:15 pm
Back at the hostel. I checked out already but my flight is not until later tonight so I will just hang out here. There's free wifi and the food is cheap.

4:45pm
On the way back to the hostel I dropped by the post office to mail a couple of postcards.

4:30 pm
I may have spent more than I have budgeted at the duty free shop.


2:30 Angkor National Museum
I decided to go to a museum - and the n…

Booking a Staycation at Luneta Hotel with Traveloka

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I spent the weekend billeted at the Luneta Hotel Manila for a bit of staycation. I had several options to choose from while browsing at the Traveloka app, but I settled with the one housed in a six-story French Renaissance building, located just a stone's throw away from Rizal Park. The main draw for my choice was the hotel's illustrious history, and its location. 
The hotel was built in 1919, just at the cusp of the roaring 20s. The building, designed by Spanish architect Salvador Ferre, is adorned with a Mansard roof, and stylized Beaux-Arts detailing that symbolizes the new influences that entered the country just several decades after the colonization of Spain ended. 

Frequented by the upper crust of Manila - its patrons include dignitaries such as Dwight Eisenhower - the hotel epitomized the elegance of Old Manila, in which the it tried to captured today. After surviving the air raids over Manila during World War II, and a brief stint as a brother for American GIs, the hote…