Tag Archives: Featured

Amazing Angkor Wat in Photos

35 photo tour of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temples

Angkor Wat is one of the most impressive sites in the world, and was immediately a highlight of my southeast Asia trip. The temples are breathtaking!  While you need to visit them in Cambodia to appreciate it, below is a photo tour of the experience.

Angkor Wat at sunrise
Angkor Wat at sunrise. This brilliant photo is from one of my favorite travel photographers, Trey Ratcliff at Stuck in Customs

Angkor Wat is located in Siem Reap, in Cambodia. Along with Angkor Thom, Bayon, and Ta Prohm, Angkor might be the best two-day trip you can take in all of Asia.

Angkor Wat, in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat was built by the vanished Khmer empire. It was constructed during the reign of King Suryavarman II, who ruled from 1113 to at least 1145.

the walls of Angkor Wat are filled with details carvings, each depicting the rich history
the walls of Angkor Wat are filled with details carvings, each depicting the rich history
Angkor Wat in Cambodia
photo by JonJon Pascua
Buddhist monk explores Angkor Wat
Buddhist monk explores Angkor Wat
The Library at Angkor Wat.
The Library at Angkor Wat. Photo from one of my favorite travel photographers, Trey Ratcliff
There are more than 1,860 carved Apsara dancers in Angkor Wat.
There are more than 1,860 carved Apsara dancers in Angkor Wat.
Angkor Wat entrance - Angkor Wat at Visit50.com
“Angkor Wat” translates to “The city that is a temple.”
The Battle of Kurukshetra is the subject of this bas-relief at Angkor Wat.
The Battle of Kurukshetra is the subject of this bas-relief at Angkor Wat.
Count the arms...VERY powerful!
Count the arms…VERY powerful!

Scholars say the temples of Angkor Wat were built for funerary purposes, since its bas-reliefs are meant to be viewed anti-clockwise, a direction that was associated with death in the Khmer empire. This is Angkor’s only temple with tombs, despite the “Tomb Raider” movie being shot at nearby Ta Prohm, where there’s no tombs.

Halong Bay in Vietnam

Halong Bay’s limestone islands in the Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam

HaLong Bay was visually one of the highlights of my Vietnam trip. Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring  1500-2000 islands and islets in various shapes and sizes, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars.

Halong Bay, Vietnam
Halong Bay is so beautiful!

Hạ Long Bay (also written as Halong Bay or Ha Long Bay) is located in the Gulf of Tonkin, in Quáng Ninh province, in northeastern Vietnam.

Kayaking in Halong Bay, Vietnam
We went kayaking while surrounded by breathtaking views

Halong Bay 1024x768 - Visit50

Annika profile - nearly every moment of the Halong Bay Vietnam trip included a backdrop this striking
Annika profile – nearly every moment of the Halong Bay trip included a backdrop this striking

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Halong Bay limestone
this photo gives you a sense of the scale – by Ms Saigon

Jumping off the boat in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Jumping off the boat – so much fun! (more fun jumping photos of these to come)

Vietnam - Halong Bay - view from the boatSeveral of the islands are hollow, with enormous caves, other support floating villages of fishermen, who ply the shallow waters for 200 species of fish.

beautiful sunset in Vietnam - Visit50.comHalong Bay is a Unesco World Heritage Site

Sarah's view from the boat
Sarah’s view from the boat
here's a photo of me from just outside a cave
my view from just outside a cave
Annika and Lisa
my new friends Annika and Lisa – view from the boat

It’s often compared favorably to Guilin in China (photos coming soon!) and Krabi in Thailand – Lonely Planet called Ha Long Bay in Vietnam even more spectacular. While Halong Bay can be a bit of a “tourist trap,” it’s so beautiful that it’s worth the tradeoff.

Orangutans in the Borneo wild

Bornean Orangutans and baby orangutans

I’m still buzzing from being just steps away from a couple of orangutans in the Sarawak region of Malaysia, western Borneo (semi-wild). Humans are close relatives, sharing more than 95% of DNA with humans, and you could tell. They’re rare and were fascinating to watch.

Orangutans are about four times stronger than humans, so this is the closest I’d want to be

I actually saw orang-utans twice earlier in my trip, but they were so far away that it just looked like shadowy ape-like figure in the tree with a slightly reddish/brown color. It was exciting at the time, but turned out to be just an appetizer for this experience.

Orangutan infants often cling to their mothers for the first 2-4 years

I went to Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, a temporary home for various endangered wildlife of Sarawak, especially orang-utans that were rescued from captivity. There’s no bars or cages – the orangutans come and go as they please, and they help train them with basic skills that they would have learned with the goal of re-initroducing them into the wild.  Visitors can have a chance to see them at twice daily feeding times. Since I already saw that earlier in my trip, I’ll skip to the good part.