We arrived at wooden-traditional-style Siem Reap Airport and believe it or not, we didn’t miss a chance like other passengers to snap pictures in the middle of the hanger! Without any complaint from the airport security…hehehe how cool huh?
Anyhow I got admonition by the custom security when I tried to take a picture of an elephant statue, which he has wrongly accused of me taking their custom front desk. Haha! He even asked me to delete the picture, which I did (ya, right!) Anyhow, beyond the front desk, I took another picture but this time of Buddha facing the golden globe, but no warning from him. Boleh plak?! Hehe!
Once we exit the arrival gate, gladly, a guy has waited there with hubby’s name on paper, to pick us up. His name was Mr. Saly, a Champa Muslim, who worked with Palm Garden Lodge, surprisingly can speak Malay very well! He walked us to our transport of the day that fascinated us, a tuk-tuk. Haha! (We taught he gonna picked us up with a CAR.) Anyhow, we smiled and hope that it will be an exciting trip, to travel via tuk-tuk in Khmer land.
Alongside the road to the hotel, we saw nothing different than villages at northern part of Malaysia. Since it was not the season yet, what we saw were only dried paddy fields, waterless trench and…skinny cows. Sian nyer…(Yeap, really skinny till u can simply see its rib cage!)
After 30 minutes journey, we finally came into one clay road that full of villagers who loitered around at junctions as well as in front of their houses, like what those jobless did. We started to question each other, where the hell was the hotel located??? We passed the town, we passed the backpackers area, don’t tell me this hotel is in outskirt area!
We later arrived at the Palm Garden Lodge, that was sheltered with trees all around it, and were greeted by Mr. Mao with a huge friendly smile and two welcome drinks. We stepped in and sat on antique wooden bench, with Angkor Wat painting at the back. He later came and described in detailed, the Angkor tour package for 2 days, with a very reasonable price.
Yes, we bought it. USD25 for the whole 2 days to almost all temples and the freedom is in our hand? Who won’t right? We then check-in and we found that the room was super cute, with romantic spa scent and white curtains tied on the bed poles, complete with ceiling fan, AC, TV and hot water. 2 free bottles of water and a basket of local fruits were to way amaze us. As a TV-freak, the channels were all entertaining (owh except the karaoke channel that sang and dance typically Cambodian style…boring…).
Preliminary stage, what a great hotel it is, we said.
After got ourselves changed, we walked down the stairs (it was a double-storey bunglow with more than 20 rooms), and sat on the resting spa-typed bed outside the waiting area. We saw two wells full with fish that we bet, were the doctor fish. Will try it later, I said to myself.
The first day of Angkor tour, we hope, will be super marvelous and remarkable. With Siem Reap tour book, our very own “buku hikmat” and map that was provided by Mr. Mao, our first stop was Angkor Thom. The famous Angkor Wat? Waiiiittttt. Not yet. We passed by first je…tomorrow ya? Hehe! Can’t wait!
Mr. Saly drove us to this 3km square walled “Great City” where Jayavarman VII built the last capital complex during Khmer empire. It can only be entered via 4 entrances, South, North, East and West gates; with South being the most popular. But before doing that, we had to pay an entrance fee, where a picture of each visitor will be snapped digitally, and printed on the ticket. Cool huh? So, never lose it! One day pass or three day pass, the choice is yours, and we took three day pass with the cost of USD40. (Not many Malaysian did this, Mr. Saly said. Well, we were among those “not many” tu la ye coz we wish to cover all monuments in there.)
We didn’t have a chance to stop at the South gate as Mr. Saly was so efficient to drive us straight to Bayon. Haha! We must let him know, how dissimilar we are than other tourist. Hehe! (Stop whenever and wherever we like is what we are.)
“Banyak tul muka Buddha saitama gautama whatever it is ni ek?” that was me.
“Ni bukan Buddha la, ni muka King Jayavarman tu la…tengok kat dinding ni sume ada cerita dia ni…” he replied.
I stunned. Sukati je main petik, dah pegi baru nak baca buku.
There we saw Bayon. Ticket must be verified by the officer who sat under the giant tree, with no guard post or even wall fencing. I can’t describe how massive the temple was with over 2000 large carved faces with “smile of Angkor” that signify the king who was in believe of Hinduism. How can these many faces facing us at a time? No, these faces were facing 4 directions and positioned at 54 towers all in total and “gopura” clockwise.
Opposite the temple, we saw familiar surroundings, where hawkers selling drinks, foods, and souvenirs. As expected, kids and women came and persuaded us to buy their things. We had to pass them and smile. The heat was on. We bought sunblock, just for the purpose of this trip, and yet…WE DIDN’T PUT IT ON! Hitam la aku! Lucky we brought RM3 umbrella from MyMydin. Haha! But still, the heat was greater than the umbrella shield.
We walked around the temple and saw plenty of “apsara” figures. “Apsara” was known as dancers who danced for king and…and…you can image what these topless "apsara” had to do next la ye.
Post like “apsara” has urged us to do something kinky…"U tunjuk la kat breast dia!" I forced hubby to do so...hahaha!
"I picit ek? Ek?" "Cepat la kang orang tu nampak!" "KAHKAHKAHKAH!" we laughed and ran. ...and so I pinched her nipples! Hahahaha! (But we had to do it fast, before we get ourselves into trouble.)
“Huyooo dia lukis gambar Bayon la…amik gambar, amik gambar…” I stood still behind the pillar and curi-curi amik gambar from celah-celah batu takut orang tu perasan. Kahkahkah! Tah pape!
“Pasang tripod la, amik gambar berdua…asik u amik gambar I, I amik gambar u je, bosan la…”
Yes, we were the only tourist without a tour guide, who spared a tripod like no one business. Siap gambar main tarian payung tuuuuuu! Hahaha! Stupid pic, is a must do thing too!
Before we continued to another World Heritage Site that is declared by UNESCO, we crossed the road and treat ourselves with two glass of sweet sugarcane. And yes, we paid cheaper in Cambo Riel compared to USD.
Just LEARN how to be LOCAL!
More pictures here!