Our Last Day

On our last day we had the opportunity to go out to one of the floating fishing villages. Before we went there we stopped at a local temple and cemetery. It was very interesting. Then we headed out to the floating fishing village. It was very interesting. Then after we got back we went for a bike ride towards the temple.

It was a beautiful day and a wonderful end to our dream vacation.


Angkor Dinner Show

After spending all day at the temples we were taken to a wonderful buffet and show. The show consisted of 5 different traditional dances, 3 from the courts and 2 from the villages. They were so fun. A couple of these video clips are long, but the long ones are the whole dance of the the traditional villager's dances. They were delightful. Enjoy.

These are from the Welcome Flower dance, traditionally done in the courts to welcome important visitors.

 A dance of couples.
This is from a dance telling the story of a princess of good overcoming the demon of evil.

Here are some video clips.

This is one of the village dances. The Coconut Dance.

The fisherman's dance. I loved this one. Watch for the story that it tells of young people courting.



Oct. 6 - Banteay Srei

Or the Temple of the Lady. It was located about 30 km from the concentration of other temples. It was built entirely of red sandstone. It was a small temple, but worth the drive out to see it. Absolutely beautiful. The carvings were amazing.

Banteay Srei


Oct. 6 - Bayon and the Elephant Terrace

The Elephant Terrace was amazing. Bayon Temple was very cool. We climbed up to the 5th of 6 levels. Very steep stairs. Very cool experience.

The Elephant Terrace and Bayon Temple.


Oct. 6 - the Jungle Temple

On our first day of touring the Angkor Wat area we saw 5 temples. I took so many pictures that to do them justice, I am only going to do one temple a day with very little writing and mostly pictures.

The Jungle Temple (Ta Prohm) was the first one we went to. It's the temple that was used for some scenes in filming "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider."

Our guide was Mr. Neak. He has been a tour guide for 14 years. He grew up during the early Khmer Rouge who were so bad that the Viet Kong came into Cambodia to save the people. Awful. I won't go into details here. But he had an interesting past. One opportunity he had been given was that he was one of the tour guides who went along with the National Geographic Society when they went to Cambodia in 1998 to photograph Angkor Wat. So he learned some amazing picture points and showed them to us. As a result we got some really fun pictures. We had, all told, 4 cameras and 3 iphones from which we got pictures. Between all of us we took over 3,000 from our whole trip. So with out further ado, here is the Jungle Temple.


Spider Man's tuk tuk

Just a quick little story about the rest of our first evening in Siem Reap.

Daniel saw these signs for banana and chocolate pancakes. So on our way back to our tuk tuk guy we stopped and got one. They were made with dough, stretched out thin, and then had sliced banana and chocolate syrup. Yummy. Very Yummy.

 So while we were waiting for the pancake to be finished, this guy comes up behind my mother-in-law and whispers "you want to ride in spider man's tuk tuk?" in this deep accented voice. She was kind of shocked and slowly began walking away. Come to find out, two nights later, they have used icons like batman, spider man and other pop culture things to attract people to their own tuk tuks. Awesome, I know. Even better when you know my mother-in-law. It's one of the best stories from that trip.
Our tuk tuk driver that evening was awesome. for 8$ he took us, waited for us, and took us back to the hotel.


Mekong Quilts of Siem Reap

Grandma Arave - you will love this post. So while we were walking downtown at night, I saw the quilt sign.The store is called Mekong Quilts. I was not expecting what we found there.

We found a store that sells the products made by women in the some of the poorest towns in southeast Asia. A non-government organization has gone into communities and they have taught these women a valuable and marketable skill. Now these women in these villages can produce things from their home, staying home with their families and children, and bring in money. It's helping them better their own lives.

Once we found this out we were eager to support them.

Here are some of their products.
 A log-cabin hammock.
 Dozens of beautifully finished quilts.
 Their take on Sun Bonnet Sue.
 One of the most adorable jungle theme quilts ever.
 The patient men waiting while the women shopped.
 Stuffed hard butterflies. I bought one of these.
 Hearts sewn and appliqued. This is the quilt that Nedra bought when we went back. It was too cute.
 Embroidered ornaments.
Asian style quilts. I bought a couple of things and then we moved on to the rest of night shopping. But Nedra had sewn a seed of desire and went back two nights later for more.
 Daniel really liked this quilt. It was in browns. I think I would change the colors a bit, but it's beautiful. The quilts are hand quilted.
 This was a cute little draw string bag.
 Another similar jungle quilt.
 Cambodian Sun Bonnet Sue.
I loved this large patchwork quilt that was quilted with spirals and highlighted with different colors.
Nedra with the gals who were running this store and her quilt. It was an amazing little shop with so much to offer. You can visit their website and learn more about them here.

A worthy cause with a beautiful product.


Cambodia - Arriving

Our flight to Siem Ream from Bangkok was on a prop plane. The Siem Reap airport is small. Really small.
 Flying in over the lake just outside of Siem Reap. We came in on the heals of a flood.
 Our plane.
 Heading into the airport after de-boarding the plane.

The hotel picked us up and drove us by Angkor Wat on the way back to the hotel.
 Our first glimpse of the temple and it's area.
 Getting very excited!

Our Hotel was a 5 Star hotel. It had the most beautiful carvings.
This was the two story foyer.
 Ceiling panels.
 Our king size bed. It was deceiving. It was hard as granite.
 The fruit plate we had. That red/pink thing with green things coming off is a dragon fruit.

After a rest we headed out into downtown for the night market. This is the exterior of our hotel at night, looking toward the entry gate. 

Our Cambodian style tuktuk.
Our tuktuk driver was awesome. He was a short little guys with his cap turned backward so it stuck out underneath his helmut. Half his mouth was silver crowns. Happy guy. The Cambodian tuktuks are trailers that are attached to little Honda 125 motorcycles.
The night market area. It is a whole neighborhood, multiple streets with pub streets, clothing, old market, etc.

Just a few streets into it I saw a quilt store. That's tomorrow.


Playing at the beach and a trip in a tuk tuk

On Tuesday, October 4, we were planning on going snorkeling but we got rained out. So we took an adventure into town instead. We walked down the street and got a ride in a Tuktuk into Patong to a mall complex where we did some shopping for Christmas and souvenirs.

 My in-laws in the tuktuk.
 On our rice back he totally had it set up for party tuktuk.
Our driver into town.

Part of the mall. In the basement of the section behind me there was a market called "That's Siam" full of locally created goods. We got some fun, inexpensive things and gifts for a few people for Christmas.

After we got back to the hotel the rain had stopped and the weather was pleasant so we headed down to the beach to play some pickle ball/badminton thing my father-in-law got in Shenzhen. It was fun.

It was a good relaxing day of the things that vacations are made of.

Then on day five we flew from Phuket to Siem Reap, Cambodia.


Charlie paints a picture

And then we have Charlie, the painting elephant. And I bought one of his paintings. For 10$ it was totally worth the experience.

The painting:

 And the experience:
And then... what the heck.
Elephant kisses.

The Phuket Zoo - Elephants

I think the elephants was my favorite part of the zoo. We got our picture taken with the star of the show. I forgot her name. But she was fun and had a very hairy head.

They are such large, strong animals.
 They are also very smart.

The we went to watch the show.
The captive crowd. There were a few groups of students there who were fun to watch as the shows happened.

One of the little shows was racing elephants. They put out 3 bowling pins in a line and they had to retrieve them all back to the beginning and put them in the basket. The one farther away pulls a tricky move though. Watch for it.