Tuesday, January 31, 2006

adventure cambosky - day 3 (episode 2)

it's now tuesday...and as promised, episode 2 of adventure cambosky is here...sorry, sneak previews were only released to the select few in my family over the chinese new year. =)


adventure cambosky - day 3 (episode 2)

after the ungodly-hour start to day 3 (episode 1), we went back to the hotel for some breakfast and rest...

before setting off to the next must-see-angkor-temple...the temples of angkor thom...

entrance to angkor thom

"thom" actually means "great" in khmer (correct me if i'm wrong cambo jo)...so this was a kick-ass huge estate that king jayavarman vii reigned from the years 1181 - 1219. supposedly, at the height of it's glory, it was said to have supported a population of 1 million people...so when i say kick-ass huge, i really mean freaking big.

and obviously, if your population of 1 million is excluding the biggest land animals in the world, the proportion seems so much the greater...there were elephant statutes everywhere around angkor thom...

elephant statues

and even today, their descendants still thrive within the walls...

real angkor thom elephants

one of the most famous temples inside angkor thom is this place called the bayon...it's the second most popular angkor temple, after angkor wat...it's also known as the four-faced-buddha-temple...actually, i just made that up...but anyway, you'll see why...

entrance to bayon

and yet, more reminders of the gentle giants...

more elephants

there are a total of 54 towers with 216 buddhas smiling down on everyone...

bayon 1

bayon 2

and it was here that i decided to play around with my black and white settings on my nikon camera...some actually turned out not too bad...this kinda went on for a while, so don't worry, you're not occasionally colour blind...haha.

light at end of tunnel

bayon 3

there was this cute chic waiting for her prince...which we unfortunately deduced to be the ugly chinaman taking her picture. to each her own...haha.

bayon rapunzel

bayon 4

sorry, i didn't know what else to call you lah...

photographson (jason)

bayon four-faced buddha

bayon half-faced buddha

josonsky bayon 1

there were lots of stairs to climb, as with almost all of the other temples that we went to...all of which are so steep and narrow that a crash helmet is recommended...just in case you slip on any of the afore-mentioned chinaman's wads of spit...haha. kidding lah. bad karma moby... =)

bayon stairs

bayon is really magnificent...it must have literally taken all of the one million people who populated angkor thom to manufacture such a masterpiece...

bayon overview

josonsky bayon 2

as we left the bayon, to head on to another part of angkor thom, we saw this entrance somewhere...

middle-of-nowhere entrance

and we decided to take a break by taking another picture next to this big old tree...

josonsky before-cambo-jo-fall

cambo jo slipped when he was getting off the tiny hill towards the-middle-of-nowhere, and got a few scratches on his poor wittle thigh...he wanted me to put that in.

(notice hand on hip and slight limp)

entering nowhere

as it turned out, the middle of nowhere led us to this place called phimeanakas, which is supposedly the royal temple...

phimeanakas steps

"legend has it that at the top of the stairs, there's this place where the king was 'forced' to make love to this mystical serpent snake thingy every single night." - cambo jo

i didn't take pictures of that place cuz i didn't feel right about disturbing the sanctity of the sensual mating ground of a king (no less) and his snake...i wonder which hand he used? hahahaha. kidding kidding...bad karma...and no, i didn't NOT take pictures cuz i was scared of heights! serious! really!

there was one last place of interest inside angkor thom that i wanna include here in episode 2...which was this place called the terrace of elephants...

terrace of elephants carving

this place used to be a giant reviewing stand for public ceremonies and served as a base for the king's grand audience hall...these walls stretched for about 350m...

terrace of elephants wall

this is where the king would stand...

platform for king

imagine the king reviewing his troops before war...think of all the famous roman / greek / scottish war movies you've seen...all the infantry, cavalry, hourse-drawn chariots...and then add in elephant fighters!!! wowsers! it must have been quite a spectacle...

king's view

and thus ended our visit to angkor thom...but before we take a break, i wanna give you a tiny preview into episode 3...in the meantime, think angelina jolie for a while...trust me, it's something to do with it...i know it'll make at least 50% of you happy...haha.

preview to ta prohm

stay tuned...cheers... =)

Sunday, January 29, 2006

new year, new slate

happy new year everyone!

apologies for the sombre entry yesterday...i was kinda crazy.

anyway, i've been reading this book called "the alchemist"...and although i'm not finished yet, i highly recommend it to anyone who liked "the little prince"...it's very meaningful yet simple...

"'they're not my sheep anymore,' he said to himself, without nostalgia. 'they must be used to their new shepherd, and have probably already forgotten me. that's good. creatures like the sheep, that are used to travelling, know about moving on.'" - the alchemist

i'm a traveller...i know how to move on. new year, new slate...and i'm gonna make full use of it. watch out world. =)

(p.s. - i'm at my parent's place now in ntu, so i can't upload any more cambodia pictures till tuesday earliest...patience everyone. hehe.)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

moby lyrics

why does my heart, feel so bad...
why does my soul, feel so bad...

why does my heart, feel so bad...
why does my soul, feel so glad...

these open doors...

i'm a dreamer. =)

Friday, January 27, 2006

adventure cambosky - day 3 (episode 1)

ok...here's the thing...i took too many pictures during the trip, so i was forced to screen a hell of a lot of photos...but even so, i've still got too many pictures to load up in one post...i like too many of them...so i'm gonna have to break up (i hate that phrase) day 3 into a few episodes...so this is the first. =)

day 3 started with the 3 of us waking up at the ungodly hour of 430am...just so that we could do what everyone MUST do when they visit the angkorian temples: watch the sunrise at angkor wat...the mother of all temples in cambodia.

ungodly hour

we reached angkor wat at 501am...and after all the hype and suspense, this was my virgin view of the great angkor wat...

virgin view of angkor wat

what a way to start the day huh? but of course, patience is a virtue, of which moby has a lot of...hahaha...virtuous moby...doesn't really sound right lah...but anyway...i'll shut up now and let the pictures take you away...


angkor wat sunrise 1


angkor wat sunrise 2

then i tried another mode on my camera...542am:

angkor wat sunrise 3

but i found the colours a bit fake when i used "dusk" mode, so i changed it back to the normal mode...551am:

angkor wat sunrise 4


angkor wat sunrise 5

check out the difference in colour when i use "dusk"...*bleah*...600am:

angkor wat sunrise 6

the place was really crowded, as expected...check out the high tech equipment all the jap people had...


everyone was checking how their pictures turned out...including jason and cambo jo...

checking pictures

but what's a trip to angkor wat without great company right? =)

josonsky angkor wat

and then i'm finally walking into the most famous temple of cambodia...after all these months of anticipation...

angkor wat entrance

cambo jo insisted that we had to do a real tour of angkor wat...which meant walking around the perimeter of the temple, counterclockwise (don't even ask), before heading for the good stuff inside...

there were a lot of bas-reliefs carved on the perimeter walls of angkor wat (as well as the other temples that we visited)...i guess this was how people back then communicated the traditions and stories through the years without having to worry about book worms or accidental fires...the times before the first apple computer came out i guess...haha. anyway, i found this particular bas-relief kinda interesting, which is why i wanna feature it a bit:

the pictures of the carvings below, depict asuras (devils) and devas (gods) "churning the sea" in order to extract the elixir of immortality...which obviously everyone wants...apparently, they were kinda playing tug-o-war in the ocean (hence the "churning" of the water), using this serpent as the rope...whoever got it would be immortal.

these are the demons holding the head of the serpent...

churning of the ocean of milk 1

this is the referee...actually he's ultra-ruler (mega-god) named vishnu...he's at the centre of the carvings...

churning of the ocean of milk 2

and these are the gods holding the tail of the serpent...

churning of the ocean of milk 3

(i actually thought it was the other way around...meaning the gods were holding the head and the devils holding the tail...cuz of the very menacing-looking guy holding the tail...but apparently, he's the monkey god known as hanuman...one of the good guys.)

very interesting stuff...this, in a way, is so much more fun than learning history in the classroom...i recommend field trips here to anyone studying the mighty angkorian era. it's great to read about it and look at pictures, but it's just tremendously magnificent to actually see it for yourself.

another part about the temple which attracted my attention were the grilles on the windows...i just couldn't stop taking pictures of them...they were so cool! haha.

designer grilles 1

designer grilles 2

designer grilles 3

angkor wat residents

designer grilles 4

but then there were parts of the angkorian temple that were missing...

headless buddha

headless buddhas

sad. tomb raiders should be shot. except angelina jolie of course. =)

anyway, here are some other photos that i randomly took around the perimeter of angkor wat...

library 1

library 2

angkor wat corridor 1

angkor wat corridor 2

and then...we came to the climax (no pun intended)...the climb up the stupendously steep and horrifyingly narrow steps to the top of angkor wat...


cambo jo's ass

angkor wat summit

one tip though...when you're going up, just look at the steps...DON'T LOOK DOWN...it's freaking steep...i'm not afraid to admit that i have a minor fear of heights...so, it took a bit of effort for me to get up to the top...and let's not even talk about the trip down...haha.

anyway, i like the next picture cuz it reminds me of this scene in the movie "the shawshank redemption", when the black dude is standing in the sunlight talking to the white dude, who's standing in the shade...trying to give him hope of getting out of jail...brilliant cinematography. you gotta watch it to understand...but yeah, i like the shadow play in the picture...half half...dark bright... =)

angkor wat summit 2

i forced cambo jo and jason to take some pictures of me at angkor wat...so that i can show my kids next time what it's all about...

moby @ angkor wat 1

moby @ angkor wat 2

moby @ angkor wat 3

by the time we finished, the sun was already sky high. good stuff guys... =)

josonsky angkor wat 2

stay tuned for more of day 3! cheers. =)