Showing posts with label siem reap. Show all posts
Showing posts with label siem reap. Show all posts

Cambodia Day 2 (Siem Reap) : Happy Ranch Horse Riding + Red Piano restaurant

5D4N Cambodia Feb 2014 : Siem Reap


Second part of Valentine day was spent with 白马王子!

I almost fainted when she initially suggested to go horse riding 5.30 in the morning.. It was a straight NO answer from me. Either she wants to watch sunrise while riding the horse (I highly doubt so) or she wants to see me fall off from the horse..

Anyway.. We booked our horse riding in the late afternoon 4pm for 2hour countryside trail ride just nice to watch the sunset ^.^ They provide tuktuk services from your hotel but there is no free lunch in this world. U$3 to U$5 each way depending on the distance. They quoted us U$10 both ways but we decided to take Sam tuktuk services as their price was lower (U$7 both way).




I was sharing with my friends earlier that I was hoping to ride a white horse just like the one in Cinderella then she totally crashed my dream by saying I might look like Tang San Zhang from Journey to the West. 


This horse quite cool.


Our horses were getting ready~

Coincidentally, I got what I wanted! 
From left to right: Oli, Diamond, Cisco and Barney 

There was one assistant assigned to each of us to take care of us during the whole ride. My assistant was a little boy who only around 15 years old.

Each horse has their own personality:
Barney likes to be the second in the lead with the tour guide and his horse in front. He is a follower, not a leader.
Cisco is a very lazy horse. No matter how hard my bf kicks or click his tongue to make the horse trots, he got nothing.
Diamond is a cool and calm horse. His eyes only himself and himself. He is not easily distracted by other horses or human being around him.
Oli is a greedy pig. He only moves his butt when there is food. My assistant has to feed him with nearby grass or fruits to lure him to walk.. probably that was why I was arranged to be the last, afraid to prolong the ride from 2 hours to 3 hours.

This horse tour takes us on a journey to unreachable places by tuktuk or walking, eg. local countryside villages, scenic rice fields and tourist-free temple ruins. This is a good way to experience the real Khmer lifestyle and see the places where the locals stay. Some of the Cambodia children were so used of seeing tourists on horses that they do high five with us when passing them.

Our tour guide was sharing stories during the whole ride but he was so far away from me that I could barely hear his voice.

My Oli~

We stopped for 20min at an open field before we return back to the ranch. 




Back to the ranch.




The Happy Ranch
Address: Group 4, Svay Dangkum, Siem Riep Angkor, Kingdom of Cambodia
Web: http://www.thehappyranch.com/ 
2hour countryside trail ride for U$46


We then proceeded to the famous Red Piano for dinner. We made reservation online thinking it will be crowded but it was quite alright. The waitress's attitude was a little unfriendly when I told her we have made reservation online. Either she could not find our online reservation or she could not understand my english or she was having bad hair day. I chose to believe it was the first reason.

This restaurant was famous because of Angelina Jolie went there for filming for Tomb Raider.


It totally tarnished the good reputation of the restaurant for the waiting time and the food quality.

Tomb Raider Cocktail...... it looked like the lime juice in the background but only tasted more fizzy...


The Red Piano
Address: No 341, 50 m Northwest of the Old Market, Svay Dangkom, Mondul I, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Opening hours: 7am to 12.30mn
Web: http://www.redpianocambodia.com/
Email: [email protected] 


We returned to our hotel and went for leg massage again opposite our hotel. This time, the shop blacked out again twice during the massage and the masseuses still continued to massage us like nothing happened...


Angkor literally 
means 
"Darkness Capital City".



Cambodia Day 2 (Siem Reap) : Angkor Archaeological Park

5D4N in Cambodia Feb 2014 : Siem Reap


Angkor literally 
means 
"Darkness Capital City".

Before I started on my second day, let's talk about the night before..

I am sure everybody has experienced blackout in their own country. Little did I know I would experience blackout in Cambodia on our very first night.

In the middle of the night, I was woken up by my bf saying our room power was tripped off and wanting to go lobby to find out what happened since the phone was also not working as well. I was like "okok you go down ok I wanna sleep".. Then he used a soft voice "do you REALLY want to stay here alone with no lights???" Unwillingly, I pull myself out of bed with swears filling up my head and walked with my eyes semi closed. I woke up instantly and cold shiver crept behind my back after we saw total darkness when we opened our door to the long corridor.

That was the first time I was so thankful that iphone flash light is so strong and bright. Our room was at third floor. Both of us walked down the stairs slowly and in silence probably because we were both too scared to say anything. Finally, we saw lighted lamps when we reached the lobby and also the hotel staff. Not only our hotel only, it was the whole Siem Reap blackout. *comeletmeclapforyou*

Knowing it was indeed a blackout, we both happily stomped up the stairs loudly and went to bed peacefully.

It was a short night as we needed to be ready for our Angkor Wat sunrise tour at 5.30am T.T!

Our 5.30am faces

Another tip for this Angkor Wat sunrise tour - bring a super good torch light (iphone flash light might not be good enough). After we have bought our admission passes and entered the Angkor Archaeological Park, our tour guide led us walk a super long walkway with river at both side without any barriers (you may see the walkway when we exit the park), climb a couple of narrow steps and walk on uneven surfaces. With no streetlight and 5.30am moonlight, you practically could see nothing in front of you. 


We all were extremely disappointed with our sunrise tour.... There was no sun at our sight at all T.T What we saw was the sky slowly turned brighter and the outline of the five lotus-like towers became clearer.

And we have to fight for a good spot with all these tourists.... #alsonosunrisefightforwhat

gloomy morning..

We then gave up the wait for the sunrise and started venturing into the temple.



Most statue you see are either with broken heads or missing eyes. Long before time, these missing parts were made of gems or precious stones until they were being stolen.












#jumpshoteverywhere


lol looks like iPad commercial not?





Then we saw people are posing on the stairs so we decided to have similar shots..

lol now think of it, we should do a "L O V E" right!!


I think our tour guide gave up telling us history stories about the temple (probably only me la), he started to focused more on being a good photographer and kept asking us to go pose more weird weird positions.

#behindthecamera





Perfect spot for double chinsss..


Special reminder from my friend that please do not anyhow take joss stick from anyone, otherwise you will be obligated to make a donation. The above picture is a decent place for tourists to make donation where the money goes to the temple. You might not know where the money will go to at other shady places.

有没有发光?? LOL


First half of Valentine Day at Angkor Wat ^.^



This is the long walkway we walked in the morning from entrance to Angkor Wat temple.

End of Angkor Wat temple tour.. now going to have breakfast and then heading to the rest of the temples ruins!


Angkor Thom (Big Angkor)


Angkor Thom is a royal city surrounded by walls with Bayon temple in the center and face-towers at each entrance accompanying by the demons and gods stone figures at the sides.

A serpent spreads its nine heads in the shape of a fan at the beginning of the walkway.

This is the South Gate - usually it is the first stop of the tour.



Bayon



Bayon - located in the center of the city of Angkor Thom. Over 2000 large faces carved on the 54 tower give this temple its majestic character.












The characteristics of this faces - a broad forehead, downcast eyes, wild nostrils, thick lips that curl upwards slightly at the ends-combine to reflect the famous 'Smile of Angkor'.


This could be a great shot without the guy standing there...



Baphuon Temple



Baphuon temple was the poorest constructed of all the temples in Angkor. Different from other temple ruins, Baphuon is a single sanctuary temple-mountain situated on a high base. A long sandstone elevated bridge which supported by three rows of short columns connects to the main temple directly.

still need to climb the stairs leh.. lol

Wooden stairs was constructed to prevent anymore damages to the temple.


The access to the summit is closed for restoration due to several collapses.

Top down view



Terrace of the Elephants


Terrace of Elephants is an impressive and long terrace wall with carved elephants on them.





Banteay Kdei


Also known as "Citadel of Monks' cells" where had been occupied by monks at various intervals over the centuries till 1960s.



I can not differentiate which picture is the end of Banteay Kdei and start of Ta Prohm as they both are quite near each other and frankly speaking they all look pretty much the same to me......



Ta Prohm


Ta Prohm has been left pretty much the same condition in which it was found except for clearing of path for visitors and structural strengthening to prevent further deterioration.

The combination of photogenic and atmospheric feel of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings have made it one of Angkor's most popular temples. UNESCO also marked Ta Prohm on the World Heritage List in 1992. This probably one of the reasons that Tomb Raider was filmed at this place.


Trees growing out of the ruins are the most distinctive feature of Ta Prohm.




A restoration project is underway on many of the towers and corridors, and some areas are blocked off from the visitors.






Below is the most famous and photogenic spot in Ta Prohm.






Our temple tour lasted for 8 hours - started from 5.30am to 1.30pm.. We were so hungry + exhausted + 8 hours under hot sun that all of us fell asleep on the tuk tuk ride back to hotel.

Thank You Angkor Pearl Hotel for being so sweet! I like how my towels being folded into various animal or flower shapes lol

My hotel lunch! My pineapple rice really is pineapple rice!! hahaha is delicious de lor!


Angkor Archaeological Park
Admission Fee: Passes are sold in one-day (U$20), three days (U$40) and seven days (U$60) that must be used on consecutive days.
Tuk Tuk + tour guide for sunrise tour = U$55
Visiting hours: 5am - 6pm
Angkor Wat closes at 6pm. Angkor pass will be checked upon each park entry and at major temples.