Feb 10, 2012

Siem Reap, Cambodia Holiday (23rd Dec. to 26th Dec.2011)

My tour guide for Siem Reap, Sun Same who speaks good command of English. He is well versed with the history of Angkor Wat and all the other temples. Although we have a planned itinerary, he was flexible to suite our changes.
Pub Street on Christmas eve. This street is line with many restaurants and pubs and is just across Steung Hotel where we stayed.
Ta Prom with the many gigantic roots all around the temple. Angelina Jolie was here during the filming of Tomb Raider.

Beng Melea:My love ones seemed happy and so am I. Angelina Jolie was also happily here to film Tomb Raider.
Bakheng Hill:This is the first major temple to be constructed in the Angkor area. The walk up the hill takes about half an hour or you have a choice of taking an elephant ride and pay USD 15.00 going up and USD 10.00 coming down. The tourists flock here to admire the beauty of the sunset rather than the historical aspects of the temple. Oh yes, Angela Jolie was here too holding the binocular in the film Tomb Raider.
Inside the vast compound of Angkor Wat.
This is the main temple of Angkor Wat. We could not climb up as it was closed for cleaning during our visit
The awesome roots of Ta Prom.

Terrace of the Elephants: You can see the many stone sculptured elephant trunks. During major sporting events, the King would sit on the terrace to watch the events.
Admiring the beauty of Banteay Samre.
Banteay Srey (Citadel of Women): This is so called because the carvings are so intricate and beautiful, the locals believed that only the women could do it. One has to really admire the carvings to appreciate this temple site.
Bayon: This is the must see temple beside Angkor Wat if you are in Siem Reap. It is truly magnificent and is my all time favorite among all the temples.
This Buddha statue in Bayon has the biggest smile and we are all smiling too!

Jan 31, 2012

Sri Lanka Adventure Holiday (21st Jan -26th Jan 2012)

A warm welcome by Mr.Kumar,our driver and guide for the next six days.
An evening out for the elephant ride next to our hotel, Cinnamon Lodge which has a beautiful natural surrounding.
Dabbulla Cave: The history of the caves dates back to the 1st and 2nd century and is listed under the Unesco World Heritage Site. It has some 48 statues of Lord Buddha and some Hindu gods.
Polonnaruwa, The Ancient Kingdom of Reservoirs: It was the former capital of Sri Lanka and is listed under the Unesco World Heritage Site. There are many well preserved ruins of palaces and temples, like the Nissanta Laka Mandaya with the pavilion used for chanting Buddha's teaching and Gal Vihare RockTemple, a group of colossal Buddha statues carved out of a granite boulder.
Sirigiya Rock Fortress: We climbed about 1200 steps from the entrance to reach the top and about 920 steps down. Not recommended for those who are suffering from acrophobia.
The Sigiriya Rock Fortress had been listed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. From afar, the rock looks spectacular. Legend has it that King Kassapa (AD 477 – 495, almost 1600 years old) sought a place where he can fortify himself after overthrowing and murdering his own father to become the rightful heir. It also served as a monastery during the period 3rd century BC and 10th century AD.
The Lion Paws Terrace which is half way to the top.
Kandy: Temple of the Tooth which is believed to house the left upper tooth of the Lord Buddha. Another Unesco World Heritage site. We checked-out from Cinnamon Lodge at 5.30am for Kandy and along the way visited one of the many spice gardens. We almost got coerced into buying the many unnecessary ayuverdic herbs which are highly priced. You got to be careful of what to buy.

From Kandy we traveled to Nuwara Eliya to visit the tea plantations and stopped for lunch at the Rambada Waterfall restaurant with a beautiful scenery. Having bought some tea leaves for souvenir at Labookelle Tea Centre and some free cups of tea, we moved on to Yala. On the way we stopped for rest at the Ramana Water Fall which is equally beautiful. We finally reached Yala and checked in at the hotel at 6.00pm.And that is almost 13 hours of traveling, making it the longest car journey in my life!
Nuwara Eliya: Something like Cameron Highlands but there are some beautiful waterfalls along the way, like this Rawana Ella Waterfall.

Yala Safari Park: We saw many peacocks, some elephants, deers and others but just do not have the luck to see the leopards which the park is famous for.
We came and we saw; dolphins and blue whales swimming right before our eyes! It was sheer joy and ecstasy when the whale dipped its tail in the water. This whale and dolphin watching tour is organized by Mirissa Water Sports. The boat used is bigger as compared with other operators and the staff are professional in guiding the tourists during the tour.

Jan 19, 2012

Greeting to all Malaysians !

Happy New Year to all................and I will be off tomorrow to Sri Lanka for my family CNY holiday.