Cambodia: Behind The Scenes

Most people (me included) have this tendency to share pictures that are much better and more presentable. I mean, I normally don’t want to share a picture of myself in all my sweaty glory. Who would want that, right?

Anyway, since I realized that I already wrote pretty much everything about our trip to Siem Reap here, here and here (or better yet just check in the Travels menu for the complete list) I decided to show the not-so pretty side of traveling under the sweltering heat.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the never-before seen haggard pictures that I have been hiding from the public eye for almost two years:


Tada! We were literally covered in sweat.

The temperature at that time was nearing 40 degrees celsius. Even though we already live in a tropical country, the highest temperature that we experience in Manila is between 31-33 degrees. I almost gave up and begged everyone to just go back to the car but I didn’t want to spoil the fun and admittedly, I was also having fun myself.

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I just realized that I haven’t exactly written detailed posts about the trips I’ve been to for the past two years. Either I’m that busy or I’m just lazy but never mind, I’m here to change that.

The upcoming posts will be about the following trips:

Hong Kong – January 2013
Macau – January 2013
Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh and Mui Ne) – April 2013
Cambodia (Siem Reap) – April 2013
Thailand (Bangkok) – April 2013
Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur and Penang) – April 2013
Singapore – April 2013
Hong Kong – July 2013
Singapore – January 2014
Japan (Tokyo) – May 2014
Cagayan de Oro City – August 2014
Japan (Kyoto, Osaka and Nara) – January 2015

I know there’s a lot on my plate right now but I really want to share my adventures (and more often than not, misadventures) so I will try my best to complete this…within the year.

Wish me luck!

Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV

Ta Prohm

This photo was taken last April during our visit to Ta Prohm in Siem Reap, Cambodia. (This is where my spirit animal, Angelina Jolie, shot the film Tomb Raider.)

At first, I was having second thoughts about posting this photo. Is it unusual enough? I didn’t think it was that unusual. It just stood out from the rest. But then, I remember my mother asking me once, “How come you only took photos of huge rocks?” She saw the set of photos that I uploaded in Facebook, and she wasn’t all that happy when she only saw piles and piles of rocks.

Some people think that we should only take photos of people and beautiful scenery (with people in it), like my mother. Most people want to capture beauty instead of strange, neatness of chaos. Well, this photo is different.

I wanted to capture the chaos, the result of natural wear and tear that comes with age. These rocks withstood thousands of years of rain, shine, quakes, and wars, yet the whole structure is still standing strong. The roots of the trees have grown so much, to the point that most of them grew on top of the temple, inside the temple, and between the walls. There’s something gratifying in seeing something as unique as this.

For me, its age, organized chaos, and history are the factors that make Ta Prohm beautiful.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern

Bayon Temple

Angkor Thom a.k.a Bayon Temple

Pattern (n) – a repeated decorative design

Surprise, surprise! This post isn’t about pattern, but rather, the lack of it.

From afar, you would think that the designs in this temple are exactly the same. If you look closer, you will observe that this is not the case. One smile may be wider than the other’s, the expression different. This is all part of the exquisite design of the Angkor temples.

Just take a look at the photo below. This was taken in one of the walls inside Angkor Wat. It depicts the war between demons and the Hindu Gods, and if you’re patient enough to study each carving, you would see that every single image is unique.

Angkor Wat

What’s more impressive is this: the carvers have to perfect their carvings the first time. There’s no room for error, because if one of them makes a mistake, they have to replace the whole wall. And trust me, if it’s hard to find a gargantuan limestone rock at this day and age, how much more back then, when everything had to be done manually?

I guess this is one of the reasons why Siem Reap had become one of my favorite cities. It captured not only my heart, but also my mind, in just a couple of days.