Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dispatches from Siem Reap - III

Sometimes it's not just the architecture of Siem Reap that catches your eyes...

Granted that it will be tough to find a better etched pink sandstone building than Bantey Shrei, the temple said to be built by women...

But it's also tough to tear your eyes away from these two, that rest lightly on their heritage.

There are also those occasions when you trek up the most arduous of jungle paths...

to get a glimpse of that engraving hidden away in a river bed.

You ride on past the most interesting of road signs...

To reach the most isolated of temples...

only to find smiles that engage and intrigue you more than the gods and goddesses etched on the walls.

Sometimes it's 'what's not in the guidebooks', that show you the spirit of a town, something that we hope to see a little more of in the coming days.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dispatches from Siem Reap - II

It's been a day of jumping out of bed at 4 am, sitting in a Tuk-Tuk that rattles your bones and wrapping shawls tightly around to shake off the piercing morning chill.

Then on to getting Passes with bleary eyed and wide smiling faces and on through the broad roads, only to see a shadow of the great wall, across the black moat that surrounds the ancient monument.
Stumbling on the ancient causeway, we make our way through darkened entrances where no Agarbati can fully mask the mustiness left behind by creatures of the night.

As one, we move with travellers who've come from across the world, to see that age old spectacle of the rising sun as it lights up the Angkor Wat, one of those monuments that leave even the most arrogant of the human race humbled.

Fingertips tracing ancient scripts and with heads bowed down to deities that are centuries old, we tread softly through corridors that tell us tales of bygone eras. Overwhelmed, we walk a few metres away, trying to comprehend, how the first Non-Khmer who saw it's Gopuras rise through the dense forest must have reacted.

Faces look down on us, following our footsteps, a knowing smile in place as we pick our way through the mazes and the spirit of balanced chaos that abounds at Bayon.

Skilled artisans and benevolent kings as those master builders of yore might have been, at the end, we are forced to accept that it's always Mother Nature who has the final word.

Tomorrow will be a new day, with much more to see...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Dispatches from Siem Reap I

Landed in the Kingdom of smiles. A quick run through the museum later, me and Amma are calling it a day.
After all, tomorrow we need to be up before the crack of dawn to see it break over the Angkor Wat.

Anticipation and excitement and the hope that it will be as awe-inspiring as last time are creating butterflies flit away on a manic trip within my stomach.

There will be more on what the experience was like in tomorrow's dispatch.

But till then I'll leave you with the two things that we'll arm ourselves with as we wait for that sunrise.

You all know what I'll be dreaming of tonight.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Hello fellow travellers,
It's been a while yes, but to know why the travel blog's been languishing head to
Not an excuse, but I've been chained to the desk, putting finishing touches on my first book and travelling has not been an option. Sigh!
But I've managed to try and spread the need to get out there and see the world through a new column in RobinAge
Passport is a travel column for children and here goes some of the articles that have been featured so far.

So if you are intrepid travellers who have children of your own or have nephews and nieces that you would like to nudge in the direction, you know which paper to pick up for them.

On another note, there are quite a lot of travel stories coming your way this November.
For starters watch out for my dispatches from Siem Reap that starts this Friday.

Till then stay safe and remember to dream of a new destination tonight!