Adventures of an American Seoul-Sister

Adventures and Observations of an American Seoul-Sister

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ta Phrom

After touring Angkor Thom, I tuk-tuk even deeper into the jungle to the best temple yet. Ta Phrom is entered via a half-mile walk through the jungle. It, too, is a smaller temple than Angkor Wat. What is truly impressive about Ta Phrom is that it is becoming overgrown with encroaching jungle. So, giant tree roots twist around crumbling stone ruins.  Around every corner is an amazing view.

I met another little boy at this temple. He work by selling woven wicker bracelets to tourists at the pitiful price of $1 for 10 bracelets. I watched him as I ate my lunch in front of the temple. He tried to sell to tourists who swatted at him like a bug, or shooed the dirty little brown boy from there own shiny, pink, affluent children. Shameful! When he wasn't selling, he was just like any little boy, playing on bits of the temple as if it were a jungle gym. He gobbled up the fruit I gave him with a huge smile.

One last thing: Can anyone give me advice on international adoption? Seriously.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Angkor Thom

The intense and humid heat nearly overcoming my senses, I continue from Angkor Wat by tuk-tuk down a monkey-inhabited dirt road to another temple, Angkor Thom. This temple was much smaller but more beautiful. The multi-towered structure featured giant stone Buddha/Brahman (?) faces on each tower.  (When I say giant, I mean that the faces alone were 12-15 feet tall, without considering the rest of the tower.)  Having cruised through this temple and being quite happy with the amount of decent photos taken, I crossed the road to another, smaller temple with an impressively long stone bridge, an elephant wall, and little boys who made their living collecting empty plastic water bottles (sorry, no pics of the boys).

Bridge to Thom

The smaller temple and bridge

Elephant Trunk Wall

Elephant Wall

 See another temple from this trip on my next post...

Angkor Wat

I spent one day in Siem Reap, Cambodia touring the various temples.  The first temple I visited, Angkor Wat, took hours to tour, and I still didn't see the whole thing..  It is the the largest religious structure in the world.  The walls are covered in stone carvings depicting ancient religious stories.  Angkor Wat is a strange combination of Buddhist and Hindu symbolism, having been used by both religions at different points in history.  Aside from being really ancient and beautiful, I met some cute little local boys there.  I gave them stickers, and they taught me to use their whirly toy. 

Some makeshift temples with offerings.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dr. Fish

I recently took a trip to Cambodia, and while in Siem Reap, I had a Dr. Fish foot massage.  Dr. Fish tanks are in front of just about every shop in Siem Reap and are really affordable.  It was a bit creepy, at first, to have dozens of tiny little suckers eating away at my feet.  Initially, it felt ticklish.  Then, after a while, it started to kinda hurt (in a weird electric shock sort of way) as my feet became tender.  In all, it was everything promised, both "Happy & Funny."  And, after the massage, my feet felt fantastic--very relaxed and sort of mentholated. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Water Puppet Theatre

Water puppet shows are a Vietnamese entertainment begun long ago by farmers.  Once performed in natural waterways, water puppet shows can now be seen in special theatres.  The theatres feature a water-stage and a live band playing traditional instruments.  The puppets are wooden dolls set on long bamboo poles and tell stories about rural daily life in Vietnam. 

A closer look at the puppets can be found at many tourist shops throughout Hanoi.