Saturday, February 22, 2014

Temple run..

While stuck here in Siem Reap domestic airport due to flight delay. With thanks to my camera which conked out on me yest. I'm having this opportunity to blog on the go from my phone about Angkor Wat. =P

Angkor Wat: 'World's largest religious building' (Lonely Planet: Southeast Asia on a Shoestring Budget. Published Jul 2012.) 

'The hundreds of temples surviving today are but the sacred skeleton if the vast political, religious and social centre of the ancient Khmer empire. Angkor was a city that, at it's zenith, boasted a population of one million when London was a small town of 50,000. ... ... Right to dwell in structures of brick or stone was reserved for the gods.' (Lonely Planet: Southeast Asia on a Shoestring Budget. Published Jul 2012.) 

I went with 2 friends on this trip and after reading reviews of the amazing sunrise at Angkor Wat. We jumped onto the bandwagon and reached at 5.15am (Camobodia time) to watch the sun rise. 

After seeing the rise - which in my own honest opinion - is a different sense of amazing and breathtaking. It didn't 'wow!' me like I thought it would and I would swap it any day with a visit to Tibet. 

Anyways. We 'caught' out breakfast by the roadside before departing on the tuk tuk to Bayon. US$1 for a bowl of hot steaming pork porridge. 

At the gate before entering Angkor Thom. We saw 2 rows of statues depicting '54 demons and 54 gods engaged in an epic tug of war on the causeway.' (Lonely Planet: Southeast Asia on a Shoestring Budget. Published Jul 2012.) 

Angkor Thom was the last great capital of the Khmer empire and what we saw following did take our breaths away - literally. 

Wishing stones I believe. Stacked on top of another. Each with a prayer for a better future.

I took the chance to climb up the steps. And it was vertical enough to make you afraid to go down. 

A chance of life at Bayon. 'These huge visages glare down on every angle, exuding power and control with a hint if humanity - precisely the blend to required to hold sway over such a vast empire, ensuring disparate and far-flung populations yielded to the monarch's magnanimous will.' (Lonely Planet: Southeast Asia on a Shoestring Budget. Published Jul 2012.) 

And literally - breathtaking. The few hundreds of stairs we had to take in an almost vertical basis again.

And the Terrace of the Elephants. 

A short ice cream pit stop before heading over to Ta Phrom. 

One of the gates entering into the temple that was ruined by trees. 'Many temples were ruined by humans or animals. Ta Phrom is ruined by trees.' (Overhead from one of the tour guides bringing a group of tourists around.)

A friend taking picture of the other at the tree.

It was a great difference before and after conservation efforts. And it juz makes me think of the amount of work put into it. 

If I would come to Angkor again? I'll aim for the sunset at Angkor Wat this time. =)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ice ice baby!

The 2 Degree Ice Art exhibition was something which caught my eye a couple of weeks back and finally I made my way there after an impromptu meet up session with a friend over coffee (that's for another sharing). =) 

From the outside. The place looks quite 'cheap' as it was all container boxes kind. So. 

"Organised by Century Ice Wonderland with the participation of the Harbin International Ice Lantern Art Association, the exhibition gives locals a feel of the International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival held annually in China’s north east region of Harbin.
The 30-odd pieces of ice art feature the likes of regional and international landmarks such as the Singapore Merlion, London’s Big Ben and France’s Eiffel Tower which I have to say, are pretty admirable. On top of that, a handful of ice sculptures are actually carved from dyed or coloured ice blocks and are embedded with LED lighting which makes it much more vibrant and colourful than your usual ice sculptures." (

Entrance fee is S$32 plus S$5 for a coat. (Passion card members gets discount). Temperature inside was maintained at a cool -15 degrees Celsius. In Singapore context it's a bit too much to take in. But probably due to the course of work. -15 is really not too bad. Only thing was my fingers which were cold  despite the gloves. Other than that. Those who are working in the same line as me. I'm pretty sure we can survive at least a good 15 mins without a coat inside. =P

There were many landmarks that were familiar inside and the carvings were really intricate. I can only imagine the grandeur if I was in Harbin.

No. My tongue did not freeze. But yes. I was giving it a try. Hahaha. 

There was also a playground where you could take a tube up and slide down regardless of age. =)

And then I headed over to the Ice Bar! 

The drinking area inside.

And it was Dexter in an ice mug! I didn't manage to finish the drink for once coz I had too many cups of coffee earlier. =P But it was cool drinking from it! And my lips kinda got 'sticky' after a while to the mug. Hahaha. 

There were a couple of friends who were asking about the exhibition. Honestly from my personal point of view. It really wasn't quite up to my expectations. Too little landmarks (I completed the whole exhibition in 20 mins or so - and usually for an exhibition I take much longer) and it just was not worth the price. 

Your call. =)