Thursday, July 26, 2012

Temple Day 4!

Even though I had already been to the Angkor temples three times before, I decided to go again with my new Israeli friends Rona and Sharon We woke up at 4am to get there for the sunrise and stayed all day until about 6pm. I could go back ten more times and still not be bored; its that kind of a place. There are hundreds of temples to see and explore. Each time, depending on the people I was with, or when I was by myself with a $1 rental bike, I had a completely unique experience.

Rona in the early morning hours

Sharon at Angkor Wat

Me at Angkor Wat. I think this was one of the bathouses where monks used to do some ritual? Not really sure.

Auto timer picture of the three of us

This (very cute) Cambodian guy was selling his original watercolor paintings. We had a nice chat with him, and Sharon bought two of his paintings. Most of the people selling stuff are happy to stop to talk to you even if you don't buy anything; they all speak English very well and are happy to answer any questions you have about the culture or history.

Ta Prohm, where the restoration team left some of the trees, which are probably helping to support the structures but destroying them at the same time.

Ta Prohm

We rented a tuktuk for the day, about $7 each. Picked us up at 5am and dropped us off at 8pm... very nice guy. We gave him a good tip.

Water buffalo

Fresh coconut! Mmmm, drink the milk and then they'll open it up for you with a machete and you can scoop the flesh out with a spoon. Makes me think of Jeni Reiko.

Another thing I love about Cambodia is playing with the kids. At first they try to sell you postcards ("One dollar! Ten postcards! One two three four five... " ), but once you start doing the hokey pokey or the macerena they become normal kids again and end up wanting to play with you. They taught us this really cool game that's like rock paper scissors but with a board that is drawn in the dirt.

The famous tree from "Tomb Raider"

Had to take this picture... had to do it...

And this one. It's mandatory.

Towards the end of the day. 

Sunset time at Angkor Wat one last time... hope to be back someday!

Sunday, July 8, 2012


This is Hariharalaya, the yoga retreat I stayed at for a week. 

They have a slackline! I practiced every day and now I can turn around on it! I learned at UC Santa Cruz to walk forwards and backwards, and James and I had one with us in New Zealand that we set up on occasionally. I hadn't seen one in a few months; it was so nice to be able to try it again.

The yoga/meditation area. There are plastic curtains you can roll down if it starts to rain.

The art corner.

Lots of nice places to hang out

Walking to the local village with friends from the retreat

Local kids always say hello, they are so cute!


This is Lee, an Australian expatriot who moved to Cambodia. He's been here for a few months, travelling around the country and learning Khmer.

Dad taking his four kids to school.

Homemade mango sorbet ... mmmm... see, being vegan isn't all that bad!

Evening meditation

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Challah Back!

My two new Israeli friends, Sharon and Ronit, taught me how to make challah! We put chocolate and banana inside. It was so tasty and pretty easy to make!

Will definitely make this again. And it was vegan!

Ronit with Joel, the founder of Hariharalaya. He is originally from Philadelphia.

Tuktuk to Temples

Tessa and I got three day temple passes, so for our second day we hired a tuktuk for the day to take us to the further away temples, about 30 kilometers out of town. 

Most people in Cambodia get around by motorbike or bicycle.

Tuktuk is a great way to get around, because you have such an open view of the scenery!

Everything is so green. To get to our first stop we had a 45-minute hike through lush rainforest.

Be careful where you step! I'm not sure what these holes are from.

 Kbal Spean, also known as "The River of A Thousand Lingas." A linga is a "a symbol of male creative energy... although today most Hindus view the linga as a symbol of divine energy rather than as a sexual symbol." (Thanks wikipedia.)

These fish will bite the dead skin off your hands and feet. It tickles!

We're thankful to be back in the tuktuk, where the breeze cools us down. 

These guys are drying mushrooms.

Our next stop: Bantey Srei, which is dedicated to Shiva. It was built in the 10th century from red sandstone.

Lots of restoration going on here. Can you tell the difference between the old and the new?

This is a Naga, or 9 headed snake.

So many amazing carvings.

These photos are from the way back.

This is how most Cambodians get around.

Catching a ride from a friend

Almost no one wears helmets

I tried this on a day when I rented a bike, its really uncomfortable for the person on the back. But not so bad for the person in front, just more difficult to keep balanced! Cambodia is so flat its a great place to bike.

Maybe her bike has a flat tire.