Monday, July 18, 2016

Incredible Angkor Wat

Sited inside the architectural complex of the Khmer Empire, Angkor had been constructed from the 9th to the 15th century with aim of creating a Hindu temple, before transforming into a Buddhist place of worship.

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By the way of using satellite imaginary, some scientists explained why the construction of Angkor Wat was capable of carrying out. The answer was that ancient Khmer people dig a canal 34km long to transport stone from mountains to the construction area of the temple.

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This enormous structure was built of 5 million tons of stone and within 35 years. As the icon of Cambodia and also pride of the Cambodian, it has appeared on the country’s national flag since 1850.

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Angkor Wat has a perimeter of nearly 6km and an area of barely 200ha. Its main tower rise a height of 65m. It is the unique temple mountain in Cambodia featuring the main entrance oriented to the west, the direction in which the sun goes down.

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The temple was built in the shape of a pyramid. Its central quincunx of five towers symbolizes the five peaks of Mount Meru, a sacred mountain Hindu cosmology, with three sets of steps leading up to the gopuras represent for three levels: the lowest set represents for hell or underground, the middle one represents for earth, and the highest one stands for heaven where deities live.

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Angkor Wat was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1992, becoming the cultural icon of not only Cambodia but also Southeast Asia and over Asia.

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Sunrise is the best time in day that Angkor Wat is most beautiful. Every day from 5 a.m, hundreds of travelers flock to two sides of the lake in front of the temple to contemplate dawn.

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The entrance fee of Angkor Wat has several different kinds: $20 for one day, $40 for three days and $60 for seven days. Visiting hours are 5:00AM - 6:00PM. Angkor Wat closes at 6:00PM, Banteay Srey closes at 5:00PM and Kbal Spean at 3:00PM. While visiting, always carrying the ticket because it will be checked upon each park entry and at major temples.

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Angkor Wat was translated as “Temple City” or “City of Temples”.

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Its bas-reliefs proceed in a counter-clockwise direction, an evidence for the view that it served as a funerary temple, concluded via the truth that the temple is oriented to the west rather than the east like most Khmer temples.

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Every year, Angkor Wat attracts 50% of foreign tourists travelling to Cambodia.

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The most original trait of this temple is the sculptural paintings on the wall of the gallery in the first floor. This is one of the largest and longest carved-stone frescos in the world with the height of 2.5m and the length of 800m.

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The temple has 398 rooms, with stone carving art on ceilings, corridors, balustrades and colonettes manifesting excellent, virtuoso talent of ancient Khmer people. The second floor is adorned with depictions of dancing Apsaras (heavenly nymphs of the clouds and waters in Hindu myth). The third floor includes two corridors forming a cross and intersect perpendicularly at the middle.

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Another spectacular temple in the Complex of Angkor is Ta Prohm, well-known for giant roofs and vines that weigh down part of the temple. The structure was ever chosen as the shooting location of blockbuster Tom Raider.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cambodia’s Top Alluring Islands

Absorbed in grandiose, magnificent temples, may travelers forget that Cambodia is also home to a mass of enthralling islands.

1. Koh Sdach: Best for local life discovery

Positioned between Koh Kong and Sihanoukville islands, Koh Sdach is the anchoring place of many boats. Reach it, apart from sea bathing, searching out culture and lifestyle of the local fishermen residing in small villages will make the trip more interesting.

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2. Koh Ta Kiew: Best for wine


If you want to find a secluded, gorgeous beaches, yes, it has, a lot. Now the island is developed tourism by a Malaysian company with a rental agreement for 99 years.

Perhaps Koh Ta Kiev are the last place that it’s possible to see an absinthe bar. It earn a good reputation thanks to one-man operation named Syn Absinthe, who makes types of hand-crafted, small-batch absinthe. Aside from joining a distillery tour that embraces the whole process, guests can have fun by frolicking in blue sea, sun-burnt lying on quiet beaches and playing coconut bowling.

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3. Song Saa: Best for luxury

In fact, it consists of two private small islands, and is oriented to be a sweet, deluxe honeymoon site for couples. Song Saa means “sweethearts” in Khmer tongue. Its villa prices can rocket to $3,000 per night, and the services are high-quality, from the transfers from shore, a bottle of champagne at check-in included in the price, gourmet meals made from natively-sourced foods, to the well-stocked mini-bar and free international calls from the villas. Song Saa even features a 50,000-square-meter marine reserve around the two island. To get there, take a boat or a helicopter flight.

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4. Koh Rong Samloem (Monkey Island): Best for relaxing

Known as the most beautiful island in Cambodia, Koh Rong Sanloem has long been a top-choice of expats in Phnom Penh, who head to the quiet island for weekends. It’s sited 2 boating hours from the mainland, and features a fishing village, three major coasts and many minor others.

This is a point of Koh Rong Sanloem: Saracen Bay - a heart-shaped inlet with calm turquoise surf and clean white sand beaches. Not many things to do on the island. Days can be spent to paddle-board, snorkel, or daydream on a good book under a palm tree.

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5. Koh Rong: Best for party

Koh Rong - Cambodia’s second largest island has fabulous sea with white sand and warm, clear water. In spite of the most famous island in Cambodia, it remains astonishingly pristine.

Not too long ago Koh Rong’s sole tourist amenities were a handful of bungalows beside miles of dense jungles and stunning white sand beaches. There is still amazing hiking and trekking in the parts of jungles that loggers haven’t been destroyed. Besides, the island is also a great spot for sun-burnt travelers, who like to bake in day and get toasted at night. 

Koh Rong’s business owners are notoriously party-friendly, who are ready to run generators to keep the music going until the wee hours, and supply live DJs and free-beer happy hours.

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6. Koh Tang: Best for diving

Located roughly 5 boating hours from the mainland, Koh Tang is well-known for its marvelous coral reefs on the sea-bed. This island is unpopulated now except only a small outpost of Cambodian military personnel, causing clear-crystal water with excellent visibility and undisturbed marine life, making it and nearby Koh Prins the perfect islands for diving. There are eight diving sites around the island that offer colorful coral reefs and a wealth of underwater creatures comprising fantastic hued nudibranchs, toxic puffer fish and dazzling stingrays with electric blue spots.

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7. Koh Thmei: Best for nature watching

Settled inside Ream national park, Koh Thmei is home to various animals and plants, including monkeys, civets, mountain lizards, over 100 distinct species of birds, and several endangered species like the fishing cat, a wetland feline that inhabits near streams and mangrove forests.

Koh Thmei resort is the sole accommodation on this island, which covers a block of rustic, environmentally-friendly solar-powered bungalows. Guests can jungle trek, sea kayak, snorkel and bird watch. The resort is even raising ponies that children can ride. There are close deserted beaches to amble with occasional views of dolphins swimming along the shore.

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8. Koh Totang: Best for running out of Internet

It is a wonderful island to completely disconnect from the regular life and escape from botheration of work-emails and social networks. Yep, no Internet on Koh Totang. This charming island has only a place to stay, Nomad's Land, a range of five solar-powered bungalows lack of noisy generators. Rainwater is saved from showers, and produce is grown in a permaculture garden. The simplest thing to do is lying in a swaying hammock, enjoying the view, and provisionally expel all thought of life at home.

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Contact to ActiveTravel Asia at here to held your own sea adventure in charming, untouched islands in Cambodia.