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Just Another Day In Siem Reap

This kind of street scene plays out all over Southeast Asia. The tangle of electrical wires above ground, as different people tap into the grid both legally and illegally. In this case, things actually look pretty organized compared to some other cases.

You get that mix of cars, motorcycles, hand carts, auto rickshaws and people all jockeying for space on the road. Luckily, it's not as congested as it could be (ahem, India). The center of Siem Reap seemed almost like one long road of hotels and restaurants. Or at least, the touristic area was largely that.

Follow me for more photos.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/10/18/just-another-day-in-siem-reap

#SiemReap #Cambodia #SouthEastAsia #Asia #travel #photography #urban #disorganized #motorcycles #cars #street #transportation #travelphotography #streetphotography #explore #캄보디아
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In Awe Of The Ancients

Southeast Asia is a gold mine when it comes to ancient temples. Whether it's the Khmer Empire temples of Cambodia, the pagodas and stupas of Bagan in Burma, or one of the many wonderful sites in Thailand, you'd be hard pressed not to bump into some beautiful temples. Bagan is probably my favorite in terms of the sheer number of temples and how they mix with the environment around them, but in terms of diversity of archaeological finds, I've not come across anything quite like Angkor Wat.

The vast displays of bas-reliefs depicting the different gods, goddesses and mythological beings are an impressive display of what man has accomplished. How it was accomplished, is a different matter entirely of which books and tv programs have delved into.

It makes me wonder, will we ever see this level of effort put into building huge religious structures ever again? We no longer live in a time where a King can order thousands of subjects to erect these massive monuments and tributes to the gods. Perhaps that's for the best overall, but it seems all we get nowadays are ever taller skyscrapers, which, while nice to marvel at, don't come anywhere near the awe of an Angkor Wat or the pyramids of Giza.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/9/27/in-awe-of-the-ancients

#HDR #AuroraHDR #TerraceOfTheLeperKing #BasRelief #sculpture #cambodia #AngkorArchaeologicalPark #Angkor #AngkorThom #Asia #SouthEastAsia #travel #photography #Khmer #UNESCOWorldHeritageSite #UNESCO #vertical #gods #goddesses #mythology #ancient #hdrphotography #travelphotography
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Honeycomb

If you ever really see where your food comes from, you're probably a lot less likely to have an appetite. Not that it's always all bad, but, it can be a bit jarring compared to what you might consider clean. Don't think that's the case solely outside the US either - plenty of stuff goes on in agriculture you would rather just not know about.

Walking through markets and checking out the goods of individual street sellers can be quite eye openings at times. Always interesting to see how so many sellers will more or less have the same things, in small quantities. It's kind of like going to a farmer's market in the US, just, not as clean. Occasionally you'll see something that will be weird or exotic, and other times, something that is pretty typical, just that you don't often seek it out. I must say, these honeycombs don't exactly make me salivate for some honey, but, I find them pretty interesting even if I'm not about to buy them.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/9/5/honeycomb

#Honeycomb #beeswax #geometric #SiemReap #Cambodia #Khmer #asia #southeastasia #travel #photography #canon #food #travelphotography #아이사 #캄보디아
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Kneeling Guardians

These kneeling statues of human figures with animal heads are largely replicas. The originals have either been stolen, or moved to museums. Each pair guards one of the six stairways leading to an upper platform of the sanctuary.

Banteay Srei is beautifully decorated. Being built of red sandstone, you get both that wonderful red color still present today, as well as a material that's relatively soft, making it easy to carve out the intricate details you see here. Even looking back on this picture now, I'm still impressed by the level of effort that went into making even a rather small temple, stunningly exquisite.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/8/9/kneeling-guardians

‪#‎BanteaySrei‬ ‪#‎Angkor‬ ‪#‎Cambodia‬ ‪#‎ancient‬ ‪#‎ruins‬ ‪#‎historic‬ ‪#‎travel‬ ‪#‎photography‬ ‪#‎asia‬ ‪#‎hindu‬ ‪#‎sandstone‬ ‪#‎red‬ ‪#‎sculptures‬ ‪#‎relief‬ ‪#‎UNESCO‬ ‪#‎UNESCOWorldHeritageSite‬ ‪#‎travelphotography‬ ‪#‎canon‬ ‪#‎캄보디아‬
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Yeay Peau Temple

Just a couple hundred meters north of the Ta Prohm temple in Tonle Bati is the Yeay Peau temple. A quiet and scenic spot looking out onto the Tonle Bati. The Tonle Bati being a small lake popular for fishing and relaxation.

I'm not sure these statues make me feel as relaxed as elsewhere. There's a lot going on when they all have different hand gestures, which I'm not entirely sure how to interpret. Each hand gesture has its own meaning in Buddhism, but all the statues seem to be at peace.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/7/12/yeay-peau-temple

#yeaypeau #tonlebati #cambodia #temple #buddhism #statue #buddhist #travel #photography #gold #asia #southeastasia #explore #canon #travelphotography #캄보디아
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Cruncy Snack!

Fancy a taste of the local street food? You'll find all kinds of gems to tempt or torture your tastebuds in Cambodia, depending on your preferences. Well, it's not just Cambodia - other countries in the region have similar street food for the brave eater. I have to admit, it's really the kind of food that kind of just jumps off the plate at you.

I actually passed on these little critters, but generally this is the kind of thing I am more than excited to try. If you really want to explore and experience a country, you can't just leave it all to sightseeing. Local food and customs to gain a full appreciation of your destination.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/7/4/cruncy-snack

‪#‎AnlongVeng‬ ‪#‎insects‬ ‪#‎streetfood‬ ‪#‎snack‬ ‪#‎cambodia‬ ‪#‎canon‬ ‪#‎travel‬ ‪#‎photography‬ ‪#‎adventure‬ ‪#‎explore‬ ‪#‎brave‬ ‪#‎eater‬ ‪#‎asia‬ ‪#‎SouthEastAsia‬ ‪#‎food‬ ‪#‎travelphotography‬ ‪#‎캄보디아‬
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nside The Temple Of Phnom Chisor

In the Khmer language, Phnom means hill. Phnom Chisor is a small hill 42km (26mi) outside of Phnom Penh. On top of that hill is an ancient temple dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu. The Angkorian era temple was built under King Suryavarman I during a time when the hill was known Suryaparvata - or 'Mountain of the Sun God.'

It was quite sunny when I visited, illuminating the spectacular ruins. The distortion you see is typical of a fisheye lens, which is what I used to take the photo. Honestly, it was so sunny at hot at the time, that I recall just standing around taking a few photos was quite an ill conceived plan.

I really enjoy temple hopping through ancient ruins like this one. I find it fascinating and beautiful all at the same time. Even though November through February is the coolest time of the year to visit, the weather goes from unbearably hot to just bearably hot. Don't forget the sunscreen.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/6/27/inside-the-temple-of-phnom-chisor

‪#‎PhnomChisor‬ ‪#‎HDR‬ ‪#‎AuroraHDR‬ ‪#‎cambodia‬ ‪#‎temple‬ ‪#‎shiva‬ ‪#‎vishnu‬ ‪#‎angkorian‬ ‪#‎ancient‬ ‪#‎ruins‬ ‪#‎canon‬ ‪#‎travel‬ ‪#‎photography‬ ‪#‎fisheye‬ ‪#‎khmer‬ ‪#‎architecture‬ ‪#‎explore‬ ‪#‎religion‬ ‪#‎spiritual‬ ‪#‎asia‬ ‪#‎SouthEastAsia‬ ‪#‎takeo‬ ‪#‎hdrphotography‬ ‪#‎travelphotography‬ ‪#‎캄보디아‬ ‪#‎아시아‬
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Cambodian Gas Station

This little shop is a common roadside occurrence throughout Cambodia and the greater Southeast Asia region in general. When it's not feasible to have a dedicated gas station with fuel pumps - improvise.

The bottle sizes are standard enough that you know how much petrol you're getting, although from looking at those 2L bottles, hard to say they're all filled equally. I saw plenty of motorcycles throughout my visits to SE Asia stopping at these kind of roadside stands to top off their tanks with another liter of gas.

I especially like the looks of those bottles on the 2nd row from the bottom. Are those whiskey bottles? Quite a luxurious choice of bottle for fuel, but let nothing go to waste.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/6/21/cambodian-gas-station

#cambodia #gas #GasStation #anlongveng #fuel #moto #motorcycle #travel #photography #canon #asia #SouthEastAsia #explore #dog #travelphotography #캄보디아
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Into The Ancient Temple

The ruins of a temple constructed roughly a millennium ago. A time scale that is both minuscule and unimaginable at the same time. Thinking of the advances that have been made over my short lifetime, the advances being made a thousand years ago would have been at a much slower pace. How long did the temple builders think this structure would last when designing and building it?

Today it still stands. On a hilltop outside of Phnom Penh. You can walk the grounds and imagine a life that is nearly unimaginable. Where religion would have had a much stronger hold on society than it does today. The ruins are a fascinating vestige to the great Angkorian Empire.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/6/13/into-the-ancient-temple

#PhnomChisor #cambodia #temple #ancient #khmer #blackandwhitephotography #travel #photography #vertical #ruins #vishnu #shiva #takeo #canon #monochrome #blackandwhite #travelphotography #explore #asia #southeastasia #캄보디아
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up Up UP

Phnom Bakheng is one of the few temples inside the Angkor Archaeological Park that stays open for sunset. Being a small temple, there is a 300 person limit which means you have to arrive early to secure a spot, but the views and the sunset are certainly worth it.

I don't know what it is about Hot Air Balloons, but they always evoke a time and age much older than me. They just seem so majestic as they cruise through the skies. I imagine they offer views even greater than the ones I've seen from atop the temple.
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