Cambodia – Day 2 – Angkor Wat Sunrise & More Temples

Today I woke up very early at 4:30am for a 5:00am pickup to see the sunrise at Angkor Wat. The sunrise wasn’t too spectacular because it was a bit cloudy, but it was still nice to see and get a reflection of Angkor Wat against the water in front of me.

2019-05-30 Cambodia 0652019-05-30 Cambodia 0662019-05-30 Cambodia 067

After watching the sunrise I went and got blessed by a Buddhist Monk, who put a fabric bracelet around my right arm, which symbolizes good like. After being blessed it was time to get some breakfast. I ate a small booth that was setup on the northern perimeter of Angkor Wat; delicious scrambled eggs and some coffee. The mosquitos were brutal here and I didn’t have any anti-malarial pills, but I ended up being okay.

2019-05-30 Cambodia 071.jpg

After breakfast it was time to visit more temples. First stop was Banteay Kdei, also known as the Citadel of Chambers. Banteay Kdei was completed between the 12th and 13th centuries. The complex is in very rough shape due to the poor quality of construction and poor quality of sandstone that was used in the building of the temples.

2019-05-30 Cambodia 0732019-05-30 Cambodia 0742019-05-30 Cambodia 0752019-05-30 Cambodia 0762019-05-30 Cambodia 0772019-05-30 Cambodia 0782019-05-30 Cambodia 0792019-05-30 Cambodia 0802019-05-30 Cambodia 0812019-05-30 Cambodia 0822019-05-30 Cambodia 0832019-05-30 Cambodia 084

Next up was Taprom. Taprom was completed in 1186 AD. When it was found it was found to be in excellent condition due to the trees growing out of the ruins and jungle surroundings protecting it. Taprom was used for the filming of the 2001 Tomb Raider movie. I absolutely enjoyed my time at this temple and liked it even more than Angkor Wat!

2019-05-30 Cambodia 0882019-05-30 Cambodia 0892019-05-30 Cambodia 0902019-05-30 Cambodia 0912019-05-30 Cambodia 0922019-05-30 Cambodia 0942019-05-30 Cambodia 0992019-05-30 Cambodia 100

After Taprom we walked through the forest to Ta Nei, a temple dedicated to Buddha, which was built in the late 12th century. It was in fairly rough shape and quite overgrown with trees.

2019-05-30 Cambodia 1062019-05-30 Cambodia 1072019-05-30 Cambodia 1082019-05-30 Cambodia 1092019-05-30 Cambodia 1042019-05-30 Cambodia 105

It was time to get some lunch. We stopped at a place called Ta Keo Khmer Food. I had some local soup and a coke zero. The soup was absolutely delicious. I ended up abandoning the coke zero because a swarm of wasps had surrounded my can.

After having lunch I walked across the road to the Ta Keo Hindu Temple. Built in 1000 AD, Ta Keo Hindu Temple was the first temple to be built entirely of sandstone by the Khmers.

2019-05-30 Cambodia 1102019-05-30 Cambodia 111

Next stop was Tonle Om Gate (South Gate), a beautiful gate with a head sculpture sitting inside the sandstone gate structure.

2019-05-30 Cambodia 113.jpg

After passing through the Tonle Om Gate we made a quick stop at the Terrace of the Elephants. The terrace was used by Angkor’s king Jayavarman VII as a platform to view his victorious returning army. The 350 metre long terrace is covered in intricate carvings of elephants on its eastern face.

2019-05-30 Cambodia 1162019-05-30 Cambodia 117

Next stop was Baphoun Temple, which was built in the mid-11th century. The temple is three-tiered and also adjoins the southern enclosure of the royal palace that houses a swimming pool. My tour guide told me that when he was a child he would go swimming with his dog inside the pools. The temple was built on land filled with sand, and due to its immense size and site instability it collapsed. By the 20th century much of the temple had collapsed. Restoration was started, but then abandoned in 1970, when civil unrest broke out. Over 300,000 pieces, which were carefully labelled, were abandoned. In 1996 restoration began again under the guidance of French architect Pascal Royere from EFEO. The restoration took 16 years to complete.

2019-05-30 Cambodia 1202019-05-30 Cambodia 1212019-05-30 Cambodia 122

I also noticed some monkey’s playing around on my walk from Baphoun Temple to Bayon Temple. I got some great shots before one of the monkeys started getting aggressive with me and coming after me. The tour guide dropped a water bottle to distract the monkey so we could escape.

2019-05-30 Cambodia 1242019-05-30 Cambodia 1252019-05-30 Cambodia 1262019-05-30 Cambodia 1282019-05-30 Cambodia 1302019-05-30 Cambodia 131

Bayon Temple is an intricately detailed temple built at the end of the 12th century. The Buddhist temple had 49 (now 37) towers with faces on all four sides. This was my favorite temple of the day.

2019-05-30 Cambodia 1322019-05-30 Cambodia 1332019-05-30 Cambodia 1382019-05-30 Cambodia 1392019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 276

It was getting late in the afternoon now, so it was time to head back to the hotel. I relaxed for a while by the pool until it was dinner time. I decided to try a vegetarian restaurant called Yuan Sheng Vegetable Restaurant. It was fairly good food, but I don’t think I could be a vegetarian as I like my meat way too much.

Golden Citadel Hotel2019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 268

Check back tomorrow when I continue on my Cambodia adventure and explore even more temples! Tomorrow is my last day of my Vietnam / Cambodia adventure. The remainder of this summer will include hikes I have completed, as well as weddings / family portraits I have been hired for.

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

 

 

Vietnam – Day 4 – Ba Na Hills

I was woken up by a noise at 4:15am and couldn’t get back to bed. I edited some photos and wrote some of my blog while waiting for the restaurant to open for breakfast. I went for breakfast at 7:00am and  had Mi Quang, which is a noodle dish that has quail eggs. It was absolutely delicious. After breakfast I waited for the tour bus to pick me up for a tour that I had booked to Ba Na Hills, which is a French resort located in the Truong Son Mountains west of the city of Da Nang. The tour cost roughly 1,345,000 Dong ($85 CND).

Ba Na Hills was built in 1919 by French colonists and is located 1500 metres above sea level. The resort has a view of the East Sea and nearby mountains. Being so high up the resort offers substantially cooler temperatures than the cities below, with the average temperatures hovering in the high teens or low twenties.

The 120km trip from my villa to Ba Na Hills took roughly 1.75 hours. On the bus I was sitting next to a girl from Germany named Yasemin. She was really sweet. She was travelling with a friend but they were fighting so they were sitting in different parts of the bus. She also had a very touching private story that she told me, but it melted my heart. She’s such a kind gentle person.

On arrival we boarded the Ba Na Cable Car to the top of the hill. The Ba Na Cable Car, opened on 29 March 2013, holds the world record for the longest non-stop single track cable car at 5801 metres (19032 feet)  long.

2019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 092019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 102019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 122019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 13

After arriving at the top we first visited the newest attraction to the resort; The Golden Bridge. The Golden Bridge is a 150 metre (490 foot) long pedestrian bridge that was built in 2018. The bridge is designed to connect the cable car station with the gardens above, thus avoiding a steep incline, and to provide a scenic overlook and tourist attraction. The bridge is designed to appear to have two giant stone hands supporting the structure and loops back around to itself.

2019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 142019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 17

After walking along The Golden Bridge we then took another cable car up to the gardens above. The gardens were absolutely beautiful and kind of gave the vibe of Alice In Wonderland. After viewing the gardens we then visited the Ling Ung Pagoda and large Buddha statue, which stands fairly tall at roughly 27 metres (89 feet).

2019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 162019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 182019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 192019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 202019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 212019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 222019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 242019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 262019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 272019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 302019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 312019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 322019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 332019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 352019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 362019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 372019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 382019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 392019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 402019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 422019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 432019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 482019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 492019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 532019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 542019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 552019-05-20 Ba Na Hills 56

After that we sat down for a rather disappointing lunch buffet. Everything was cold and chewy. During lunch it started to rain very heavily, and then the power went out for roughly 15 minutes before the power generators kicked in. Since it was raining out we decided to explore the indoor Fantasy Park. I rode on the Bumper Cars, Alpine Coaster, and a shooting game.

2019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 1122019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 1162019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 1192019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 1202019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 1212019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 122

It was approaching 3:00pm and unfortunately it was time to head back down to the tour bus. I didn’t get to experience about half of Ba Na Hills due to the weather and time constraints unfortunately. I was dropped off back in town at roughly 5:30pm and decided to eat again at Banh Mi Phuong for dinner. After dinner I walked back to the Villa and went to bed early at 9:00pm.

2019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 123

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

 

Chile – Day 9 – Calama & Antafagasta

Today we woke up at 7:30am. I was starting to feel a bit better today already because of the decongestant medication. We had the complimentary buffet breakfast and set off towards the coastal town of Antafagasta, about a 2.5 hour drive west from Calama.

Something we both noted on the drive to Antafagasta was the great conditions of the highway and the fast driving speed of 120 kph that was allowed. About 2/3 of the way to Antafagasta we came across a toll that cost 1850 Chilean peso’s ($3.70). This is where they’re getting some of the money for the high quality highway.

On the way to Antafagasta we stopped at the Hand of the Desert, a giant sculpture of a hand emerging from the desert sand. The iron and concrete sculpture was constructed by the Chilean sculptor Mario Irarrázabal in 1992. It’s exaggerated size is said to emphasize human vulnerability and helplessness. We took some photos and continued on our way to Antafagasta. Upon arriving in Antafagasta we stopped at Don Taco for some lunch. I had spicy chicken taco’s and C had chicken fajita’s. We both agreed that this was some of the best Mexican food that we’ve ever had.

2019-02-03 Antafagasto 012019-02-03 Antafagasto 032019-02-03 Antafagasto 04

After eating lunch we drove to the Huanchaca Ruins Museum where we explored the ruins of a refinery that was built in 1888 and closed in 1902. The refinery resembles something of a castle. The refinery would process about 100 tons of mineral per day, out of which almost 20 tons of silver were extracted each month and send to various destinations around the globe.

2019-02-03 Antafagasto 06

After exploring the ruins we walked along the beach and boardwalk before driving back to Calama. On our way back into Calama we stopped at the grocery store and got some tortilla chips, an avocado, a tomato, and Stella beer for dinner. We made guacamole and drank beer while watching the other half of the movie we started the previous night. We ended up going to bed around 11:00pm because we had to get up relatively early for a mid morning flight, and I wanted to give myself ample time to return the rental car because it was such an ordeal to get it a few days prior.

2019-02-03 Antafagasto 072019-02-03 Antafagasto 082019-02-03 Antafagasto 102019-02-03 Antafagasto 112019-02-03 Antafagasto 13

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here