Sunday, September 15, 2013

Siem Reap, Cambodia - Day 1

My first term of graduate school just came to a close. Thankfully, I passed all my subjects with considerably flying colors. My second term already started last Wednesday, so before my schedule go crazy again, I decided to finally blog about my trip to Cambodia last June! F-I-N-A-L-L-Y!

Why Cambodia? Because I'm a big fan of Tomb Raider, and I've been playing it ever since I was in grade school. I think I suck at the game, but I love it nonetheless. When I first watched the movie in 2001 and saw Angelina Jolie jumping around the rocky temples of Cambodia, the ten years old me wanted to be there. So I told myself that I have to go there no matter what. And that became a reality last June, and woke up with this view right outside our room:

The trip turned out to be a duo mother-daughter trip, as I went with my mama, one of my college best friends, Danna, and her mom. For our first day, we decided not to go to the temples yet, as we didn't want to get tired for the following two days. Thus, we decided to hit a few tourist go-tos first. Our first stop was one of the floating village in the Great Lake of Tonle Sap.
There wasn't much to do in the floating village, except look around how people lived. It was even fun to see some floating stores, basketball courts, and souvenir shops.
There was even a Christian Church, which my mom wanted to go to, but the weather was too humid, so we decided to hit the city. We visited the Angkor National Museum next.
We weren't allowed to take photos inside the exhibits, but there were some pieces outside the rooms, so we took advantage of them. The exhibits, however, were worth the visit. Most are pieces found and salvaged from the Angkor complex. My favorite exhibit was the Gallery of a 1000 Buddhas, as you can see various idols made from differing media like jade, wood, and sandstone.

After the museum, we were taken by our tuktuk driver to a small restaurant for our late lunch. I was so excited to eat, as I will be able to finally taste some of the recommended food in Cambodia, such as the amok.
The restaurant we went to was cheap, but it wasn't the cheapest from our whole trip. The amok was really great too, and they had fresh towels for each patrons, which I personally loved. After eating, we then went to Siem Reap's Cultural Village.
The Cultural Village has a wax museum displaying the different historical representations of Cambodians. They also held small programs, which sadly is in Cambodian language. But some of them are really funny even though we couldn't understand them.
Unfortunately, it started to rain, so I wasn't able to get much pictures of the place, and most of the pictures I took of the programs were too blurry. I admit that still need some practice with my DSLR after owning one for almost 3 years already [insert sad face]. Our last stop for day 1 was Pub Street and the Night Market, but I'll save that for another post (hint: food and shopping tips!).

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