It was my 30th Birthday ( Luma) , and "a girl's trip" was happening !!! Never did I ever , imagine this would etch our hearts for times to come. What more could have I asked for. Four girls, the two of us and two of our friends, brought back the best souvenirs of pictures and memories to treasure in our lifetimes.
A Southeast Asian Kingdom houses few of world's best architectural treasure troves. It amazed us with each and every new site we went to. Just as the 'Temple Run' game , most of us have played on our phones, the ruins and relics of the temples teleported us to those visuals and made us Deja Vu on them.
We started with Angkor Wat, then Bayon and Ta Prohm on the same day and lastly went to Banteay Srei Temple.
DAY 1. Angkor wat, The capital temple complex , one of the largest religious monuments in the world! Spread over acres and acres of land , these temple columns looked as if a huge mountain was carved out of stones confronting our amazement. It was almost 5 kms away from , Siem Reap , where we landed from the China Southern ( a budget airline) hopping flight from Delhi -Guangzhou- Siem Reap. Cambodia has a visa on arrival facility too, which made it even easier for us travel bugs to plan this trip instantly. Staying at Lotus Blanc Resort was probably the best choice we made , since it treated us with some of the best breakfasts and buffets and soul soothing massages.
DAY 2. Bayon ,the Temple of faces!! we were left jaw dropped.
When we saw the multitude of serene and smiling faces carved out of stone columns on the many towers of this temple arena, being its most distinctive feature. It is truly a photographer's paradise.
Ta Prohm, the movie , 'Tomb Raider' was shot here. The photogenic and atmospheric combination of mythical trees ascending over the ruins and the jungle seemingly consuming the complex, compels you to wonder over the amalgamation of man made marvels and nature's unique rules.
DAY 3. Banteay Srei , it took us 1 hour by tuk tuk ride (their local auto rickshaws) , to reach this site. It houses this broken temple with outstanding architecture carved out of Red sand Stones . We got some of the fantastic and beautiful contrasting captures from this shrine, dedicated to Lord Shiva.
NIGHT LIFE :
Each evening after a long tiring , day trip from the temples, we would unwind at the Pub Street ! the night market which houses few of the best pubs in the town. We checked in to Mezze Bar, Angkor What! , Temple and Yolo Bar , they served us few of the most unique and funky cocktails we had ever heard of. With tourists from all nationalisties , Cambodia can be a budget travelers' paradise.
Shopping was too good with semi precious stones , silvers and home decors and traditional Khmer souvenirs to adorn your eyes and homes together. The wines infused with scorpions and snakes in glass display bottles got us into goosebumps.
People were overwhelmingly warm, loving and hospitable.
The Currency , Riel , is rarely used , since all the markets , departmental stores prefer US. Dollars, this made things more easier. We went in the month of July, which was hot and humid . It compelled us to wear light ,airy , comfortable cotton clothes to keep us going . Since it was the off-season , we got some fantastic deals on hotel stay and flight tickets too. We would love to go back to Cambodia , time and again , to flip back the imprints it left in our books of memories.