Posts Tagged With: tickets

Angkor Wat – exploring the city of temples

Angkor Wat – “Temple City” is a historical site that lies just outside of Siem Reap, Cambodia. It’s been referred to as the Machu Picchu of Asia and is the largest religious monument in the world.

Tickets are necessary and run $20 for a one day pass, $40 for three days and a seven day pass is $60. You can trek in on a bicycle, hop a ride on a tuk tuk or pay for a tour and bus. (Bicycling was our first choice but due to a back injury, we opt for the tuk tuk). Guess who our driver was? The same smile that picked us up at the bus station!

A familiar face, two tickets and a nice ride to the city was a brilliant start for a gorgeous adventure.

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When approaching the main entrance, your driver will drop you off at any temple you’d like and will patiently wait until you’re ready for he next. First thing to catch my eye was the peaceful orange robes that made their way across the path.

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The length of the main entry is long and gives you plenty of time to take it all in. It also allows a pause for an upside down handstand shot (in respect for the entry way).

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Here are some photos in no specific order as we explored the sandstone grounds of Angkor Wat.

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Although there are many tourists, it still doesn’t take away from the wonder of what these walls have seen. With the broken path ways and stressed stones, I can only imagine how many sets of feet have made there way through this area.

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This specific scene stopped me in my tracks and struck an emotional note in my heart. Was this her first time here… after many years, did she finally make it? Or was this an annual thing and today was her visit of 2013? Would if she comes here every day to pray? No matter what the scenario, the unconditional support she got from the young man and the help that came along was priceless.

My gratitude for health, life and love just jumped another notch. Thank you gentle example that was set before me!

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Following the steps of that delicate scene, we entered what seemed to be a shrine in which some were kneeling at and others observing from a distance.

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I could hardly pass up the opportunity for a blessing and a red string bracelet from this kind smile. Depending if you’re following Buddhism, Hinduism or Kabbalah the meaning varies as well as which wrist to wear it on. According to traditional belief, generally it eliminates unwanted energies in a person’s life to make room for positive ones… I like that.

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We jumped tracks a bit and left the crowd when I spotted out these stacked rocks. If you’ve seen some of my other posts, you’ll know this is one of my favorite out doors scenes. How neat to find it here!

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Who else was enjoying this view? It was one of the friendly guys that assisted the elderly woman! With a nice conversation and a photo, we now have new friends to catch up with!

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Who wouldn’t want to climb a stair case that looks like this?

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The reward was a beautiful view and a couple fun silhouette shots!

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What goes up must go down!

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Another view that welcomed a great handstand photo.

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If you choose to stay in the city for an extended amount of time, hunger is bound to present itself and your options range a bit.
Along the path of the souvenir stands, there’s the typical cooking pots that are usually full of pork or chicken with rice and seasoning.
Next you have several restaurants that are all called by different names, but will offer you the exact same menu as their neighbor with identical prices.
The other option, and our choice, is located in the back alley behind the restaurants where we found all of the local employees eating… Jackpot! My buddy knew where we were headed!

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We took a seat on a tiny chair at a miniature table and kept our fingers crossed for what was about to be served. Fish soup with a mound of rice next to a plate of sticks, greens and flowers, all complimented with a raw garlic hot sauce. The jug on the table was all you can drink light green tea, perfect for our hot day.
For a grand total of $0.75 each, we got all of the above, smiles from our table friends and a genuine “thank you” from the chef (or we just gave them free entertainment each time we smelled a bite and swapped spoons). Either way it beat restaurant prices and I’m sure it tasted better than the “pot of surprise” across the lot.

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So we’ve seen the Siem Reap Night Market and donated at the Angkor Children’s Hospital.

After exploring Angkor Wat, it’s time for the bus ride back to Phnom Penh to finish up my stay in Cambodia.

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Categories: Art, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are we supposed to go through that dark tunnel?

Last year, I started my Machu Picchu post with what’s written below.

“I feel a huge challenge trying to describe through words and photos the magnitude of energy and massive beauty that this place holds. If Machu Piccu has been on your “list” or this page intrigues you whatsoever, please remember:

YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE THAT CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN… SO DO IT!

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Before I begin sharing this priceless journey, if you haven’t read last years trek to Machu Picchu, you can do so at Machu Picchu link or The trek link. It has a more descriptive message of the actual route and facts that come with it. This year, it’s all about the friends and the adventure!

Living on the road has brought many new perspectives into my life as well as more than a few unexpected lessons that I plan on carrying forward. Lets be aware of how easy it is to live in “auto pilot” and go through day to day almost in a programmed sense, passing the garden without “smelling the roses” as they say. Ive grown to appreciate all situations in what they have to offer and am constantly reminding myself to be “in the moment”. Today…right now… This is my life.

With that said, I’m going to break up the Machu Picchu adventure into a few different posts, as the entire journey was special start to finish.

Hayden and I met as kids trying to balance homework and a social life while growing up in the small town of Folsom, California. Now, 17 years later, I get to pick up my dear friend from the Cusco airport as we have plans to hike Machu Picchu with Ann and Colin!

Let’s begin with the morning departure from our Hostel in Cusco. The four of us had reserved the bus to pick us up at 7:45 for the 5 hour ride to the base of our walk towards Aguascalientes. 9:00 rolls around and instead of a bus, we got a woman with her child that said “follow me”…. And so it began.

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We made a few turns to find a decent van stocked with two drivers, empty seats and a woman urging us to get in quickly, “Vamanos!”.

All smiles as we’re finally on the road towards one of the seven wonders of the world.

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The first pit stop is in the open country side of Ollantaytambo for a leg stretch, optional snack and a handstand of course!

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Even though this bathroom brought a tiny challenge of it’s own, it’s luxury compared to last year!

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Back into the van, I capture us still smiling (for now) as we have new sights along the way.
More than just mountains and clouds, you’ll see several animals and even cyclist who are making me feel slightly guilty of my sore bum.

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As we continue the climb up in elevation, you can begin to see the clouds roll in and take over the passage. This is almost a relief due to the unprotected cliff side that so gratiously accompanied the one way road. Each time another vehicle would approach head on, one of us would have to hug the mountain side in order for the other to safely pass. Not fun.

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See that tiny little bridge behind us with no guard rail? What you don’t see is that it’s barely suspended above thousands of feet of pure straight cliff side. What you don’t hear is us all gasping for air when the back tire didn’t catch on the tracks… Stomach, please return to your appropriate location and heart rate, it’s necessary for you to regulate again for the future of my journey.

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Arriving to Hydro Electronica means we get to stop for a quick break before we start our way by foot towards Machu Picchu. A toast, a few fun pics and the adventure continues!

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Find the tracks, find a four legged friend and keep on trekking!

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Three attempts to get us all in one photo… Fail.

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Awesomely awkward shot of all of us… Success!

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Finishing up the first hour brings more smiles and more more train tracks.

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From a distance we could here the tracks in use as the train blared it’s horn. We accepted this as a challenge to not only race the speeding beast, but snag a few cool photos too!

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Due to our relaxed pace, the walk took a bit longer than the average “trek”, but we were definitely ok with that. Considering the amazing conversation, great photo oportunities and the memories that came with it, I wouldn’t have changed a thing!

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The sun is sinking and adds one more fun element to our already exciting expedition!

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Arriving at night we head directly to get our tickets as the morning will only provide a 4am alarm and a line to depart by 5.

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Next step… Machu Picchu!

Categories: Fitness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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