Tag Archives: Cambodia

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

14 Sep

This week’s topic for the weekly photo challenge is “Inside” and our own interpretations and compositions for it. My post for this is from the Ta Prohm temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This is a temple complex where the temple walls and trees have merged to become one entity and it is difficult to decipher who is supporting whom. You can read my detailed post on it here.

In this complex, I found this apsara peeking through a tree trunk, such that she looked to be “Inside” a tree trunk.

The apsara inside a tree trunk, Ta Prohm, Siem Reap, Cambodia

The apsara inside a tree trunk, Ta Prohm, Siem Reap, Cambodia

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Carefree

20 Aug

This week’s topic for the weekly photo challenge is – Carefree and my interpretation of it is – being without a care or worry in the world. So my image for this theme is one that I took while on a cruise on the River Mekong in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This cruise was a memorable one with beautiful sights of Phnom Penh against a glorious setting sun while relaxing on the deck with wind blowing through your hair. This picture reminds me of being free on a summer afternoon to just cruise on water, with no worry or any responsibility in the world. Or in a word – just being carefree 🙂

Carefree

Carefree

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Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways

10 Aug

This week on the daily post, photographer Jeff Sinon wrote an interesting article on photography composition i.e. finding that perfect shot in portrait or landscape.  And then the interesting weekly challenge followed – One Shot, Two Ways where we need to capture one scene / subject in two images — a horizontal and a vertical version.

I captured both these shots from the same spot in Siem Reap, Cambodia in the famous Angkor Thom or the Bayon temple. The horizontal image is of the entire temple complex and shows the detailing of the carvings and a glimpse of some of the 54 pillars with 216 faces of the Buddha.

Angkor Thom temple

Angkor Thom temple

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2012, the year that went by and 2013, the year to come

13 Dec

December, for some inexplicable reason, always ends up becoming a month of stock taking (of how the year went by) and planning for the brand new coming year (which is exciting). While I have long ago given up the whole resolution business (couldn’t keep any single one anyways) , I still like the chance to prepare for things to done in the new year, holidays to be taken and personal goals to be achieved. I guess this gives the control freak in me another chance to plan for things and be prepared in my own ways. 🙂

So when I has planned for the year 2012, I had decided to set up something for writing on my travels / sharing travel stories (though I hadn’t decided on a blog then), visit at least 2 new places in India and 2 new places internationally in and improve my photography skills.

So how did 2012 finally turn out? Well, 2012 was not a good year personally but it was otherwise a great year and I ended up doing a lot of new things. After reading an article on blogging, I set up this travel blog in late January 2012. I am super happy with it as in less than a year I have 92 posts, support of 950+ followers, 1200 comments, learnt of so many new places (through other blogs) and I have discovered a whole new world of blogging friends. On the travel front – for a long time it seemed I will not be able to visit the 4 new places, as all plans kept getting cancelled for various reasons. But luckily a few plans did work out and I am happy to say that in the end I managed to achieve these travel targets. I ended up travelling internationally to Thailand, Cambodia and Dubai and in India to Delhi, Pushkar and Bundi. Is this enough? Definitely not but I learnt a lot about better planning of holidays, managing more in limited time, improving my photohgraphy skills and discovering the joy in visiting those off beat simple places.

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Things to Do in Cambodia (apart from the temples)

2 Dec

Whenever you talk to people about visiting Cambodia, the first thing they say is – “visit the Angkor Wat Temples” and if some people know a bit more than they talk about visiting the Khmer Rouge rule and the killing fields etc in Phnom Penh. But after my trip to Cambodia, I discovered that this country has so much more to offer (apart from the normal touristy stuff mentioned in various websites and guidebooks) that one should definitely incorporate in their travel itineraries. So I have decided to list down a few things that I feel you should definitely keep time for whenever you decide to visit this beautiful country.

  • Interact with local people – This is one of my most recommended things to do here. The local population here is very poor (yes I felt that even after coming from India) and have suffered immensely under the Khmer Rouge rule (every person you meet here has lost numerous family members to this tragedy). Still they are open to talk about the history, about what happened, how they lost their family, the politics, how they survived against all odds, etc etc. And the best part is that during this entire conversation, they talk about moving forward and their future plans for their kids. So much so that you really feel like lauding them for their courage, hard work and positivity. This encounter also helped me thank god once again for what I have and am in life. Also, if you are into portrait photography, then you will find very interesting models in people and kids around here.
Monks at the temples of Siem Reap

Monks at the temples of Siem Reap

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Spirit Houses in South East Asia

14 Nov

Travel has numerous advantages but a really big one is that it’s the most fun way to study and remember the history and culture of new places. The amount that I have learnt on this during my travels in the last 1 year is far more than what I have ever read till date. So in my endeavor to share these stories on different cultures and practices, this is one small piece on Spirit Houses in South East Asia.

During our trip to Thailand and Cambodia this year, we kept coming across numerous small / miniature houses or temples built in traditional Thai style and kept prominently outside all commercial and residential establishments i.e. houses, hotels, discs, offices, markets, shops – basically everywhere. At first we didn’t understand what they were and what was the purpose was it a temple for worship? a bird house? a piece of decoration? the possibilities were endless. But then in Cambodia we asked someone and they told us that these are Spirit Houses. Well, of all possible answers, this had never struck us.

Spirit Houses, Bangkok

Spirit Houses, Bangkok

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Reaching Siem Reap from Poipet

19 Sep

Cambodia is not a very easy place to reach, more so if you are budget traveler and looking to save money. It is not as well-connected by flights and the tickets are normally quite expensive. So, for my own budget trip, I had to put in numerous hours of research on the net and speak with loads of people and travel agents to decipher the best and cheapest way to reach Siem Reap. Since I had put in so much of an effort, I decided to write a detailed post on the best ways to reach Siem Reap from Bangkok for my other fellow travelers who too are struggling as I was.

Since the post is very long I have split it into 3 parts –

  1. Part 1 – Bangkok to Aranyaprathet (Aran) Border (Thai border) by train, bus, mini-vans or taxi. – Already done and available at http://wp.me/p29z7S-iT
  2. Part 2 – Visa requirements, Visa on arrival Vs e-visa in Cambodia, the Border Crossing and the various scams near the border at http://wp.me/p29z7S-jo
  3. Part 3 – Transport from Poipet Border (Cambodia border) to Seam Reap by bus or taxi.

This post is part 3 of this 3 post series and in this I shall cover on how to travel from the Poipet border to the city of Siem Reap. This journey (Poipet to Siem Reap) takes about 2 – 4 hours (depending on your mode of transportation) and is best covered during day light hours.

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