Posted in Cambodia

Siem Reap, Cambodia – Aspara Dancers

Postcards-Cambodia 003

In April 2012 I took my second holiday journey (two years after the trip to Laos) visiting a neighboring country from my home in Phuket, Thailand.  I don’t count the numerous times I had to go to Myanmar and Malaysia on visa runs and, besides, I don’t yet have any postcards from either country!  I don’t know why it took me so long to get to Cambodia – it’s relatively nearby and the travel/accommodation costs were extremely low.  I loved that I could use U.S. dollars while there although it took a bit of getting used to as I’d become accustomed to Thai baht.  The bills were a bit more colorful than the last time I handled my homeland’s currency!

My sole objective on this first trip (I hope there will be many more) was Siem Reap and, more specifically, the magnificent Angkor Wat.  The huge temple (the world’s largest, if I remember correctly) is just part of a large number of temple ruins in the vicinity.  Angkor is definitely the most famous as it is the most well-preserved if not the most interesting.  For me, my favorite parts of the trip were visiting Angkor Wat at both sunset and then sunrise the following morning (ethereal being the best one-word description of the latter); I also absolutely loved exploring the tumble-down ruins of Ta Phrohm (well-known from the Tomb Raider movies starring Angelina Jolie) and the giant heads of Bayon in the large Angkor Thom complex.  The entire experience made me mindful of my days in university when I actually minored in archaeology for a few semesters.

I purchased a few cards while in Siem Reap, including the one above which pictures traditional Aspara dancers in this lovely northern Khmer town,  I am told that very few Thai people visit here because the name translates to “Siam (Thailand) defeated!”  I did see a few of these dancers at Angkor Wat, practicing for a concert marking the Cambodian New Year which, like Laos and Thailand, falls in mid-April but without the water-play.  I did find the post office in Siem Reap where I had hoped to mail a few cards back to myself but it was closed due to the holiday.  Next time…

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