Tag Archives: temple

Bali road trip – lot’s of road

15 Feb

Sticky rice on the rice terraces

For some reason Indonesia (Bali) seems tougher to get around in than Thailand. There’s a lot more ‘services’ that just blatantly rip you off – with a friendly smile. Once you get a feel for the prices though, you can get good deals – so we booked ourselves a trip around Bali, mixing and matching the ‘standard tours’ and going off the tourist trail a bit. I’m not sure if the mixing of different sights was a good idea, as we ended up spending quite some hours in the car getting to the sights… But I guess that a road trip involves being on the road… lots of road… Pics below. Continue reading

Tuptim Fertility Temple

8 Feb
Have your pick, or is it d...

Have your pick, or is it d...

Another one on the list of surreal temples – one dedicated to Fertility: the Mae TupTim shrine. And fertility for the Thais seems to be a quite ‘male affair’ as you will see on the pictures… The shrine is well hidden behind the parking lot of the Nai Lert Park hotel, a 15 minute walk from the nearest Skytrain station, but quite interesting. Well, let’s say, it depends on your ‘interests’ – hehe.

If you are interested in more ‘funny’ temples: have a look at the ‘Million Bottle Temple‘, the disputed Preah Vihaer temple or the forgotten jungle temple – and more temples.

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Temple forgotten and found back

29 Jan

Jungle likes temple ;-) Me too

How much temples can one digest? I had seen a fair bit of Angkor Wat temples on my previous trip, so now it was time to see the more ‘special ones’ (like the Million bottle Temple). I went to see the Bang Malea jungle temple some 75 km from Siem Reap (pics below).

    Think twice before venturing out too far too pee: mines!

  • PS careful when you take a p-p-break along the road – some areas still haven’t been cleared of mines (see sign ;-)

Bang Mealea is a temple that was long lost and forgotten and it had completely fallen to ruins. The jungle nevertheless adopted the ruins and trees grew upon the ancient buildings. As it is far away from Siem Reap (1,5 hours by tuk tuk), it is relatively peaceful and quiet, set amidst de shady greenery. Visiting the temple actually involves climbing over the rubble and ducking under the doorways – I assume, completely in line with health and safety regulations (yeah, right). Continue reading

Preah Vihaer border temple

25 Jan

The traditional 'I was there' pic ;-)

One of the must-sees on my trip and the reason for hopping over the not so common Thai-Khmer border crossing, was the Preah Vihaer temple. It is not only declared UNESCO world heritage (since 2008) but it is also the subject of vigorous quibbles between two oh-so peaceful countries. So if even two zen countries fight a war over it, it must be amazing (pics below).

So I asked well around before setting off to this well hidden temple at the Thai border. The holy guidebook told me that the trip involved having dollars ready to ‘support’ the Cambodian soldiers (so that they let you through). My guesthouse girl (who looked very much like a boy though) told me that there were shared taxis from the one and only Anlong Veng roundabout going to the road crossing at the foot of the hill/mountain. From there I would need to take a motorbike up the steep slopes (because no common vehicles would manage). Continue reading

A temple made of a million bottles!

23 Jan

Made out of a million bottles

This is the most impressive temple ever. Even though I’ve seen Angkor Wat near Siem Reap or Bangkok’s Grand Palace, this well-hidden temple in the North-East of Thailand is surely the most original. A temple completely made out of glass bottles! (pics below). Continue reading

Happy Wesak 2052 – Buddha’s birth

9 May
Burning my little lotus candle for Buddha

Burning my little lotus candle for Buddha

Yep – Happy New Year again! (for the 4th time this year, I know) This time the New Year took my by surprise. I was walking around town and on the spur of the moment, I thought to do something cultural, instead of only lying at the beach, reading, blogging and gazing at the beautiful sunset every night.

So I went to visit the lying Buddha in the Thai temple, and the Burmese Buddhist temple (in the same street). There were many many people around, and I only realized what was going on when I saw a little paper on the wall explaining that today is Wesak – Buddhist religious new year 2052. It was 2052 years ago that Buddha was born. So I decided to join in and get my blessing from the monks and light a flower candle for Buddha. Continue reading

Solo Picture post

27 Apr
What would I do without AirAsia

What would I do without AirAsia

Basically I just went to Solo because I found a cheap AirAsia flight from Solo to Kuala Lumpur. Solo is the competitor city with Jogjakarta to be Indonesia’s intellectual capital, with good universities and political dissidents. Solo is smaller than Jogja, but therefore a bit more authentically Indonesian (or should I say Javanese) and more relaxed. And that’s what I did – a day of relaxing – just wandering around the city without a clue – seeing, tasting, hearing, smelling,…

But I did come across some of the sights: Sultan’s palace (similar to Jogja), Dutch leftover buildings, some temples and many mosques (it’s only in Java I realized Indonesia is a mainly muslim country, Bali is majoritarian Hindu).

  • Some pictures below

Continue reading

The Pan-Indonesia connection

25 Apr
Jogja in 2 days - thanx to friends

Jogja in 2 days - thanx to friends

I met a friend in Bali who showed us around town, took us to eat in some local places, went dancing with us in the weekend. We had a good connection. And good connections bring you very far in Indonesia, very far as I found out.

When I discovered that I had only a few days left in Indonesia (because of a ticket I had booked months before, without thinking too much) I thought I would not have the opportunity to see much of Java. But that was without counting on my Bali friend.

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Venturing out into Bali Countryside

21 Apr
Typical Ubud street - with those Balinese sticks everywhere

Typical Ubud street - with those Balinese sticks everywhere

Even though our Villa was very comfortable, and we even found the beach once we figured out that it is actually a garden next to the beach, we did go and explore the countryside of Bali. We rented a motorbike (with all its complications – and being stopped by the police), and set off on our explorations.

The inner island is if possible even more quaint and beautiful than the areas along the beaches, where we were staying. We visited Ubud, which has probably just as many tourists as the sea-side but it was nice to be away from the hustle and bustle of the busy beach roads.

  • The best way to share with you the look and feel of Balinese countryside culture, is to upload the pictures – many below.

Continue reading

Once upon a time… French influence

3 Apr
Kampot town - South Cambodia

Kampot town - South Cambodia

It is probably impossible to get rid of one’s colonial past, and you could ask yourself if the past is just a part of your Culture like anything else.So why not embrace it and be proud of it?

Around South-East Asia the French have been very active, and I must say that the most of the beautiful architecture (the houses or areas that would jump to the eye and stick out) are French. Around Cambodia for example many of the quaint areas, are the streets where some of the French colonial houses ‘survived’. Continue reading

Why not have a Picnic at the Temple

11 Jan
King Shihanouk's temple in Phnom Reap

King Shihanouk's temple in Phnom Reap

Sunday is a lazy day, so what should one do? Before going to Shihanouk ville, why not visit a temple built by king Shihanouk in Phnom Reap (a funny mix between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap: phnom meaning mountain, and reap plain). I would have never come to this idea, but it was the (gay) Cambodian friends that suggested it, so why not go with a flow and jump into this intercultural experience (on top of that joined by 2 Finish guys as well).

It was definitely off the beaten track – literally, because the road going there was loose sand and we had to push the tuk-tuk at several occasions – on top of that Continue reading

Angor What? Temples a go-go

8 Jan
Welcome to the Ancient Kingdom of Angkor

Welcome to the Ancient Kingdom of Angkor

So after almost 3 days of relaxing at the pool, I thought it would be time for doing the deed – seeing what one should see: the world famous temples of Angkor Wat. (actually Angkor Wat is only one of the many Angkor temples around that area). I didn’t really feel like it, but missing this part of world heritage would be unforgivable. But instead of doing what thousands others do (getting a tuk-tuk driver for the day to buzz you around the place, and pay far too much for it = 15 US$ – too much in Cambodia is pretty relative, probably a bargain for us wild westerners),

I did it in an alternative way and rented a bike to go around the place. It did not only allow me to go around the sites at my own pace, but it was good exercise at the same time – after one and a half weeks without sports (I start missing it-so I went jogging around Siem Reap one of the mornings – but jogging at 35° and sun, that was not such a clever idea – and getting up at 6am is not yet part of my repertoire). And only 1,5 US$ – a bargain. It was such a feeling of freedom to be able to go where and when you want… without being confined to tuk-tuks or moto-dubs – and actually knowing where you want to go…

Riding my bike around history...

Riding my bike around history...

Just the same as jogging, it would probably not be a clever idea to be cycling in the heat of the day, so doing the Angkor temples did involve (unfortunately) at the crack of dawn = 5 am, having breakfast at 6am and I was on the road by 6h30 and arrived at my first temple in the sun rise at 7am (how’s that for holidays!). Continue reading

My new love: sunset

6 Jan
Sun setting over Tonle Sap lake

Sun setting over Tonle Sap lake

I was a bit wary of traveling on my own after hanging out with a whole bunch of people all the time in Phnom Penh. But the first day I arrived in Siem Reap, who do I meet? – the Belgian guys from Brussels whom I met at the Killing Fields (small world) so we went for coffee and cake – such a small world. And besides that, who should be alone in the time and age of internet… I also met up with a guy I got to know on internet. Always good to go accompanied (or maybe I don’t like to be alone, or maybe I don’t like myself, or I don’t like the sound of silence… Something to think about).

This Cambodian friend of mine Continue reading

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