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Welcome to our blogs. We document our family adventure during this year of travel.  Wishing you well on your journey!

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Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap, Cambodia

21.12 - 28.12.2016

The original plan was to spend Christmas in Phnom Penh.  We changed it in order to get to Bangkok earlier.  Alvin's glasses broke the day before we left Vietnam and he's been wearing his old backup pair.  We asked all over Phnom Penh but they would need to send to Germany or France because the lens are so specialized.  We then decided to try our luck in Bangkok which meant leaving Phnom Penh earlier and spending Christmas in Siem Reap.   None of the places we booked while in Canada had space for us so we had to cancel those and find something else.  Something else turned out to be Silver Palm Residence.  The most luxurious place we have yet to stay in.  Complimentary breakfast and a beautiful swimming pool that the kids daily.  The cost per room was 40-50usd.  We stayed in two.  The staff, especially the manager, was very helpful.  He is very passionate about his country and it's future so it's very inspiring talking with him.  An election is coming in 2018.  The tumultuous governing history of Cambodia continues.

One week in Siem Reap went by quickly.  We were thankful for a wonderful Christmas Day.  Family time in the morning was meaningful and intimate.  We were able to join a local home church for a Christmas service later in the afternoon followed by a potluck supper.    

 Alvin gave gifts of gum, pencils and a bucket of jelly!

Alvin gave gifts of gum, pencils and a bucket of jelly!

 Emma's cards for each of us.

Emma's cards for each of us.

  Emma loving the electric bike.  It's only for the city as the batteries won't last long enough to tour around the temples so we tried it just for fun.

Emma loving the electric bike.  It's only for the city as the batteries won't last long enough to tour around the temples so we tried it just for fun.

 In the evenings, there are various markets.  This gentleman from Turkey showed Lucy how to create a duck.

In the evenings, there are various markets.  This gentleman from Turkey showed Lucy how to create a duck.

We bought the 3 day pass for the temples so we could take our time.  We started after 7am and ended before 2.   By the 3rd day, we were all templed out.  Even though there was a lot of walking around and in the temples.  We were tuk tuked around between temples which was such a nice way to see the sites.

 Angkor Wat - our guide trying to teach us about Hindu gods 

Angkor Wat - our guide trying to teach us about Hindu gods 

Day 1 with a guide.

Ta Prohm, Angkor Thom, Angkor Wat.  The 3 most popular temples.  We did it in this order with our guide in an attempt to avoid the crowds.  The best thing we did though, was to skip lunch.  Our guide was hesitant, so we convinced him with sweet pastries.    We had the overcrowded  Angkor Wat nearly to ourselves during those hours.

 Ta Prohm was as amazing as imagined.  The jungle's presence within the ruins was spectacular.  Some of the other temples are similar with this but less crowded because it's less popular.

Ta Prohm was as amazing as imagined.  The jungle's presence within the ruins was spectacular.  Some of the other temples are similar with this but less crowded because it's less popular.

 Running above the walls of Angkor Thom

Running above the walls of Angkor Thom

 Look who we met.  An entire troop of them!

Look who we met.  An entire troop of them!

 Day 1, we needed 2 tuk tuks. 

Day 1, we needed 2 tuk tuks. 

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 In the towers (and there were many), we were taught by our guide to tap our heart.  In a good one like this one, you could feel it vibrate throughout your entire body.  

In the towers (and there were many), we were taught by our guide to tap our heart.  In a good one like this one, you could feel it vibrate throughout your entire body.  

 To match the statues

To match the statues

 nose to nose

nose to nose

 The tour guides waiting below for the visitors that climb up to the main tower.

The tour guides waiting below for the visitors that climb up to the main tower.

Day 2 

Prasat Kravan, Barteay Kdei, Pre Rup, East Mebon, Ta Som, Neak Poan, Preah Khan.

These were smaller temples.  Some like the Preah Khan, Ta Som and Barteay Kdei we especially liked but not sure exactly which is which as it's been a month now and my memory is getting blurred.

 

 So many nooks and crannies to explore!

So many nooks and crannies to explore!

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 entrance to the one of the staff quarters.

entrance to the one of the staff quarters.

Day 3 happened after Christmas day. 

We joined in the crazy practice of sunrise viewing at Angkor Wat.  To skip the crowd who entered the west gate, we went in the east gate.  It was a longer walk in the dark but we found a good spot to settle.  The sun came up in a somewhat clear sky but without the brilliant colors we were hoping to see.

 The crowd that gathers near the water to catch the colors reflected in the waters.

The crowd that gathers near the water to catch the colors reflected in the waters.

We went to see Banteay Srey Temple which is further out of the city.  It is constructed of red sandstone and some of the best preserved carvings of all the temples.  

On the way home, we visited the Landmine Museum.  It was started by Aki Ra, a former Khmer child soldier who planted landmine who became a deminer and opened his home to orphaned or injured children of landmines.  His story is amazing and still continues.

 Yay to Canada for this.

Yay to Canada for this.

 Made by the children who reside at the CLM School.

Made by the children who reside at the CLM School.

 Store fronts along the road

Store fronts along the road

 Tired out!

Tired out!

 Our driver stopped to buy some palm sugar.  We did too.  We soon realized back at the hotel that it was a gift for us!

Our driver stopped to buy some palm sugar.  We did too.  We soon realized back at the hotel that it was a gift for us!

 The process of making palm sugar.  

The process of making palm sugar.  

 Fueling up at a 'station'.

Fueling up at a 'station'.

 Thank you to Mr. Sothy and staff for a most comfortable stay.

Thank you to Mr. Sothy and staff for a most comfortable stay.

Thailand : Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pai

Thailand : Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pai

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Phnom Penh, Cambodia