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Blogs from: Siem Reap

Hallway back to the Future – Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

 

Photo of the Day – Hallway back to the Future – Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Every time I look at this photo it reminds me of those 3D prints where if you stare at them long enough something pops out – remember? But, its not. Instead it is one of the main hallways through the labyrinth of rooms, courtyards, and pools that make up the internals of Angkor Wat.

Keep in mind that this hallway was built and hand carved in the 9th Century CE. Can you imagine building this with nothing but a hammer (a stone) and chisel (another stone)? How did they make this hallway so perfectly straight?

And lastly, how many columns do you see?

Hallway back to the Future - Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
 

The Backside of Angkor Wat – Siem Reap, Cambodia

 

Photo of the Day – The Backside of Angkor Wat – Siem Reap, Cambodia

The backside of Angkor Wat is often missed due to its iconic front entry including the perfect reflection pool. Yes, the front is incredible, but in some regards the rear of Angkor Wat is even more special. How many people have actually seen the back of Angkor Wat?

If you look closely you’ll see a Buddhist monk, a scooter, and other than that, nothing. And that is the point! It is unreal how few people there were on the backside versus the front. This is a simple reminder to make sure you explore all of these incredibly iconic places from head to toe and front to back.

The Backside of Angkor Wat - Siem Reap, Cambodia
 

Rock Solid Face – Bayon Temple – Angkor, Cambodia

 

Photo of the Day – Rock Solid Face – Bayon Temple – Angkor, Cambodia

You can find over two-hundred of these gigantic stone faces littering the grounds of the Bayon Temple in Cambodia. It is almost surreal walking around this temple with all of these serene faces starring down on you.

Rock Solid Face - Bayon Temple - Angkor, Cambodia
 

The Tree Temple – Angkor, Cambodia

 

Photo of the Day – The Tree Temple – Angkor, Cambodia

This temple is just so damn cool. Not only are you experiencing the incredible Ta Prohm temple which was built in the late 12th Century, but you get the real feeling of just how old and how lost these temples were with this massive tree growing over, in and around the temple. This temple was actually featured in Tomb Raider and is even more incredible in person. I remember seeing this temple with Brad and just standing around starring at it. It’s remarkable that the tree has adapted to the temple, but it is also the interesting way the tree has drown with several massive roots sprawling over the temple.

The Tree Temple - Angkor, Cambodia
 

Orange Shirted Buddha – Angkor, Cambodia

 

Photo of the Day – Orange Shirted Buddha – Angkor, Cambodia

The vast majority of the Cambodian people practice Buddhism and it is clear that this was present in their roots during the building of dozens of temples in the Angkor region. Although there are many Hindu temples as well, there is no shortage of Buddhas to be found. This Buddha in particular was dressed in orange and surrounded by other offerings and decoration. At each Buddhist temple there was at least one main Buddha, but often times multiple Buddhas at each property.

Orange Shirted Buddha - Angkor, Cambodia
 

Dark Angkor Wat Sunrise – Siem Reap, Cambodia

 

How Well Can Your Favorite Kid Color?

Did you know that AbsoluteVisit published its very own coloring book earlier this year? The coloring book is very easy for you to download and print out on your home printer (or of course at work)! Best of all it is completely FREE!

You can find the coloring book here – http://www.absolutevisit.com/absolute-visit-coloring-book

We’d love to have you send in pictures of your favorite kids artistically painting between the lines of the AbsoluteVisit coloring pages. In a couple of weeks we’ll post the best pictures that you email to us. We’ll even ship one of our very favorite travel accessories to whoever sends in the best photo!

Submit your photos to brad@absolutevisit.com

Photo of the Day – Dark Angkor Wat Sunrise – Siem Reap, Cambodia

We took this photo at the front of the famous Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia back in 2010 while waiting for the sun to rise over the mysteriously dark Hindu complex. There is always one part of this sunrise experience that always sticks out when I look back at our collection of pictures from this surreal morning. While we waited for the sun to show it’s face above the dark earth’s surface, young Cambodian girls delivered us bottomless glass cups of iced coffee to help us get through the early morning hours.

Dark Angkor Wat Sunrise - Siem Reap, Cambodia
 

Cambodian Limo Ride – Siem Reap, Cambodia

 

Photo of the Day – Cambodian Limo Ride – Siem Reap, Cambodia

While not exactly what one would picture when they think of a limo, this was the private ride that Will and I hired back in 2010 to explore all the incredible temples surrounding Siem Reap. Equipped with a skilled driver and a knowledgeable guide, the whole setup ran us just over $20 USD a day!

If only I could fly this tandem and their wheels back to Chicago to cart me around full time. I could really get used to taking a private ride down Lake Shore Drive to the office in the loop every day. Although something tells me that this open air model wouldn’t be so comfortable in the winter!

Traveling in the third world offers many experiences that leave you scratching your head at how inexpensive services can be abroad. What have you been able to enjoy on the road that you could never afford back at home?

Cambodian Limo Ride - Siem Reap, Cambodia
 

Bentang – Our Cambodian Tour Guide – Angkor, Cambodia

 

Photo of the Day – Bentang – Our Cambodian Tour Guide – Angkor, Cambodia

One of the more memorable parts of our trip to the Angkor region was our guide, Bentang. Bentang was a quiet, but very friendly guide that spoke good English and had an incredible understanding of the Angkor history. In fact, he went to school specifically for tour guiding in this region.

Over the course of two days, we received a very detailed tour of the Angkor region temples along with its history. Naturally as we were spending so much time with him, Brad and I soon became friends with Bentang and quickly began to get an even better understanding of the Cambodian culture through his stories.

At this point, you are probably still wondering why he is sticking out his tongue in this picture. Well, take a closer look. You should be able to see something small and red on the tip of his tongue … it’s an ant. He often found ant nets clung to leaves in the native bushes and would eat them as a snack!

Bentang - Our Cambodian Tour Guide - Angkor, Cambodia
 

Bayon Temple Faces, Bayon Temple – Angkor, Cambodia

 

Photo of the Day – Bayon Temple Faces, Bayon Temple – Angkor, Cambodia

Built around the year 1200, this temple was one of my favorite while visiting the Angkor Temples in Cambodia. The dozens of faces that greet you at this temple make for a unique venue.

What other temples have captured your interest due to an interesting difference such as the Bayon Temple faces?

Bayon Temple Faces, Bayon Temple - Angkor, Cambodia
 
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The Top 100 Places in the World
1 Great Wall of China
2 Pyramids of Egypt
3 Machu Picchu
4 Serengeti Migration
5 Galapagos Islands
6 Grand Canyon
7 Angkor Temples
8 Antarctica Cruise
9 Taj Mahal
10 Iguazu Falls
11 Amazon Rain Forest
12 Great Barrier Reef
13 Bora Bora
14 Victoria Falls
15 Bagan
16 Petra
17 Potala Palace
18 Karnak
19 Mt Everest
20 Cappadocia
21 St Peters Basilica
22 Fjords of Norway
23 Jerusalem Old City
24 Burj Khalifa
25 Borobudur
26 Forbidden City
27 Kashmir Valley
28 Li River Cruise
29 Ladakh
30 Alhambra
31 Louvre Museum
32 Perito Moreno Glac.
33 Banaue Terraces
34 Colosseum of Rome
35 Easter Island
36 Venice Canals/Alleys
37 Kathmandu Valley
38 Wat Phra Kaew
39 Yellowstone NP
40 Pompeii
41 Rio Panoramic View
42 Palace of Versailles
43 Dubrovnik
44 Golden Temple
45 St. Basils Cathedral
46 Vatican Museum
47 Florence Cityscape
48 Acropolis
49 Amalfi Coast Drive
50 Kremlin
51 Hong Kong View
52 TerraCotta Warriors
53 Mezquita Cordoba
54 Chichen Itza
55 Damascus Old City
56 Shwedagon Stupa
57 Sahara Desert
58 Mont St Michel
59 St. Marks Square
60 Egyptian Museum
61 Hagia Sophia
62 Angel Falls
63 Delphi
64 Teotihuacan
65 Baalbek
66 Banff NP
67 Santorini
68 Matterhorn
69 New York Skyline
70 Neuschwanstein
71 Chartres Cathedral
72 British Museum
73 Prague Old Town
74 Burj al Arab
75 Yangtze River Cruise
76 Yosemite NP
77 Hermitage Museum
78 Torres del Paine
79 Chambord Chateau
80 Lijiang
81 Portofino
82 Great Ocean Road
83 Tongariro Alpine
84 Las Vegas Strip
85 Tikal
86 Topkapi Palace
87 Sydney Opera House
88 Eiffel Tower
89 Luxor Temple
90 Kerala Backwaters
91 Golden Gate Bridge
92 Cinque Terre
93 Metropolitan Mus
94 Uffizi Gallery
95 Ayers Rock
96 Cliffs of Moher
97 Pacific Coast Hwy
98 Shanghai Skyline
99 Glacier Bay NP
100 Wulingyuan
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