Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday: A Few Photos, And Not Exactly Silent

One of the many heads at Bayon  in Angkor Thom.  This 4-sided representation is over the archway entering the Angkor Thom complex

Just for some perspective, the first photo was taken up on the wall (our guide helped us scramble up the hill to get closer to the heads) of the head you see in profile on the left (there is one facing in each direction.)  This archway leads into the west side of the Bayon complex.
And for even more perspective, a shot of #2 photographing the archway/entrance, which our guide assured us we were totally allowed to climb up on.
MsCaroline knows that Silent Sunday is supposed to be silent, but her readers know by now she's always pushing the envelope, so(naturally) she's including a few comments.  As you can see, the Asia Vu family has been in Siem Reap, visiting some of the 80bazillion many temples in and around Angkor Wat.  Once MsCaroline gets finished being horrified at how big her butt looks in some of the pictures editing her images and composing her thoughts, she will, of course, share some of the highlights of her trip.  Let her just say for now that she spent a lot of time worrying about dengue fever and compulsively applying DEET (and then worrying about the fact that DEET is relatively toxic itself) in between marveling at temples and being pushed out of the way by millions of Chinese tourists (easily identifiable by their matching straw hats, thoughtfully provided by their tour companies.)  The fact that it is the Rainy Season at the moment in Cambodia -and, theoretically, the least crowded time of the year to visit - was apparently not communicated to the other tourists, who insisted on ruining all of MsCaroline's pictures traipsing around in the rain and mud through the temple complexes in plastic rain ponchos with giant umbrellas and sending out ill-concealed hate vibes at each other for having the temerity to be visiting Angkor Wat at the low season, which was THEIR idea first.  MsCaroline cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like in the High Season, but she imagines that one eventually becomes hardened to it.  Despite the tourists, the trip was fabulous, and involved numerous roaming cows, excellent cocktails, some fruit bats, remote jungle temples,lots of shopping, an excellent hotel, and  - much to everyone's surprise and delight - even a little sunshine.    MsCaroline would love to write more, but she stupidly scheduled an overnight return flight.  This means that the Asia Vus arrived back in Seoul at 6:45am today, cramped, sleep-deprived, and slightly dehydrated - hardly a condition that lends itself to quality blogging.  Stay tuned.

7 comments:

BavarianSojourn said...

Wow, amazing pictures. I have never been to Cambodia, would love to go though! Looking forward to hearing more soon! :)

nappy valley girl said...

I was there 9 years ago! Bayon was one of my favourite temples. We were there in January, which I think was probably the dry season (?) but I don't remember it being too crowded. But we did get up at stupid o'clock to bicycle out to the temples, so maybe that was our way of avoiding them.

Stacy said...

I believe it was our family holiday to Cambodia and Angor Wat when the phrase "We can't go all day, you know" was coined and adopted after much viewing of successive and, according to some, excessive temples. It comes up regularly on other holidays now and we all laugh that mirthless chuckle of agreement. And stop for a cold beer. Can't wait to read your full post!

Nance said...

Rick and I get pushed off sidewalks an awful lot by Chinese tourists in Canada, too. What is all of that about, I wonder?

The snaps you published here, sans your derriere, are lovely. I admit that I'd have been obsessed with worry about dengue fever as well, but you at least went outdoors. I probably would never have even gone to this place with that threat hanging over my head.

Trish Burgess said...

Mmmmm cocktails....

Loving the temples too :-))

Will wait eagerly for you to wake up properly and write more. Have been very amused by the Maharajah Series of photos on Facebook. You will be enjoying a comfy chair now?

MsCaroline said...

Emma - Cambodia has been on my bucket list for a loooong time! Was so glad to finally get there.

NVG - Yes, January is the dry season and (supposedly) even more crowded. I understand the number of Korean and Chinese package tours has exploded in recent years, so maybe that's why you enjoyed a relatively crowd-free experience. Apparently there are so many people at the temples for sunrise now that it's something of a free-for-all these days at 6am. We didn't do any of the early sunrise stuff simply because it was raining and there was no sunrise, so I suppose we were at least spared that.

Stacy - that is an excellent phrase for summing up exactly how we felt! By 2 or 3 PM, we were always completely worn out - it would have been pointless to do much more since we had all reached 'critical temple mass' (our family's version of 'we can't go all day...') There was ample time for cold beer, trust me!

Nance - There's definitely a certain cultural component to the whole Asian pushing thing - we run across it regularly in Seoul - but when you combine it with a huge number of people all trying to squeeze into a doorway/vault/corridor to take photos of the same frieze/fresco/statue/sanskrit carvings, it becomes pretty overwhelming - and we consider ourselves relatively hardened to pushy crowds! Dengue fever is either 'not a large risk' or 'epidemic during the rainy season' depending on who you talk to or what you read, so I tried to take sensible precautions (eg, long sleeves and pants, soak myself in DEET) and hoped for the best, since there's no preventative vaccine. It certainly didn't deter any of the other tourists from what I could see. Of course, Dengue has an incubation period of 5-8 days on average, so I'll probably be on pins and needles until I've hit the 8-days-home mark, since all 3 of us got at least one mosquito bite despite our best efforts. Supposedly it's rarely fatal except in small children, so I've got that going for me...

MsCaroline said...

Trish - cocktails were delightful. (The temples were, too, but crowded.) We had so much fun with the 'Maharaja Series' - not sure if they're blogworthy - still debating! Trying to get unpacked/deal with laundry/prepare for school before tackling the next blog post, but it will be up soon!