Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Last Day! Cambodia to China to Disneyland!!!!

So this was an extra day we got because our flight itinerary got screwed up. Still it was an extra day in Cambodia.
We took the morning to walked over to the old market for a bit of shopping; on the way we stopped at an ATM, and were harassed by Tuktuk drivers. We got to the market ok and did some last minute shopping.
We also went to a fish massage. Basically for three dollars we got to stick our feet in three tanks filled with fish that would eat the dead skin from our feet.  We started with the tank with the smallest fish then moved up to the tank with the big fish; some the size of our feet.

It felt so weird but it was so fun! It was the best use of three dollars ever!
We hit the market again and got some cheap macaroons, and the best ice-cream ever.
We grabbed a tuktuk to the hotel, where we spent the rest of the afternoon in the pool and then had a couple massages. One for my feet and then a full body khamer massage. It was my first ever and it was different but relaxing. I felt like a pretzel. I was going to need it for the amount of travel I was about to go through.
They provided free popcorn and refreshments at the airport, which was nice, we then caught a plane to Thailand, where we had a 6 hour layover then we flew to Beijing where we had a nine hour layover.

We slept through the first layover but the layover in Beijing we took the time and went to the Beijing zoo where we could see pandas!
It was a good way to finish up the trip. Oh wait its not over yet.

After a 14-hour flight, we landed in LA. And over the rest of the week we visited Universal studios and went to Mickey’s Halloween party in Disneyland.
My family and I dressed up as Disney villains. I was Yzma from Emporers New Groove. My father was Jafar, my sister was Ursula, my mommy was the Evil Queen from Snow White, my cousin was Cruella DeVille, her friend was Maleficent, and Hades was an awesome guy we met there whose costume was legit.
Now that is a way to finish a vacation.

Hope you enjoyed, Adventure is out there!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Day 8: Cascading roots on Ruins

Started the day early again by going to a couple of temples called the Chau Say and the Tevoda. They were temples devoted to Vishnu and Shiva. 
Also between walking from one temple to another; I found a massive moth! It was the same size as my hand; so crazy. Thankfully this was the only insect I found this size.
I bought a hat while at one of the temples so that I completed my look of being a tourist.
We then headed to one of Cambodia’s most famous Temples and on the way we passed a couple elephants and some holy pigs. They’re holy because they were born with an extra toe. People would release them on the temple grounds and they would live out their lives is peace and being worshiped.
Ta prom is the temple with all the trees growing out of it whose roots and vines cascade down the ruins. It is also the reason that I came on this trip!
They have had to cut down and remove most of the trees because they were destroying the ruins. They looked amazing though!
There were so many people though! We had to wait in line for a good picture. While waiting, a Chinese couple jumped ahead and then the group just behind us yelled at them. Nice to know we aren’t the only ones fed up with that part of Chinese culture.
We finished up at Ta Prom; and then went back to the Elephant Terrace. Yeah, the one where we jumped out of the bus and got soaked to get a picture of. Apparently, our guide just wanted to see us get soaked for no reason. We got some more background about the terrace; it was called the throne of the leopard king. This is where the king would watch festivals and events.
Our next temple was called Bakong Temple; I liked this one because they had so many statues of animals; namely elephants, lions, and a holy bull.

We had lunch then went to an artisan school; we did some shopping then headed back to the hotel so some of our group could pack and head to the airport. We had another day but others had to catch an earlier flight.
We had a relaxing afternoon, where we swam and waited for our pickup for a cultural show that we had later this day.
The cultural show was fun. They provided dinner, which was a mango salad, pumpkin soup, chicken and fried rice and pancetta for dessert. Again, the best part of the meal was the salad. The show was really cool, the costumes were very elaborate, and the routines were unique. The female dancers had to bend their fingers back the other direction. It looked painful but they seemed like it was normal. At the end they had a photo opportunity where the dancers would just stand there and the audience could come up and take a pic with them.  It was super awkward, they dancers seemed like they were not happy to be there and the people getting their pictures taken with them seemed so smug. So awkward!

Still an awesome day!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Day 7; I love Cambodie despite the heat

So we started the day bright and early at 9am; and our first stop was the famous Angor Wat. This place was big, spacious and hot. Seriously humid and hot; I was dying, thankfully I got to wear my awesome fisherman pants.

Anyways, there were Naga, or the queen of snakes, surrounding the whole area, which was like 13 kilometers.
There were Monkeys too; and they were a bit aggressive towards people who had bags or just looked at them.
On the main temple building there was a base relief that was on the perimeter of the walls. The relief showed a story that if told would take 48 hours to tell.
They had a few room in the temples that were for pools too!
Throughout the temple were dancers base relief and each of them had a unique hairstyle.

Nearing the end I am pretty sure I was getting heat stroke.

We went to a restaurant for lunch and the timing was perfect because the moment we got to it, the weather took a turn for the worse. Rain and a ton of it came down.
But lunch was divine! My favorite was the salads surprisingly, normally I hate the salads. We had a banana flower salad, sour beef soup, fish and chicken stir fry, and for desert pumpkin custard.

With all the rain that came down, the day did cool off a bit but still very hot.

We stopped at a silver shop; it was nice mainly because the air conditioning.

The next temple we went to was the Bayon Temple, which was in the area of Angor Tom.
This place was my favorite, the entrance was lined with warriors holding up a snake god, each face was originally stolen but the government came back and replaced them. The tunnel gate had bats flying around in the upper area. It was very cool.
The actual temple had faces on the towers; most of them complete. I swear this place was sooo cool; I felt like Indiana jones walking and climbing around.

Another fun story about the Bayon temple that our guide shared with us; was when the Cambodian people found the Bayon temple they were chased away by tigers. Apparantly, this temple was a favorite birthing and rearing place for baby tigers. So cool!

Near the end of exploring the temple, it started to rain again. So we jumped on the bus,  to get to the other spots. It was still raining when we passed an elephant terrace. It had all of these cool elephants statues. Our guide was just going to stop and let us take pictures from the bus. We felt like we wouldn’t get this chance again so I and my sister and Christy and Barb jumped out of the bus and ran through a field of mud and got our pictures. I got splashed and soaked but it was a neat experience.
Our last temple was the sunset temple. We climbed to the top and just sat and watched the sun set. While we watched I sketched for a bit and just enjoyed the beauty of the surroundings.

There were a ton of clouds. So it was hard to see the sun set but still was magical.

We went back to the hotel and had a quick rinse and change then went to the Cambodian circus.

It was a smaller show but still awesome. They were very slapstick; the story was about ghosts and school kids reaction to them. We had popcorn to enjoy and before the performance began I had Amok fish again; so tasty.

The show itself had contortionism, chair balancing, flips and throws, fabric airial gymnastics.

Afterwards, we got a tuktuk back to the hotel.

Another awesome day in Cambodia!