Showing posts with label ASEAN Corner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ASEAN Corner. Show all posts

Lost in Angkor Wat

And my itchy feet take me further...

This time, I had a wonderful experience in Cambodia.

Has anyone visited Cambodia before? Did you visit the capital city Phonm Penh? Or you managed to visit Angkor Wat as well?

I decided to republish some of my posts with updates and more photos. Again, I come to realize that I still have tons of photos to share.

Sunrise at Angkor Wat, Cambodia





















Attending a 2-day seminar on Genocide in Phnom Penh ( I will share the photos on another post), I welcomed myself to this fellow ASEAN member states.

Phnom Penh is nice obviously. I did have that familiar warm feelings that I got whenever I visited ASEAN countries. Then, as people say, a visit to Cambodia will never be complete without paying a visit to Angkor Wat. Covering the area of more than 162 hectares, Angkor Wat is without a doubt the largest religious complex in the world. No wonder this temple complex has been proclaimed as the symbol of Cambodia and is proudly appeared on Cambodia's national flag.

So, without further due, I flew to Siem Reap with Angkor Air and plunged myself to the ancient-old mystical Angkor Wat.

It was an amazing journey indeed! One I still cherish until now.


Angkor Wat, Cambodia
one lovely corner at Angkor Wat Temple


First thing first, I flew to Siem Riep from Phnom Penh. It took around 50 minutes fly and we landed at Siem Reap International Airport. As soon as I arrived at the Siem Riep airport, , I got my tuk-tuk to take me to the hotel, had an appointment with the driver for my early-morning ride, and snuggled to my lovely Wooden Angkor hotel (really recommended for sure and you canread my comments for Siem Reap and Phnom Penh at tripadvisor)

The first thing crossing my mind while stepping my itchy-feet here was Borobudur Temple. Well, it is actually quite different because Borobudur is a Buddhist Temple, while Angkor Wat is the Hindu temple. Excuse my ignorance and simplistic approach.

Borobudur is indeed an amazing artifact as well and visiting Angkor Wat, to some extent, was like paying a pilgrimage to its homeland. Maybe because both are amazing temple complex and both are listed in UNESCO World Heritage.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that Angkor Wat is a combination of Buddhist and Hindu  temples. In the beginning, many of the early temples being built here were depicting Hinduism. The original construction of the temple was dedicated to Vishnu, the preserver in Trimurti, Hinduism triad deities. It was first built in the early 12th century by King Suryavarman, the King of Khmer Empire ruled in the 11 - 12th century, for the state temple as well as his mausoleum. the Khmer architecture, during this golden era, is vividly shown by intricate details; the structures, the elements , and the motifs. All of them can be seen through elaborate towers, galleries, bas-relief, and more.

So back to my visit, I started the day very early, I was picked up at 4.30 AM and obviously I was not the only one arranging such early rendezvous. By the time we arrived at the temple, lines of tuk - tuk was already long. And by the way, trying to get a good spot amidst hundreds of people already flocking in Angkor Wat since 5 am was not that easy apparently. 

it was pitch black dark at that time and I was literally squeezing myself. I raced to the spots where we have the view of the whole temple, with the lake in front of it for its beautiful reflection.. The place was already packed with sunrise-hunter like me and tourists who smart enough to start the day early to avoid the scorching sun later on.

Then, after moving at least 3 times, I got my spot. Although I was just an amateur photographer and mainly relying on my no-so-advanced smart phone that I used at that time, I felt like it was such a waste if I didn't immortalise the moment with my gadget.



Sunrise at Angkor Wat Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia
and the sun kissed the morning....

The temples are amazing and there are so many things to see.

As it was a huge complex, I really have to manage my time and make my priorities.
I was a bit more ambitious at first, but after reality hits me (plus scorching sun the beginning of March when I visited and still quite early in the morning), then I dragged myself until the very last minute to the main attractions.

I was starting with Angkor Wat, enjoying its magnificent sunrise
Reflecting the five peaks of Mount Meru (the home of the Gods in Khmer - Hindu) Architectural masterpiece, Angkor Wat stands majestically until present day. This particular temple was abandoned for quite some times, particularly as Buddhist dominated the later successor of King Suryavarman II.

Then I continued the journey, trying to absorb the ancient vibes in its grandioso form, strolling around walls upon walls of hundred-year-old stories printed on those bas-reliefs. Here are some of the photos I took along the way.


Bas relief at Angkor Wat Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia
somebody tell me what the story here...

Bas relief at Angkor Wat Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia
one of the bas-relief in Angkor Wat...

Bas relief at Angkor Wat Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Bas relief at Angkor Wat Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia
The Apsara Lady...

Then to I went to Bayon temple, famous for its smiling Buddha. Here you will see so many of them.

Bayon Temple at Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Bayon Temple at Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

As the day continued, I walked further to Ta Phrom to see the famous spot of the Lara Croft's Tomb Raider. Remember the movie? The one starred by Angelina Jolie? Ta Phrom has been getting more and more attention because of that movie and because of its unique huge trees growing amidst the temples and becoming inseparable part of it. But I guess I will do so on the next post. I have also visited several other parts of this gigantic complex. So, stay with me as I will get back to you, will you?


Exploring Cambodia and Siem Reap
So, what do you think about Angkor Wat?
Do you like visiting ancient temples like this?
What do you like most?

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Btw, just a little tip to those traveling here. 

  • Don't forget to dress as required and fully considering the season. Summer can be very hot and humid so get your comfortable cotton dress or t-shirt and hat if necessary. 
  • Get your tumbler and fill it full as you will walk a lot. 
  • Wear you favorite sneakers as without even realizing it, I walked from 5 AM to 5 PM, just occasionally take tuk - tuk  to go to different places and have lunch.   
  • Get your tuk-tuk since the very beginning and make sure you make a clear deal with the driver. Tips will be highly appreciated as well. I forget how much I paid for my trip. I guess it was around USD 50 for the whole trip (from hotel, around the complex and to the airport - yes I took tuk-tuk to and from the airport :). But it was back in 2013 and before the pandemic. The price might change already.
  • As the complex is huge, make your priorities by choosing the places you want to see and explore, especially if you need to catch your plane later that day as well.
  • And finally, enjoy the trip. It's really worth all the efforts!

See you on the next post!

WW: ASEAN Short Film Festival

We had fun night joining the ASEAN Short Film Festival in NYC last weekend at Fordham University.



First time ever the 10 Member States of ASEAN has the short film festival in NYC .



We got   a chance to enjoy 6 short films from Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines.



Not to forget some  ASEAN delicious munchies, including putu mayang and klepon from Indonesia.


fancy some putu mayang and klepon?



My son Bo did a volunteer work during the preparation and we enjoyed all the short films as well.




Do you like joining Short Film festival?
do you have one near your area?



Join us on (almost) Wordless Wednesday and have fun with the pinky party :)

Romantika Jakarta: National Museum


So I'm heading back to Jakarta at the end of summer and I just can't wait!
Nothing beats the comfy feeling of home obviously.
I love NYC for sure but my homeland is calling and I know we will be having great years ahead as we enjoyed our time in Jakarta for 3 years after finishing my assignment in Geneva, Switzerland. 



And as part of the warming up, I would love to take my dearest blogger friends to some little trip to Jakarta through my posts. A little walk down the memory lane and I know Jakarta has a lot to offer.





So, I would like to start it with the Museum!
Yes, the museum indeed, one of my favorite places to visit, wherever I am residing or traveling. As NYC is packed with great museums, so is Jakarta!

Do you know how many museums are there in Jakarta?
Okay, I have to admit that I don't know the answer to that question until I google it LOL.
There are 47 museums in our lovely capital city!
And 47 is not a small number so I sincerely hope I can visit most if not all of them.

Perhaps, visiting museums is not your cup of tea.
Well, at least for some Indonesians, or Jakartans to be exact. There are so many huge shopping malls here packed with entertainment centers, shops and food courts that might be more interesting for some of us.





If I said I was going to visit museums here in Jakarta, some friends might give me the what-are-going-to-do-there look.

But for me and my family, a day trip to a museum will always be fascinating!

We learn  lot and have fun at the same time. Well, it depends on the museums we visited of course but wherever we go, we always try to visit one. 




As Bo and Obi are growing up, my hubby and I decided to have educational-yet-fun trip to several museums in Jakarta before we headed to NYC at that time. The kids were not that enthusiastic in the beginning but they did enjoy the trip at the end of the day.






So, this story and photos are a little throwback from our trip in 2014. So now, let's start our journey from the National Museum of Indonesia. In Bahasa Indonesia, we call it Museum National Indonesia. some might call it Museum Gajah or the Elephant Museum, because we have that little elephant statue in front of the Museum's building.



National Museum of Indonesia was originally started from Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen. It was  established in 24 April 1778, so it is more than 300 years now! As we were colonized by the Dutch for about 350 years, it's not surprising that many institutions, including this museum, was founded by them. 





What I like most about this Museum is the spacious place it has with various precious collections to enjoy.


The National Museum is located at Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat no. 12, Jakarta Pusat.

It has several floors displaying different collections ranging from archeology, ethnography, geography, ceramics, prehistorical items and more.
The Museum is open from 8 - 4 PM on Tuesday to Friday, and 8 - 5 on Saturday and Sunday. It is close on Monday and holidays.

As you step into the Museum, the lovely ambiance and the high ceilings make the Museum feels grandeur. 






You can also enjoy some relics and statues from different temples and historic sites in Indonesia, particularly from Java. Some of them are placed on the alleys and open spaces.

The collections are nicely displayed  and well maintained as well, making it a pleasant place to visit for all ages, including the kids.



kain kapal from Lampung


Back in 2014, we only had to pay Rp 5.000,- (appr. 60 cent) for adults and Rp 2.000, (less than 30 cent ) for kids, while for foreign tourists, the ticket is Rp 10.000,- or approximately 80 cent. Very cheap, right! Up until now, the price is still the same.


If you want to know more about Indonesia, come to the ethnography segment.

Some of the highlights of traditional and cultural heritage of Indonesia are displayed there.
You can enjoy lovely, unique fabrics and traditional items used daily by hundreds of tribes  from different parts of Indonesia.



Traditional hat from West Kalimantan.



Old and traditional utensils and homewares are ammonite the items being displayed. It is interesting to see the development of those items and the differences of their use in many parts of the country.

Then see the famous story of Pithecantrophus Palaeojavanicus (I hope I got it right :D) and more pre-historic as well as archeological items.


Not to mention fabulous statues, relics, inscriptions and so many more.


If you haven't got a chance to travel around Indonesia, or planning to do so, a visit here will be a good warm-up indeed!

relics from one of our temples.....
I know that those displayed here are just a tiny fragment of the original collections, so you can imagine what we really have out there.



Obi, my daughter, with speda onthel...

I love the jewelleries collections on the fourth floor as well. 

Those fascinating designs, very meticulous! 
And thinking that they were made centuries ago.

Here's the map of the exact place of this Museum.



 



Well, all in all, we all truly enjoyed our visits and would love to go back there.

Make sure you don't miss the National Museum of Indonesia in Jakarta when you are around.

#MyItchyFeet: Up Close and Personal with Shwedagon Temple, Myanmar

Aaaaaand I am back to the Golden Land of Myanmar...

Lucky me...




Although it is a business trip, I still try to devour the very soul of this country.
Not easy as always, as I am mostly trapped in the meeting room and indulged in never ending discussons.

But one lovely afternon, I was revisiting  Shwedagon Temple and was having fun with fish eye application in my smartphone. I was a bit tired after non-stop meetings but just simply didn't want to miss the chance to come to this majestic pagoda. So using my smartphone, this application is really a big help.



it was getting more and more crowded in the evening.....

Check out the story from my first visit to Myanmar here :D

And while waiting for more photos being transferred from my DSLR and digging up more stories from this richly historical land, come scroll down and see some snapshots from my brief visit to this famous Pagoda. Feel free...

can you see the diamond on top? ...

My narcistic me...

at the golden hour....

serenely praying....amidst flocks of people coming for the same purpose or tourists like us...

as the fire flickers and goes up to the sky, so are our prayers...




Wajah Indonesiaku: Perjalanan menyusuri daerah terluar RI #3...Haumusu C/Wini, NTT

Setelah 2 tulisan sebelumnya, rasanya saya kok belum puaaas berbagi keindahan dan keunikan daerah  terluar RI..

Can't get enough of it indeed...

Bukan apa-apa...mungkin tanpa alasan yang kuat, jarang dari teman-teman yang memang meniatkan untuk traveling ke daerah perbatasan :D....saya pun, karena tugas, jadi mendapat kesempatan berharga untuk melihat dari dekat wajah Indonesia dari sisi terluarnya..

Di hari ketiga perjalanan kami, Haumusu C/Wini adalah tujuan kami.

Seperti saya sampaikan di cerita sebelumnya (klik di sini), ada 7 titik perbatasan antara Indonesia dan Timor-Leste yang telah resmi dibuka dan dioperasikan.

Pagi itu, kami bertolak dari Atambua menuju Haumusu C/Wini..sekitar 2 jam dan tibalah kami di sisi utara Insana, masih di bagian Timor Tengah Utara. Pemberlakuan Pas Lintas Batas (PLB) di titik perbatasan ini diresmikan sejak Desember 2011.

Masih dengan cerita yang mirip...jalan yang penuh tantangan alias berlubang..tapi tetap saja mata dihibur dengan keindahan alam yang wooow banget...Woow in the real terms!

Kali ini, berkali-kali kami berhenti di jalan...
Alasannya ada 2...apalagi kalau bukan foto-foto :D. Dan kalau ada 'rombongan' yang lewat hehehe...What I mean here is rombongan hewan peliharaan yang lucu-lucu, termasuk babi hitam yang warna hitam pekat.

Siapa yang tidak tergiur untuk turun dan foto kalau pemandangannya seperti ini :D...

cantiiiik yaaaa...one lovely corner, otw to Haumusu C/ Wini..

Tidak salah kalau tempat ini menjadi lokasi syuting film Tanah Air Beta karya Ari Sihasale.

This particular spot, this famous rock to be exact, seems to be everyone's favorite!
No wonder...as you see further, clear blue sky will engulf your sight and warm breeze will tenderly hug you...
Aaaah, jadi sok romantis begini hehehehe..

Tiba di Haumusu, kami pun langsung bertugas..berbincang dengan para petugas, mengambil data, mendokumentasi kondisi bangunan dan fasilitas lainnya ...Nothing much tho', as this very border was not that busy at time of our visit...


ngobrol dengan tia-tia dari Timor-Leste
We managed to chat with some ladies coming from Timor-Leste surrounding neighborhood ...rencananya mereka akan mengunjungi saudara-saudaranya yang tinggal di sisi Indonesia. Kebayang yah ..kalau kita bersaudara namun dipisahkan oleh kewarganegaraan dan batas negara seperti ini..But, that's real indeed...makanya kedua pemerintah mengeluarkan Pas Lintas Batas untuk memfasilitasi para pelintas batas tradisional ini. Yang pasti,  tali persaudaraan harusnya tidak terputus dan bahkan bisa diperkuat antara warga yang tinggal di wilayah perbatasan


pos imigrasi di perbatasan haumusu


Again...clear blue sky and scorching sun really fascinate us...

Still in Haumusu


Bright blue sky, lovely Haumusu

Selesai menyelesaikan tugas, kami pun melanjutkan perjalanan ke Dili, melalui perbatasan Motaain kembali.

On the way back, kami mampir ke Tanjung Bastian, untuk sejenak rehat dan mencicipi kopi setempat....
such a lovely beach we have here...special, indeed garis pantai yang panjang menyambut kita di Tanjung Bastian...pasir kehitaman dan batu-batu yang terletak di sana menambah keunikan tempat ini..some traditional huts were erected in the surroundings, giving us enough place to be under the shades..big trees are lining up along the shore as well, perfect spot for dozing off after a hard&hot day :D... Di tempat yang sama, ada sebuah kafe sederhana dengan kopi yang enaaaak...so, kami bersama tim memutuskan untuk mampir dulu sebelum lanjut ke perjalanan berikutnya... I didn't get a chance to swim though' but pretty sure I'd love to get back there..sepertinya ombaknya lumayan besar dan ada beberapa spots yang memang sudah dikhususkan untuk mereka yang ingin berenang... Well, it was a brief visit but lovely for sure.. Enjoy the photos...