Let me share a bit about my traveling bug that started around the year 2006. That time AirAsia just started their first ZERO FARES which I guessed was in early 2005 and no friends of mine dared to click & book many months ahead which was the requirement. I took the daring plunge and risks to click so many destinations without second thoughts. We happily flew to Siem Reap, Bali, Bangkok, Penang and others over the period of 24 months!
I decided to post something which I unexpectedly found in my external hard disk. These photos were taken in 2006 at Cambodia's Angkor Wat ruins before I started my blog in the year 2008.
1. That was my first trip to a place which has full of historical buildings inside the huge ruins of the Angkor Wat's Ancient City. I remember that I was very stunned and probably shocked to see so many gated ruins all over Siem Reap. The trip made me think a lot with self reflects that this once feared Kingdom fought many battles with Thailand, Burma and others several hundred years ago.
2. The holy monks sat high above inside the ruins and looked out.
It tells me that "Nothing Is Permanent In Life." Even this once very powerful and rich kingdom could be reduced to a poor and powerless nation today. Unbelievable!
3. The steps are all very small and so narrow that only allows half your feet size to step on. The travel books explained that it was made in such to force the folks to humbly look down while making their way up to pay respects to the shrines or warlords above.
4. Most of the ancient ruins were carved out of huge granite rocks and boulders! They did not have machines or helicopters to carry them up so high. It was so thought provoking for me for many years about this Khmer Empire!
5. I was much younger, looking fatter and ugly before I signed up the gym to stay healthy.
6. These elephants took lazy tourists up the hill at Phnom Bakheng to watch the sunset. My wife strongly objected saying that it would be cruel of me to pay for these suffering elephants to carry me when I still have 2 good legs for walking. Ommmph!!! Poor me, I had to walk and whine all my way up. It was so damn hot but so fun to greet "Hello" to all those poor elephants who passed us.
7. Nah! Where's the sunset? We had to wait for a few hours more like those sohaiiis. We took many photos and trekked down again. Adoi...!!!
8. The next day, our hired tour guide Ngoy Nget drove us in his old Camry to a place farawaaaay. We went to hike up the Kulen Hills which was famous for its amazing waterfalls!
9. This was half way up to Kulen Hills and called "Kbal Spean" the famous valley of 1000 Lingas and carvings. If you wish to understand and see more photos of Lingas - Click HERE
10. Goodness! It was a drought season with no rains. The waterfalls were dry and all the butterflies were so thirsty like me.
11. That evening we proceeded to another magnificent place where they claimed to be the last built ancient structures where they have the best preserved & intact carvings until today.
12. I have forgotten the name of this very isolated place. Anyone knows, please advise me! The buildings were never completed as their chaotic Kingdom was falling then. It has attracted thousands of prominent tourists here to study and observe the drawings and ancient patterns!
13. LOOK!!! I bumped into this very famous actor and film director here.
He is Tsui Hark.
14. We greeted "Hi" and he was so busy walking all over the place to survey the whole place for their shapes and designs. I just kay poh & followed him everywhere.
15. His entourage from HKG consisted so many members and I guessed they were film crews.
He spoke and behaved exactly like in the movies - all of himself naturally.
16. Since that day, I could see that he has the best computer graphics and animations in all the big budget movies made in China. It is not easy to be successful and rich with inspirations without traveling overseas. As a result, my own hunger and interests for very ancient historical sites have taken me to China several times.
17. We stayed in this lovely hotel that have a traditional looking hut for its restaurant. The chefs were Europeans and they cooked very marvelous meals.
18. We both concluded that hotel served the best breakfasts and yoghurt we have ever eaten anywhere.
That's all my friends and my photos were selected to be different from SK's awesome ones. We have quite similar photos actually but you can view his lovely photos HERE