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Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 1 & 2 : Tianjin - Beijing (Acrobatic & Great Wall of China)

From last entry to this one, we did a little kickboxing (invited by Evie for trial class), followed by a Baskin Robbin's night (wed: buy 1 scoop free 1 scoop), got myself a new purse for Christmas (mine already has a hole in it and that's bad luck!) and plenty of dancing as usual (what's new?).  The only difference was, it was doubly plenty of dancing this weekend, woo hooo!  Both Friday and Saturday.   A little crazy I know.  Nah, it's ok.  Not everyday we do that.  ;)  Oh ya... a gossip updating lunch session with a girlfriend too.  Now, that's destressing! hahaha...
About a month ago, the husband and I, together with our mothers went on a 7d/6n trip to Beijing which was planned approximately 6 months prior to it.  Finally gotten around to blog about this.  I would have forgotten all the details if I were to drag this entry any longer.  :p  Somehow, the brain doesn't seems to be working as well as how it used to work these days.  Too preoccupied with other things.  And I really wonder what other things.... lols...

The trip started off pretty well with our agent, also a family friend, booking us onto the premium class on Air Asia X.  I was a little apprehensive initially having to fork out the extras for it.  But I am glad I took it.  It was worth every penny spent.  The seats can actually be lowered down flat like a bed.  The husband snoozed throughout the 6.5hrs journey except waking up for meals/toilets.   And me, I was alternating between snoozing and curling up to read.  It was nice.  Always love to read on long flight.  Uninterrupted block of time. ;)  The verdict is, in future, for any destinations that is longer than 5hrs, we shall get the premium seats (i.e. if it is not too pricey).
Our flight departed Kuala Lumpur at 8:30am and arrived in Tianjin at approximately 3pm.  We flew to Tianjin and not Beijing cause Air Asia only serves Tianjin's route.  Spotted the peak of a hill as we were preparing to land.
A bird's eye view of Tianjin.  No, Redbabe's eye view actually.  A big part of Tianjin are covered in agricultural land which we observed later, on the road, was mostly grown with maize.  Plenty of maize' farms everywhere.  A little researched revealed that 40% of Tianjin are farmland that grows rice, wheat and maize (their important crops).  However, their main industry still lies in the manufacturing sector which consists of 54.8% of its total economy.
Was greeted by the first taste of early winter as we got out of the airport walking towards our awaiting bus.  The first thought was, "Hmm... if this is how cold it is, it's not too bad.  Nice!".  Having been born and bred in Malaysia, a country of tropical climate all year long, I don't have much experience to know what to expect of a winter.  All that I can do was to compare it to the few trips that I had years ago.  Let's see, it was autumn when I first in Perth and that was chilly when the wind blows.  It was winter when I was in HK years ago and that was really cold.  Or more recently, Spring in HK and it was pretty cold at night.  And all that, decides the clothes I packed.  Lols...
We were greeted by sights of sky scrappers all over as we were entering the once upon a time, ancient city.  I couldn't help but feeling in awe of the development that have taken place.
Our first taste of China's beer at dinner - Yanjing Beer, which doesn't taste like a beer at all.  More like some kind of sparkling with a very very light tinge of beer flavour.  :p  
The weather was getting rather chilly into the night as we got out of the restaurant.  Still nice.  Went for an acrobatic show in the theater above after that.  Not sure what's the name of the theater.  I may look like a Chinese, speaks like a Chinese, eats like a Chinese, but I can't read like a Chinese. :(  Maybe just a few words here and there which I picked up from karaoke mostly.  Lols....
The show was good.  After all, acrobatic has always been China's forte.  Seeing how they twist and fold their body is enough to make me feel queasy.  Seriously, do they even have a bone in them?
And this guy here, walk, jump, flip, summersault on this thin line of wire.  No security wire hooking on his body at all.  But then it was quite low la... won't die even if he fall.  Probably a broken bone or something which like I said, not sure if they even have.
A girl balancing stack of bowls on her head while doing that stunt.
This guy can play one hell of balls.  Not only does he juggles 8 balls at one go, he was doing all sort of stunts while juggling them.
This one here is interesting.  The light that you see inside it were actually the head lamps of motorbikes.
These 5 bikers were in that little sphere, going round and round in all directions without knocking into each other.  This is a pretty common stunt.  But, 5 bikers???!?  The most that I've ever watched were just 3 bikers and even then, the sphere were much bigger.  Quite scary lor...  It takes only 1 to miscalculate and all will end up in a pile of metals.

After the acrobatic show, we finally checked into our hotel.  
Next morning, on way out, we passed this conceptual architecture.  It supposed to house CCTV (a tv channel in China) but apparently due to some unforeseen circumstances, it has been left unoccupied for many years.  What a waste right.  
Our first stop was at the Beijing Waxworks Palace of the Ming Dynasty.  If you think Madam Tussaud's is great, this is superb.  Really.  Comparing the waxworks in Madam Tussaud's HK and here, this is far more realistic.  It was so realistic that I sometimes just stare at it hoping to catch it blink it's eyes.  Lols...
Those in Madam Tussaud's looks pale and like mannequins.  Those here, have rosy cheeks, healthy skin tone.  Just like real human.
It was so detail right down to every fine lines, wrinkles, arteries... I wanted to touch his face to feel it's texture but afraid it will offend him.  Lols.... It is so real that it could give you that kind of emotion.  Lols...
Lunch was good that day.  As it was only our second meal in Beijing, we haven't got bored with it yet.  :p  The cold weather makes it even yummier.  All I know is, yummy or not, I finished my bowl of rice at every meal for the 7 days.  
There was this bottle of liquor which contain 56% of alcohol.  We decided to have a go at it and boy...!  It feels like drinking fire.  It burns right thru from throat to stomach.  I think I would've blown fire if I've lighted a match in front of my mouth.  Imagine Norbert (Hadgrid's pet dragon in Harry Potter)... yeah... like that la... hahahaha... The husband and I found out later that evening, from a supermart, that it cost only 6 yuan per bottle.  Seriously, are they for drinking???!  Nevertheless, it does keep the body warm.
Stomach filled, we attempted The Great Wall of China, one of the wonders of the world!  Never have I imagine I would one day step foot on this ancient rocks.  Like the Angkor Wat, The Great Wall of China  is equally magnificent.  Built since the 5th century by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, thru the 16th century.  Majority of the wall was built during the Ming Dynasty and it stretches for approximate 8851.8km (include actual wall, trenches & natural defensive barriers such as hills & rivers). Amazing huh?  Imagine from Johor Bahru to Kayu Hitam, up and down at least 9 times or from New York-California-New York. 
At a particular stretch of the wall we visited, there was a long chain with lots of padlocks of variety sizes, colours and make, locked onto it.  On closer inspection, there were names engraved on it with messages like 'forever in love' and so forth.  I guess these padlocks are symbols of locking in the love for each other.
The toddler above were so mesmerized by all those shiny padlocks.  No, I didn't lock anything there.  Love should be free.  What's the point of love if it need to be locked in?  
We were told that we arrived in Beijing at it's best.  The weather was good and we still get to see the colours of autumn.  I totally agreed.  This shot was taken as I was hiking up the The Great Wall.  Can you too see the colours of autumns?
Check out the long stretch of Great Walls in the background.  Love this picture.
Me and mom having done two wonders of the world within a week!  (Angkor & Great Wall)
Most historical buildings in China basically look like this one above.  More or less the same.  Red, blue, green in colours with sentient animals (Qilin) decorating the corners to ward off evils.
Some buildings have 5 Qilins at the corners of it's roof, some have 3.  And some, as much as 7!  I am sure they have different meanings to it.  Anybody knows anything?
Still having plenty of time to spare (found out later it was miscommunication), we decided to enjoy the cool weather with a cup of hot coffee at this beautifully laid out cafe.
And I tell you, having arrived in China just slightly over a day, I was not used to it's currency yet (Seriously, it was not that difficult getting used to, just that, I wasn't thinking.  Caffeine withdrawal I think.).  Went to the counter and ordered for ourselves 3 lattes and 1 cappucino and happily handed 200yuan to the girl when she told me the bill came to about 190yuan.  When the husband asked me later how much it cost, only then it hit me how expensive that 4 cups of drinks cost.  Almost a hundred ringgit and it doesn't even taste like coffee, wtf!  I told both mothers and the husband to make sure they drink every drop of it.  Lols...  Of course non of us did cause like I said, it was horrible. :P
I guess I know why their coffees are so expensive.  Cause they uses Louis Vuitton dustbins.  :p

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Halfway thru bickering about something (I can't recall what it was now) with the husband which started with me calling him "Hantu" (ghost, demon, evil in Malay language) and ended with him mimicking me in it's reversed syllable, we made a realization.  The word "Hantu" read in reverse syllable is "Tuhan" which means God.  Perfect opposite meaning too.  Wow....!  So cool... Lols...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Almost A Decade Ago & Today

Weekend has been uneventful.  Finished reading the trilogy (What a story! Strongly recommended.).  Test driven a Golf GTI for the fun of it and got myself a free cap from Volkswagen (apparently it was 'test drive day' yesterday).  Went to sweat it out a little at the gym but got distracted halfway thru at the sight of super firm butt of two cute guys. But they are most probably gays.  Haven't you heard of the saying... "All good men are somebody else' husband and all cute guys are gays"?  Lols... 

Only halfway thru dinner with a bunch of friends last night that I realized it was 21st November.  A date 9 years ago, when the husband and I decided to get together and give us a try to see how far we would go.  I am still in awe that we actually have been an item for almost a decade.  9 years is a really long time.  But the best part is, it felt just like 'not too long ago'.  And seriously, if that is how 9 years felt like, 'ever after' might in fact be just 40 winks.

I interrupted the husband in the midst of his conversation with a friend and whispered into his ear, "Hey, today is 21st, the anniversary of us!".  He paused for a sec and went "21st November... yeah....our anniversary".  He then shake my hand and said... "Happy anniversary dear!".  Hahahaha...  I was like... "Wtf? Happy anniversary with a handshake?" lols... It was funny nevertheless.

Before married, we used to celebrate that date.  After marriage, seriously, we are not even sure which date we are suppose to celebrate.  Rightfully, we should be celebrating our wedding date.  But the date of our wedding is about 2.5 months after our civil ceremony (registration of our marriage).  By right, the registration is more important than the wedding day right?  And then, 21st Nov.  The date we started dating.  It should be equally important too for without that day, we won't be where we are today.  No?  Hmmm....  you get what I mean now?  It can get pretty complicated this anniversary business.

After being together for almost a decade, we sort of already have a mutual understanding re this.  Just a simple 'happy anniversary' wish will do.  I learned to understand that what really matters is at least we are still together this anniversary, happy and in love.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Girl Who Read :p

TGIF!  But I've nothing up my sleeves.  :)  Probably some work-out session, finish up the book I am currently reading, then watch the story in movies.  I am currently reading the third book (The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest) of a trilogy by Stieg Larsson, a Swedish writer.
Love the story line of book 1 & 2.  Very interesting.  Am halfway into the third, a bit boring on the first half cause it explain a lot on the bureaucracy of the Swedish governments.  Who wants to know about Swedish bureaucracy??!  We want complicated plots and exciting story lines.  Not some boring red tapes or procedure or laws.  Hehehe.... I think it's gonna be pretty interesting soon.  Another thing I love about these trilogy is, its book is freaking thick.  Can last pretty long for leisure reading. ;)  

Was at the DVDs shop last night and saw that they already have the movies for book 1 & 2.  Bought it and maybe I gonna have cozy movie night tonight!

Have a great weekend!


What a good night staying in watching movie.  It's raining heavily outside.  Nice!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Out of breath, needed Air Supply.

I was a little lazy to update blog as I don't know where to start.  I should have started with Beijing but then again, I am still seeing stars with the thousands of photos and again, I don't know where to start from there. Lols....
This past week (since last Fri) has been anything but mundane.  Joined the MRS group at Prinz (owned by another fellow MRS-ian) to celebrate a belated birthday for a member and a farewell for another who will be leaving us for Penang.  Hubby and I were just there for a short while and from photos plastered all over FB the next day, can tell that a big majority got 'wasted' towards the end of the night.  This is one car group that not only does car stuff together, but makan-makan (food), Baskin Robbin ice cream nights, runs, charity and latest I read, kick boxing too.  *thumbs up* ;)
Two weekends ago, while we were away for holiday, the salsa people had their Halloween Party :(.  So last Saturday, we make it a point to be there to celebrate the 1st Salsa Caliente Annivesary.  It was a blast in Modesto!  We had so much fun salsa-ing, bachata-ing & merengue-ing away on the dance floor for three and a half hour straight (the husband woke up to a backache the next morning...lols... over shook his bon bon!).  Can you spot me in the sea of red?  
Some crazy photos from Alina's camera taken with friends.  Can see everyone was drenched in sweat from all the dancing.  When this photo was taken, I was already into my second top.  The theme was red and black.  My first top was black.  :p
And one of Alina & me.  I told her I like this photo very much.  Her boobs cover half of my body thus making me look slimmer.  Hahahaha...  Nolar... actually, I thought her dress were rather pretty!  Yeah, really, it is the dress.  Not the slimmer me. :p
Next day, with the aching back (the husband), we joined some friends to Ti-Ratana for the handing over of gifts to the kids under the  'Gold Ribbon Campaign: Grant A Wish on Universal Children's Day'.  I thought it was just a simple event where we drop by, hand the gifts to the kids and chit chat a little.  It turned out to be more than that.   There were even performances from the kid *so cute*!  
I was rather horrified when I found out that we have to hand the gifts on stage *faint*.  Both kids that we have picked were not present to collect their gifts that day :( .  One was down with fever and the other one was helping out in the setting up of a Deepavali event. Representatives collected on their behalf.  Nevertheless, we hope they like what we have picked out for them.  
This little boy was smiling from ear to ear upon receiving his gifts.  :)  It is smiles like these that makes the effort worth while.  You can practically see all the kids went ballistic as they opened up their presents.  Hehehe.... The husband and I agreed that we shall do it again come next year. :)
With so much activities, we were naturally out of breath and needed some air supply... hehehe... So, it was Air Supply on Monday night with Florence.  Neither of us is a big fan.  We don't hate them nor love them.  We know we listen to them but couldn't quite pinpoint exactly which songs they sang.  We decided to go for it anyway and didn't regret the decisions a single bit.  As it turned out, we know quite lots of their songs. ;)  Though just the two of us, we had so much fun grooving to 'Lost In Love', 'Making Love Out Of Nothing At All', 'Goodbye' and many more... I never quite understood the idea of going to a concert but I think I am getting a hang of it and pretty enjoyed it too.  I guess, at the end of the day, it is the company that matters.  We both agreed that the next one would be Jay Chou's.  ;)
I was coincidentally in MidValley on Tuesday when tickets for Harry Potter's Deathly Hallows were opened for sale.  Really, I didn't camp overnight there for the tickets lols...  Splurged on the husband's monies and got ourselves 2 gold class tickets for Wednesday (yesterday).  We have both agreed a long time ago that we should pampered ourselves with the comfort gold class' have to offer once a month or whenever there are good movies that's worth the splurge.  We enjoyed Deathly Hallows immensely though it was a much much shorter version as compared to the book.  Now I can't wait till next year for the final part... *patient.... *
Got home after the movie and quickly got ready for the party that night.  Though it was supposed to be a belated Halloween Pyjamas Party, it looks more like a pyjamas party than a Halloween except for of course that bowl of worm jello (which turned out rather gross towards the night) and pumpkin candy prepared by yours truly.  hehehe...
As usual, we have too much food - sweet & sour crabs and salted egg crabs from Penny, roasted duck from Florence, tidbits from Caren, Taiwanese crispy chicken and some chicken floss rolls from Derek, green tea cake from WaiKong, fruits from Jason and etc... BUT, we still managed to finished 90% of it.  Unbelievable but true.  Not forgetting all the drinks too - Baileys, Remy Martin, Hennessy and don't know what else... 
I swear I only had a tiny weeny glass of Bailey's.  Yeah, I know, so not me.  But I just don't feel like drinking much last night. Imagine I am already like that with one small glass.  What would happen if I have more?  Lols... Not hard to imagine eh?  Hehehehe...  Probably would end up with more than one mole.  Lols...
We supposed to watch 'Paranormal' but ended up watching some really gross out show - The Piranhas.  Bloody.  Very bloody.  Limbless, dick-less, boobies-less, head-less.... Ewwwww.....  Overall, it was good as usual.  But I think we have lots of room for improvement when come to 'theme' night.  I myself didn't really try hard enough.  Found this old pyjamas which was used for the 'hair combing' ceremony when we got married two over years ago.  It is also the first time in my entire life I tied my hair in two pony tails.  Plus the mole and the extra red cheeks, I thought I look a little like some female ghost out of some chinese horror...that is if I just look somber.  But with that silly face, I think I look more like some mental asylum runaway... lols...
And as I was sitting here blogging out all the happenings, this fella simply dived head down into my coffee.  Where did all these flies came from all of a sudden???!  Hmm... I think I really did swallowed one the other time *blek* Damn flies.  Go die.

With a blink of an eye, it's already Thursday.  Weekend is here again.  Have some plans for weekend but I can't recall them for time being.  And it is already November too.  In slightly more than a month, it will be Christmas, then new year, then Chinese New Year.  Goodness me... whatever happened to 2010???!  Did it actually exists?

Friday, November 12, 2010

I just learned that 'IMHO' means 'In my humble/honest opinion'.  And 'IMMA' means 'I am going to..'...  Wtf?

How Does A Fly Taste Like?

Yesterday was a good day.  Except that, I 'think' I swallowed a fly.  I am not sure.  I am not sure if a fly fell into my hot Milo when I swatted it while I was working on my laptop.  The thought did crossed my mind but I thought... "The fly can't be so stupid right...".  When I drank it later, I wasn't looking.  Then I thought I felt something passing thru my throat.  It was too late.  I've already swallowed it. :p  

So for the whole of yesterday's morning, I felt queasy.  Disgusting la.. my stomach was having a rock n roll too.  Rumbling.  I know, I know, it's all in the mind.  Probably I was just hungry for I went for a walk in the morning.  Anyway, I am still not sure if I ate a fly. :p

Today is not too bad either.  Spent the whole afternoon shopping for a 12 years old girl and a 8 years old boy whose wishes we will be granting under the 'Gold Ribbon Campaign: Grant A Wish on Universal Children's Day' organized by the good people at Rainbow of Life Forces.  

Evening salsa class were pretty fun too.  Took our exam for our level this evening.  Hubby and I were just dancing away enjoying ourselves incorporating the few 'must do' variations while Pat (our instructor), marking away.  We both got about 44+/50. Not too bad taking into consideration the last time we practice was two weeks ago.  Lols....  

Joined a bachata class after that.  Just for the fun of it.  Learnt a few new moves.  The most enjoyable part of it was the company.  We had so much fun laughing away. 

What a good two days.  Except for the 'fly' part of course.  Ewww.... :p

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

3D2N Visiting Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia

As I was brushing my teeth on the first morning we got back from Beijing, noticed my arms were kind of flaky.  A result from Beijing?  Can't be.  Hardly had a chance seeing my bare arms while I was there except for those quick showers and quicker slabbing on tons of lotions before it was all bundled up again.

Then I remembered my kissing the Buddha trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia.  I totally forgotten about it after freezing my brain out for 7 long days in China.  :p  Scorching hot sun = sun burn.  It was so hot  in Cambodia that I think no amount of SPF can block the rays off.  I was practically dipping myself in SPF47 sunblock and yet, it still burn.  But then again, I was exposing a lot of skin also la...  :p
It was a 7:30am flight.  Meaning, we have to be out out of the house latest by  5am.  Crazy right?  I seriously have enough of all these crazy hour flights.  Arrived in Siem Reap at 8:30am  (1 hour behind  us)  to a broken lock on my newly acquired luggage.  On closer inspection, it looks like somebody must have tried to get into it but ran out of time to finish up the job.  Luckily I've got it cling-wrapped.  Otherwise, I would have to kiss goodbye to my speedflash and camera lens.

When I got back from the trip, the hubby went yadda yadda yadda...."Next time, please don't keep your camera stuff in the check-in luggage.  Hand carry them.".  At the back of my head, I was thinking... "Yeah, next trip you are coming along.  You can carry them all :p".

Note to self: Get a nice camera bag for hubby for Christmas to carry my camera stuff.  Did it sound right?

Due to lack of experience in this kind of matters, I did not report the breakage at the airport thus not  being able to claim any insurance for the repair.  Anyway, I've got it sent back to the manufacturer for repair.  Might not have to pay as it is still under warranty.  See how it goes. ;)
As it was still too early for lunch, our first stop was to this 'Angkor Artisan' place (which belongs to the government) to check out their crafts.  
We learned something new that day.  The process of silk making.  From eggs to larva, larva to worm, worm to cocoon and then to bug again.  It took approximately 12 days to complete a cycle.  These are plainly explanation in my own words for the guide we had for the trip was a total useless bugger.  :p  The picture above show the 'cocooning' stage.  I thought they look kinda pretty in this circular basket... :)
Walk passed trays of empty cocoons being sun in the open.  Purpose, not sure.  Maybe to completely dry it or kill germ.  :p
They are then boiled in a big pot of hot water to soften it before any silk thread can be extracted.
Here, the silk threads are being spin thru the gigantic machine into many smaller rolls before the colouring /dyeing process.
And finally, the threads are being weaved into an intricate piece of silk fabric.  Personally, I don't really fancy Cambodian or Thai's silk.  Their texture are pretty coarse to touch.  Or probably I just don't appreciate silk.  I am a 100% cotton person.  :p
At the end of the silk tour, we are all led into a souvenir shop selling silk crafts.  The prices were rather exorbitant by Cambodian standard.  But then again, I really have no clue of the rate silks are going at.
From silk, we proceed to wood carving.
A completed masterpiece.  Very smooth and nice.
A worker explaining to us how an elephant is being shaped.
Refining the elephants with details.  Very fine.
A representative from the Angkor Artisan explaining to mom how the finished product is being carved.  Seriously, with all the traveling this year, these stuffs are pretty boring already.  They are more or less the same from Ho Chi Minh to Bali, Bali to Siem Reap, even in Bangkok (which I went few years back).  Wood/Stone carving, silvers, lacquerware and etc.  The only difference would be their handiworks.  The Balinese are more detail and intricate.  The Cambodian's/Vietnamese' have less details, less edges and more rounded pieces.
It was lunch after all those crafting tours.  We were all famished.  We had like 12 - 13 dishes to be shared among the 6 of us.  More than we can finished actually.  Their vege are really fresh.  Taste wise, hmm... not too bad. Palatable. 
After lunch, we checked into our hotel and took a good nap.  Mom & I were so tired from the early morning flight.   Later in the afternoon, it was massage time.  Never in my entire lifetime had I experience a massage like this one.  One of its' kind.  Upon arrival, we are asked to change into a set of shirt and pants provided.  Then, all the 6 of us are being herded into a room and asked to lie on the thin mattresses on the floor where the massage would take place, fully clothed and oil-less.  Lols... It was pretty comical and we started to joke and laughed in the midst of it.  Nevertheless, an experience.  :p
We also managed to check out their market in town that day after our 'unforgettable' massage session.  They have plenty of stalls selling all sort of knick knacks.  Souvenirs, tshirts, silvers, dry goods, wet markets and etc.  Picture above is a stall that sells a variety of dried fishes.  They are actually pretty gross on closer inspection.
As we were walking thru their wet market, we spotted an open section that is dedicated to 'hair salon'.  Wash, blow dry, styling, mani & pedi.  A beauty parlour.  The corner is probably just a 2x3m space.  I asked mom if she would like to style her hair... lols....
Mom left her shades back in Malaysia and decided to get herself a pair of Gucci for just USD3.  Made her get a red one instead of those conventional black ones.  Funky right!
The market are pretty much like BenThan in Ho Chi Minh or Chak Tuk Chak in Bangkok except it is very much less crowded here and the sellers are less aggressive.  :)  Haggling process are shorter too and things are generally much much cheaper as compared to Vietnam/Bali.  But they have less varieties too.

There are lots of street vendors too.  I am usually pretty adventurous when comes to local food on the carts.  But somehow, in Siem Reap, I am a little skeptical. :p
Next day is actually the reason why I was even in Siem Reap.  We visited whatever that is still remain of the 12th century archaeology.  Did get much info from our guide and decided to just do my own research when we get back.

Our tourguide is one strange fella.  In comparison to all the other tourguides we came across that day, we all agreed that we got the worst one. There's no doubt about it.  :p  He hate his government, his country, lazy to explain, impatient and zero sense of humour. :p  The weather was rather gloomy on the day we visited the Angkor.  He is the only one that carries an umbrella.  lols...  

Anyway, here is a short history of Angkor Wat I gathered from Wikipedia & Wikitravel.  Angkor Wat was built in the early 12th century by King Suryavarman II as his temple and capital city.  A world largest and best preserved temple - first Hindu, then Buddhist.  It has even become the symbol of Cambodia appearing on its national flag.

Stretching over some 400sq km (including forested area), Angkor Archaeological Park contains the magnificent remains of several capitals of the Khmer Empire of the 9th to the 15th centuries including the largest pre industrial city in the world.  The most famous are the Temple of Angkor and Bayon with its countless sculptural decorations.

The park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992 and at the same time also being placed on the list of World Heritage in Danger due to looting, declining water table and unsustainable tourism. 
And I, just wanna visit it, touch it and feel a piece of it which is easily more than 850 years old in history before they are all gone.  And the experience is 'trance like' if you get what I mean.
Every corridors, every columns have a history of it's own.  It must have seen so much in those 850 over years.  The labourer who first constructed it,  kings/princes/princesses whom had strolled thru it, sweet nothing whispered from young & old lovers alike, wars that had taken place in it,  major decisions that had been made between those walls, looters who had carted away a piece of the history, ignorant individual who  had vandalised it, the thousands of tourists who had marvels at it or a silly girl like me sitting there wondering what had it seen.
Carving of Apsaras can be found all over the architecture.  Apsara - a celestial nymphs, always bare-breasted and usually dancing, representing an ideal of female beauty.  Note one of the leg is missing.  Either looted or vandalised over the years.
It is not just the Apsaras, statues of Buddhas too were not spared.  Most of them have missing heads, hands, torso, feets and so on.  It's sad to see the results of greed in this situation.  I can't explain them in words.  Basically it is just sad.  
I can't help but kept imagining how it must have been once upon a time.  Angkor Wat at it's glorious most era.  Its' Khymer/Hindu architecture were magnificent.  You can find all over the temple, carvings like this one.  So intricate and detail.  And we are talking about workmanship from 850 over years ago when tools are limited.  
Behind me is one of the four pools (which has been dried out) somewhere in Angkor.  It must have been a very pretty sight once upon a time ago; greenish pond, water fountains, Khmers girls/boys in their traditional costumes, sharing a joke by the pool.  

However beautiful it is, the scenery in Angkor all look more or less the same after awhile :p  and can get pretty confusing too.  Afterall, we only have 1 day to absorb it all.  Don't have much time to actually explore every nooks and corners (though I tried my utmost best to squeeze in as much as I could).  Believe it not, I actually took more than 1000 photos in that 2 days.  At one point, my finger actually ache from all the clicking.
Another broken column.  How I pray on that day in Angkor Wat, that someday, collectors from all over the world, would return every piece of Angkor Wat and restore it to its original beauty.  Looting has been an ever-growing threat to the Angkor archaeological landscape. According to APSARA, the official Cambodian agency charged with overseeing the management of Angkor, "vandalism has multiplied at a phenomenal rate, employing local populations to carry out the actual thefts with heavily armed intermediaries transporting the loots, often in tanks or armored personnel carriers, for sale across the Cambodian border."
I need to cover up my bareback and my legs in order to be allowed up in the temple above.  So I conveniently wrapped myself up in two shawls which I bought from one of the many stalls outside the temple.  And, both the shawls are of two difference colours.  :p Fashionable eh?  Lols... whatever goes la...
The reconstructed steps (over it's original) were so steep.  Enough to make my legs turn wobbly.  I just focus on the steps and refuse to look how far more I have to climb. :p   Since it's original steps are right underneath this reconstruction ones, just imagine, how much steeper the original ones are!  It really makes me wonder how they actually climb to the top those days.
Scenery from the top.  I seriously hated all the photos taken during that trip.  The lighting somehow seem kinda off.  Subject under exposed and non-subject over exposed no matter what settings I used.  *hmmrrpphhh!*
More detailed carvings.  Note the crooked wall, a result of declining water table.  With the increased growth in tourism at Angkor, new hotels and restaurants are being built to accommodate such growth. Each new construction project drills underground to reach the water table, which has a limited storage capacity. This demand on the water table could undermine the stability of the sandy soils under the monuments at Angkor, leading to cracks, fissures and collapses (quoted from Wikipedia).
'Terrace of the Elephants'.  350m long.  Named for the carvings of elephants on its eastern face.  It was once upon a time, used by king Jayavarman VII as a platform to view the return of his victorious armies or as a giant reviewing stand for public ceremonies and served as a base for the king's grand audience hall. Whatever that is left today were just its' foundation. It used to be very elaborated.
Pictures above are taken at Angkor Thom South Gate.  There are many statues lining both sides of the road leading to the gate.  Demons/devils on the right and Gods/angels on the left.  I was told the difference between this temple and all the others are it's pillars.  Met another fellow Malaysian tourist in our group and we  hangout together throughout the short trip. ;)
This is the Bayon Temple.  It's most distinctive feature is the huge stone faces on the many towers, on all four sides, on the upper terrace and cluster around its central peak.
Here, mom saying her prayers to a Buddha statue.
Faces of Buddhas can be found wherever you turn.  End of a passage, corner of the structure, high on a minaret and so forth.  Can't be missed.
An unmistakenable Khmer's structure.  More Apsaras.
The famous 'Ta Prohm' temple where the Tomb Raider was shot.  It is one temple that is best merged with the jungle.  Abandoned and neglected for centuries after the fall of the Khmer empire in the 15th century.  It was pretty late by time we got there.  Coupled with the gloomy weather and over looming tall trees, it was impossible to get a good photo. :( 
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. 
Inside Angkor Wat (and all the other smaller temples around it), you can find some locals, offering you incense (joss sticks) in exchange for a small tokens to pray to a particular Buddha statue they are manning.  They don't mean any harm.  They are just making a living out of it.  Picture above show a Cambodian lady sitting at a corner in Ta Prohm waiting for tourist to offer joss sticks while a group of tourists standing outside admiring the structure.

During that 2 short days while we were there, I can't help but kept wondering what does the Cambodians do to make a living?  Majority of them (that we saw) are so poor.  There is really nothing much in Cambodia besides tourism.  Not much other industries.    
Still in Ta Prohm.  It seems most structures in Angkor are built by stacking these big slabs of  rock together.   And this one here are covered in moss.  
 (picture googled from internet)

From Ta Prohm, we headed up Bakheng Hill for sunset!  Unfortunately for us, there were no sunset that day.  It was drizzling and the weather wasn't so nice.  Nevertheless, we still hike up the temple on top of the hill to have a bird's eye view of Angkor.  By time we hike down the hill, it was pitch black.  Luckily mom have a torchlight in her bag.  Smart eh?  Or we will probably be rolling downhill.

That evening, we enjoyed some traditional dance performance over a buffet dinner spread.  The food were so-so but the performance is ok.  Not too bad.  Their costumes were very elaborated. Their movements were so fluid.  Captivating. 

That is pretty much our 2D/2N trip to Siem Reap.  Besides learning a little on their history, cultural and lifestyles, have noted something else too.

During our super short trip there, I actually spotted not less than 5 men urinating in the public (behind trees/walls/corners). Hehehehe....  I also saw a man bathing and brushing his teeth in a river!  :p

Also learned that Cambodia is rich in many varieties of gems like sapphires, rubies and emeralds.  Their famous mines are located in Pailin and sapphires from Pailin are considered among the best sapphires in the world.  Psssstt.....*secret* I've bought some.  But, found a website later that says: "success of a purchase also depends on your knowledge in this domain, seller's honesty, your personal luck and intuition as there are no gemological institutes than can verify/produce an official certificate for the stone".
Since I have zero knowledge in this domain and I seriously have no faith in the seller's honesty, I doubt my luck and intuition will successified the stones purchased to be real.  Lols....  

I was joking with mom later that night.  Not sure if these are real or fakes.  Treasure it like some precious stones for half a lifetime, only to find out at death bed that they are just some coloured rocks.  Lols....
And here you have it, my 'Kissing the Buddha' trip to Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia.  It was nothing great but I get to see what I there to see. :)  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I visited it (except for the super hot weather of course).  

Now, the good news is, while I was in Siem Reap, I thought.... hmmm... why not I bring back a souvenir for you guys out there who have been following my blog faithfully day in day out?  And so, I did just that.  Gotten something really cute from 'Angkor Artisan'.  Just be the first to email me at gladyslcp@hotmail.com with your name and address and I'll send it out to you wherever you are! :)