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May 24, 2009

Conquering Ta Prohm~

Princess Cheryl's thought of the day:- Just came back from Borders searching for travel guides on Marrakech.. In short, I think my pocket will be empty again in another 2 weeks... Hmm...should we transit through London or Paris??

After a hard day work and the cheerings of winning the Champion of QIC09 APAC session SiemReapII), finally we're off to sightseeing on the 3rd day in Siem Reap!!




We're being grouped with our jurys in the same bus for English speaking guided tour. Frankly speaking, the extrovert gang in the same bus. Mr.Long our tour guide gave very detailed explaination on the history of Siem Reap. I did not pay pretty much attention to the details but one thing that I'm very sure of is that Cambodian hates Thais VERY VERY MUCH. So we told Nai to shut up and never mention that he's is a Thai mix.



First station was Ta Prohm. If you do not have any idea where is Ta Prohm, check out Tomb Raider. It's the filming location of Tomb Raider (starring Angelina Jolie) back in year 2001. But without a ticket, you can't enter any of the temples. So, we went to the ticketing counter to get our entrance tickets.



You pay USD20 for a one day pass yet there are so many rules and regulations to be followed! Look at #6: "If you laminate, lose, tear, wet or disappear date and photograph, you have to buy a new one."
What's wrong with me laminating my ticket after I've paid USD20??!



And... No ticket no talk.
Well, should be no photo on ticket no talk.
So first thing is to queue and snap your photo. You can get the ticket on the spot.



My sleepy face on the ticket...didn't sleep enough due to excitement last night after winning the award..haahhaa



Angkor is not a small place. Look at the map!




And the environment is damn dusty, trust me. Lots of tuk tuk drivers do wear face masks. You will actually see the tissue change from white to yellow if you wipe with a wet tissue. No kidding..



However the sceneries along our way to Ta Prohm is really marvellous!!



This is not a river nor a lake. It's a man made 'drain' that surrounds the Angkor Wat. According to Fengshui, the temple at the middle represents mountain, thus the surroundings must be balanced by river.



Stagnant water but very very beautiful reflections..



Seen this on the way to Ta Prohm. All the Buddha sculptures were being destroyed due to change from Buddhism to Hinduism by one of the kings. Thus I always believe that there are 2 things which have the most influence on people: religions and politics. They can easily unite and also destroy the world since ancient time.



Not long after the car ride, we finally reached Ta Prohm. This is the parking space where the locals sell souvenirs and handicrafts.



The symbolic relics of Ta Prohm.



I've forgotten which gate that we entered, only remember either from East to West or West to East, and the whole journey was approximately 1km.



Little kid relaxing on the chair. If a photo taken required USD1 to be paid, he can easily earn USD50-100 per day.



I noticed that wherever we go in Siem Reap, there'll be a group of performers sitting by the roadside like this...even at the Pub Street last night.



My photography gang during the trip..



And my crazy partner... Was there gold hanging on the tree??



Amazingly straight!!



Mr. Long was trying to explain about the tree. It actually some sort of a rubber tree.



And it does look funny...just like...you know what. =p



I felt a little upset when these relics are now starting to collapse, one by one...



Work being done to put things back in place.




And they're trying to save a dead tree from falling onto another ruin.



Whatever it is, it didn't keep us away from photoshooting still...




Monkey face~





This nearly 1000-year-old site is not only for historical excursions but also a place for some people to earn their livings. USD10 per drawing, not expensive though!



The poser.



And poser.



Exploring the maze.



Finally the 8 of us back together. Been walking separately since then. I know they can't tahan that I'm such a camwhore.



Simon's wife showing some creepy crawlies~



I wonder how long did it take to stack big stones together and then carve the sculptures...



Guardians of the 'tomb'.



Well, this is my favorite part of Ta Prohm - a shining looking tree!!



Not only caught my attention but everybody else's. Did anybody actually painted the tree silver??!!! It really shines under the sun.




We ran to another side to take a different view of the tree..



COOL!!



Holes on walls of the towers. According to history, there were diamonds, rubys, sapphires and many other gemstones burried on the walls. All were taken and left only the holes..



Evy lead us to the place where Tomb Raider was filmed.



Make way! The fake Lara Croft in action!!



I think this is the group of 5 towers.. 2 of the 5.



Another stall selling handicrafts in the middle of Ta Prohm.



Very historical background... of the roots of trees...




Finally I saw a few monks. I thought there should be more but all along the 1km walk I only met 3.



My journey in Ta Prohm had almost reach the end, say 4/5.



Here's another artist. Very focused on his work..



Roots of trees had destroyed a lot of the relics. Sigh..how many more ruins will collapse??



Free professional shots by Simon.



We had one too!! The young ambassadors of Philips Lumileds Lighting Malaysia~ Any modelling agencies wanna hire us for part time jobs?



1km had come to the end! I was almost dehydrated, sweating nonstop. The weather's crazy and super hot! I need water! W-A-T-E-R~~~



Beautiful reflections.



Troubles came when we reached the exit!! This was worse than in Sapa!! The kiddos will tag along and grab your arms, or even cry if you don't wanna buy from them... *nearly fainted*



But...can you resist the look??



I can tell you that this bunch of kids will be great people if they are offered good education. They can tell you the names of the Prime Ministers or the capital city of countries around the world without even have to think twice! I feel ashame, being a uni grad I can't even beat them on travel knowledges.



I had nothing much to offer them but to spend some USD buying 2 books, a set of postcards, and some bracelets. I hope that would help a bit to make their life better.



So I guess that's why the uncle and aunty did a lot of shopping there... Donors of the day~



And I'm pretty sure Nai's spent more than a hundred ringgit in just 10 minutes.. Hahahha...



...to be continued...

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