Friday, May 12, 2017

Angkor Wat and Siem Reap

Hey YOu Guyyyyys,
I just realized that I never posted anything about Angkor Wat, the biggest reason people visit Cambodia.  As one of the wonder of the worlds, it should be on your bucket list.  Angkor is located in Siem Reap (comparable to Orlando).

After my last post, I asked the kids what have they learned here in Cambodia.  Apparently, they learned quite a lot of things that I didn't even remember.  Those kids are smart.  Our trip to Siem Reap was very eventful and action packed.  Be prepare, I have lots of pictures.  Before we go through all the pictures let me explain how this town is set up.  There are two big sections people visit.  Angkor Wat, which one temple but the biggest temple.  Then there is Angkor Thom (Thom means big), which is a big section which consists of lots of different temples.  There are also smaller temples outside of these area.

It was so hot that someone decided they need an umbrella to hide from the sun.  Our first stop was the famous Angkor Wat.  This is the outside of it, you can see it in the distance.  The water behind us is a big moat.

Another view of the moat.  I believe they are making another bridge, that is in the background to get to the main part of Angkor Wat.  The main entrance is falling apart.  It didn't look this bad when I came here last in 2008.

First entrance of Angkor Wat.  We haven't gone in yet.  Haha, just taking pictures of the view.

Inside the first entrance.  The main part and tower of Angkor Wat is behind us.

Inside the temple.

There were so many compartments/doors.  They all look like picture frames.  There are so many cravings on the walls.  Beautiful cravings that are done with so much care and talent.

Taking a picture of my hubby taking a picture.

There was this wall of cravings that told the story of a war.  It went a long ways.

It also wrapped around to the other side.  The sign says "Do not touch" the cravings.  There was a part that was touched many times and it has a shining darker texture.  The girls thought is was prettier that way.  

On our way out.  This is the popular picture opportunity.

It is a great spot to take a picture of the temple.

A very pretty picture indeed.

We went on the Angkor Thom.  

They also had great cravings that told many stories.  It tells of happy times and plant that they smoked. (They call it medicine, but I think it was week.  I did over hear the tour guide saying weed, but another said it was medicine.  Same thing, right?  Side note: Cambodian also say liquor with special bark/roots medicine.)

Taking a break in the shade.

A different temple in Angkor Thom.

Some local boys.

We felt a little crazy.

Batay Srey (Women Temple)

At Ta Prohm (Ta means grandpa), where all the trees are growing around all the temple.

We also went to the Phnom Kulen (Mountain Kulen), a two hour drive from Siem Reap.

It was a nice hike to get to this waterfall.  The water is very clear, but the sand is making it look darker.

There was also a great night life in Siem Reap but I didn't get any pictures.  I even tried a fish foot massage or exfoliate.  There are lots vendors and a great place to get a souvenirs, as long as you want to haggle and be ready to walk away when you think it is too much.  They will always run after you.  It was weird, but they never thought I spoke any Khmer and always try to talk to me in English when I was with my hubby.  A couple times I only talked in English to see how they treat foreigners.  It depends on the vendors.  I got really nice treatment, but also got lied to.  I only know they lied because they said some stuff in Khmer not think I understood. That was fun times.

When I was getting a foot massage and the girls were at the hotel, hubby decided to walk the market by himself.  Well, he got a different side of Cambodia.  The single guy in a 3rd world country experience.  Fun Facts: Tuk Tuk drivers are also pimps, and drug dealers.

I think our favorite place to go in Siem Reap was the silk farm.  I ran out of batteries on my phone so I didn't get any pictures, but look it up.
The girls really love it.  The silk was really expensive, but when you see how it was done then you understand why it would cost that much.  So pretty.  Scarves can run $30 to over $100 depending on how it was woven.

Accommodations were more expensive then Battambang and it wasn't even as nice.  Other than that we loved it in Siem Reap.  If you get a chance go and spend a few days there.  If you don't have little kids I would suggest 4 to 5 days.  You should go soon before it falls apart.  They have built wooden walkways and steps so you don't walk on the stones anymore and wear it done.  

Friday, May 5, 2017

Dear Readers

I am sorry for my lack of posts.  If you really want to know what we are up to please follow me on Instagram under @savinup.

We are planning to go back to the States in July.  We are in the process of finding a cheap flight home.  At the moment, the only flight back that seems reasonable is leaving out of Vietnam.  That sure does cause us some stress.  We would stay here another year, but we can't find a reasonable priced school for the kids.  It has been more expensive than we have realized.  We have been going over our budget every month.  Chad was promised a raise in March or April, but that didn't happen.  That makes it a little difficult to get back and set up again.  It is hard starting over.  Sometimes I wish his old job would have let us come to Cambodia, but Chad wasn't enjoying working at that company anymore.

Don't get me wrong we had a wonderful time here, but everything would be easier if the kids were in school.  Homeschooling and virtual school is not for me or my kids.  I feel like I am failing them.  We did learn a lot, but I wish my kids would be brave enough to talk to people and learn more.  I try to show them my experiences, but I realize that I can't make them know or experience life the way I did.  They are going to have their own experiences.

There were a few things they learned.

Fresh Markets and Vendors

There are Islands in Cambodia and they are beautiful

How to become good friends.

It can be lonely on the rocks. *shurg*

Family are forever and Love will last just as long.

Cambodia's love and respect of Ancestors.

What?! There are rubber trees and they grow them here in Cambodia.

White rubber.

Cambodia might be a lot like Florida except for the hills and mountains.

We learn there is a bigger world out there.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

"Beauty and the Beast" in Cambodia, a Review

We go to the movies more here in Cambodia than in the States.  You might ask, "Why"?  First it is only $3 per/person, and secondly, it is one way I can get the kids out of the house.  It is always a fun experience to go to the movies.  Not only do they have popcorn, they have corn in a cup.  They even have different flavored popcorn, Carmel, Seaweed, Salted, and Cheese.  I want to warn you to not get the cheese, if you love cheese from the States or England, or France, don't get it here.  Actually don't get anything with cheese flavored here in Cambodia.  You will be extremely disappointed.  Yes, the prices are inflated (Popcorn are $3 for a large compare to $1 for large bag at a down stairs).

The staff are amazing and they do all they can to please you.  They have different uniform on different days and different if there is a holiday.  They have suits and business wear and traditional attire.  I love it when they dress in traditional Cambodian attire.

They only open the doors a few minutes before the show starts and you buy tickets for your seat.  The seats are numbered and you get to pick your assigned seat, just like the airplane.  It works so much better when there is big audience.  I wish the States would do that.  That way people get to sit next to each other even when you are a little late and you don't have to wait half an hour before the movie starts.

Today we went to see "Beauty and the Beast", and if I am right, I got to see it before you guys in the States.  Hahaha In your face. lol  Although, if I am not right, you got to see it before me and I don't care.  :)

First let me tell you that I was not super excited about this movie.  I mean I love Emma Watson and Disney, but I don't enjoy remakes.  I am more excited to see Guardian of the Galaxy Vol 2.  Oh, I can't wait for it.  Like, I said the movies is a way for me to get the kids out of the house and I was craving caramel popcorn.  

We usually sit in row K, but that was taken so we got row L.  K was already close enough, but most of the good seating behind row K was taken.  There were lots of teenagers, still in their school uniform, watching this movie.  I think they all skipped school to go see it.  It was at 2:25PM, and school is not out until 4:30PM.  Being in row L, the movie was really in your face.  


Let me start by saying that Disney did a wonderful job, and loved it in row L.  I am so happy I went to see it at the theaters.  The experience was so much better than watching at home a year later, because that is what I would have done in the States.  I mean for all six of us to go to the movies back home would be over $60, and we spent $18 here.

Most of the movie was just like the Disney animated version, and they explained many questions that you might have, such as; why people in the town don't know about a princess and a castle near by and why is winter near the castle and summer in the town, why the the servants were being punished, too?  The movie is 2 hours and 9 minutes compared to the animated 1 hour and 30 minutes, and you felt that they used all those minutes effectively.  They had more time to develop some of the characters which was amazing.  I got chills when the whole town was singing and I wanted to cry when you think you should cry.  The casts were amazing and costume and scenery were beautiful.  They did have a few extra songs in there that was not in the original, but they were very well done.  Everyone should go see it.

The only thing I had a problem with was that I don't think the Cambodian movie theater's projector was advance enough to show all the awesome 3D effects (Did I tell? Most of the movies they show are 3D, they don't give you an option to watch it regular screen.).  Usually, I don't pick the 3D version, because it use to make me dizzy and the 3D version in the States are more expensive.  Haha Now you know I am cheap.   Well, some of the parts were really blurry, because of the 3D effect.  I would love to see the 3D effects in better quality.  

It was OK, because the Khmer (Cambodians) audience made up for it.  There might be a part that is a little funny, but they would laugh so hard at it, which makes me laugh too. (Mostly I am laughing at them laughing.)  *spoiler* When the Beast turned human, there was a big, "OOOOHhhhhh" and the lots of girls giggling and commenting.  Also, lots of comments about how Gaston deserved to fall to his death.  It added to the movie.  Loved the people here.  Although it could also get annoying.  When we went to watch "Sing".  There was this girl with the most annoying laugh and she made loud comments all the time.   That did not add to the movie.  I almost turned around, but that wouldn't helped the situation.

Just for your information the movie was in English and there were Khmer subtitles.  Most of the Khmer kids speak or are learning English in school.  Maybe their teacher encourage them to go see the movie.  You don't see many older Khmer viewers or small children at the movies.  

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Robam Khmer (Cambodian Royal Ballet)

I really like to live life to the fullest and it is so important to me to be fulfilling my passions.  I don't need to have a life or death experience to know how precious life is.  Life is too short.  Live your Dreams.  Pursue your passions, and don't let anything get in your way! Life is too unpredictable for regrets and too short for excuses!  Dancing fulfills something inside of me that I just can't explain.  It is how this world can be more beautiful for me.  It is what I do.

I love all kind of dance; Ballet, Hip Hop, Latin, Ballroom, Jazz, etc.  My most favorite is Robam Khmer (Cambodian Royal Ballet), because it is part of my culture and it is possess so much grace and beauty.

I want my girls to love it as much as I do.  Here in Cambodia, I found an awesome non-profit dance school, Champey Academy of Arts.  They offer classes to anyone who wants to learn, drawing, music, and dance.
Look at these cuties.  They were such troopers.  It was hard for them, because of the language berrier.  Also, there is a different way of teaching in Cambodia and my girls were not use to it.  I was so proud that stuck with it for a month.  I think I will teach them in time.

They earn most of their funds through tourists donations.  They have many tourists come to watch performance and they themselves get to participate in dancing.  

Just a side note:  I am taking private dance lessons and plan to start a small business when I come back to the States.  There is nothing better than working your passion.