Travel Diaries |

Travel Thursday | Cambodia

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My world travel journal with an Apsara Crush (lots of fresh passion fruit!) and skewers of mango, dragon fruit, pinapple and guava….


We stayed at Amansara, in the heart of Siem Riep, so beautiful!  Picked up from airport in antique car of Cambodian King and delivered to an oasis in the middle of the town.

The entry way is lined with black wicker-basket bikes (and little glowing Buddhist shrines!), ready for a ride along the tropical canals, lined with Buddhist shrines and temples, orange robed monks, children selling bamboo carved flutes, and piles of exotic fruits.


Terrace outside with bamboo and a private view of the stars!

Poolside Cocktail Recipe:

Apsara Crush: Vodka, Cointreau, Lychee, Fresh Passion Fruit, Cucumber, Mint leaves

Ride down to the night market wear you can get a 30 min foot massage for $4 (yes $4!) and get a cold cocktail under the strung lights and stars.


Snapped a pic of the exotic cocktails so you could try your hand at them too!
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Black and White: Night Market lights and stalls. Bayon architectural skyline with the cloud cover mirroring its pebbly texture hidden in the silhouette.


Jewel toned silks being woven on looms in Siem Reap – gorgeous!

There are lots of great silk products to buy here, scarves, jewelry cases, etc.


 Bike riding along the canals at sunrise reminded me of a more tropical version of Kyoto.
A short list of temples to see!
Angkor Wat
Ta Prohm
Angkor Wat (Khmer: អង្គរវត្ត or “Capital Temple”) is a temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world, with site measuring 1,626,000 sq meters. It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple for the Khmer Empire, gradually transforming into a Buddhist temple toward the end of the 12th century. It was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II[3] in the early 12th century inYaśodharapura (Khmer: យសោធរបុរៈ, present-day Angkor), the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Breaking from the Shaiva tradition of previous kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated to Vishnu. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious center since its foundation. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia,[4] appearing on its national flag, and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors.

The Bayon (Khmer: ប្រាសាទបាយ័ន, Prasat Bayon) is a well-known and richly decorated Khmer temple at Angkor in Cambodia. Built in the late 12th or early 13th century as the official state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII, the Bayon stands at the centre of Jayavarman’s capital, Angkor Thom. Following Jayavarman’s death, it was modified and augmented by later Hindu and Theravada Buddhist kings in accordance with their own religious preferences.

The Bayon’s most distinctive feature is the multitude of serene and smiling stone faces on the many towers which jut out from the upper terrace and cluster around its central peak.[3] The temple is known also for two impressive sets of bas-reliefs, which present an unusual combination of mythological, historical, and mundane scenes. The current main conservatory body, the Japanese Government Team for the Safeguarding of Angkor has described the temple as “the most striking expression of the baroque style” of Khmer architecture, as contrasted with the classical style of Angkor Wat.

Angkor Wat which is the largest temple site in the world! Angkor Wat literally means “Temple City” or “City of Temples”.
Ta Prohm (Khmer: ប្រាសាទតាព្រហ្ម, pronunciation: prasat taprohm) is the modern name of the temple at Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia, built in the Bayon style largely in the late 12th and early 13th centuries and originally called Rajavihara (in Khmer: រាជវិហារ). Located approximately one kilometre east of Angkor Thom and on the southern edge of the East Baray, it was founded by the Khmer King Jayavarman VII as aMahayana Buddhist monastery and university. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Ta Prohm has been left in much the same condition in which it was found: the photogenic and atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings have made it one of Angkor’s most popular temples with visitors. UNESCO inscribed Ta Prohm on the World Heritage List in 1992. Today, it is one of the most visited complexes in Cambodia’s Angkor region. The conservation and restoration of Ta Prohm is a partnership project of the Archaeological Survey of India and the APSARA (Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap).
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This is also the site where tomb raider was filmed!  Very exotic with trees merging with the ruins and becoming a part of the arcitecture.
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This is my flashlight on the temple wall. You can go to the temples before sunrise with a guide explaining all of the temples in the moon and flashlight, very haunting and romantic!  then you can watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat.
Our guide’s flashlight as he explained the friezes and reliefs in the temples.
 Some more modern additions to the temples!

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After an Indiana Jones-esque morning, a delicious Cambodian breakfast hit the spot!


Loved the statues guarding the dramatic entrance to Bayon.


Breataking view with the peaceful carved stone face in the foreground and a canoe with bright pink lotuses in the water in the background.  So serene.


A view of Bayon from the outside – below is a detail of the wall carvings inside Bayon.



Detail of a Bayon relief.

Delicious green curry break in between temples!

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About Kirakira

Hi! I'm Suz, founder and designer behind Suz Somersall. I hope you love what you see. I'm so excited to share my collections with you!