Angkor Wat Cambodia

For the third stop of our two week visit to Southeast Asia, we traveled to Cambodia.  This was a quick 2 night stop with the main purpose of visiting Angkor Wat.  Angkor Wat is a  UNESCO World Heritage Site and a tourist destination for more than 500,000 foreign visitors each year.  Angkor is the largest religious site in the world.  It was built for King Suryavarman II in the early twelfth century.  It was first used as a Hindu temple and then a Buddhist temple.  It is a Buddhist site today.

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We left our hotel, the very lovely Raffles Hotel, at 5:00 am to beat the crowds and to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat.  Not sure that we actually beat the crowds, but we did get the very beautiful sunrise view and the reflection of Angkor in the reflecting pool.

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The sunrise view of Angkor

We visited Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom from 5:00 am until about 11:00 am.  Our guide then brought us back to our hotel where we had lunch and swam in the pool.  It was a very nice break.  After a few hours, we were refreshed and ready to go back out for round number two.

The Raffles pool and a delicious drink of mango and lime juice.

The Raffles pool and a delicious drink of mango and lime juice.

During the second half of our day, we visited Ta Phrom and a few other ruins.  Ta Phrom was once a royal monastery built by Jayavarman VII in honor of his mother.  Today, the site looks like a movie set and was actually the setting for the 2001 film Tomb Raider.

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All of these temples or wats are located just outside of the town of Siem Reap.  Siem Reap reminds me of a Cambodian version of Anaheim, California.  It is clearly a tourist destination.  Tourists come by the thousands to see Angkor Wat and the surrounding ruins.  The streets are lined with one large hotel after another, many of them very nice 5 star hotels.

As I mentioned, we stayed at the Raffles Hotel.  The Raffles is an historic French hotel that opened in 1929.  We were very happy with the location.  We were right across the street from the Royal Gardens and one of the King’s homes.  The king was in town while we were there for a UN conference on tourism.  Our hotel room looked right out at the king’s home.

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The King’s Home in Siem Reap

During our free time we took a Tuk-Tuk into town and visited the market place.  Lot’s of fun things to look at.  We bought some $3 elephant pants to bring back to our kids.  We even had lunch at The Hard Rock Cafe Siem Reap.

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We had a great 2 days in Siem Reap.  We felt we had just the right amount of time to see and do the things  we really wanted to.  Soon, we were off again…to Bangkok.

~Tiffany


Krabi Thailand

The next stop in our two week adventure to Southeast Asia was Krabi, Thailand.  Krabi is located on the west coast of southern Thailand.  We stayed at the Rayavadee resort that was accessible only by boat.  The Rayavadee resort is located in the middle of 3 beautiful beaches.  One beach is used mainly for arrival and departure and the other two, Phra Nang Beach and Railay Beach, are for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and sun bathing and taking in the beauty of the geography and the crystal blue waters.

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At the Ryavadee, we had our own private two story cottage that overlooked the beautiful pool and was only steps away from Railay Beach.

Our cottage

Our cottage

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The Pool at Rayvadee

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IMG_3279 During our four day stay at Rayavadee, we enjoyed massages at their spa.  We also book a few excursions through the resort.  The first excursion was a speed boat ride to some of the surrounding islands.  We snorkeled at Ko Phi Phi and enjoyed a picnic lunch at a beautiful sandy beach with crystal blue warm water. IMG_3334 IMG_3335 IMG_3337 IMG_0031 We also booked an excursion through the resort to go to an elephant camp and ride an elephant.  That was a lot of fun and we ended up with a ton of elephant pictures. IMG_3405IMG_3447   We really enjoyed all that the Rayvadee had to offer.  We loved seeing the monkeys, eating in all the restaurants, swimming in the pool and we still can’t get over their amazing laundry service!

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Many people we talked to, chose to go to Krabi over going to the more populated Phuket.  Some travelers chose both Phuket and Krabi.  If you are planning a trip to the area and are considering Phuket, I would definitely consider Krabi as well. ~Tiffany


Singapore!

My husband & I returned late last week from a very exciting 2 week trip to Southeast Asia.  We visited Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia.  I will discuss each country in a separate blog post.  My husband is an estate planning attorney, but he really could be a travel agent in another life.  He has a love for geography and just a natural ability to choose where to best stay and what to see.

Singapore was our first stop.  Officially the Republic of Singapore, Singapore, is a sovereign city-state and island country.  It lies off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula and is only 85 miles north of the equator. While in Singapore, we stayed at the very lovely Marina Bay Sands Hotel.  This is an iconic hotel that you may have seen pictures of.  It is three towers with an infinity edge pool stretching across the top of all three towers .

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The Marina Bay Sands

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The pool at the top.

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Not as scary as it looks!

The view from our hotel room.

The view from our hotel room.

While we were in Singapore for only a few days we loved the time at our hotel and the shopping center attached to it with super high end stores.  I felt right at home, as there was a Sephora (incase I get withdrawals ).  We also explored the city a bit.  We went to Chinatown and Little India as well as the beautiful Botanic Gardens.

Little India was amazing.  I wanted a dress!

Little India was amazing. I wanted a dress!

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Botanic Gardens

We throughly enjoyed our time in Singapore.  It is beautiful, clean and safe.  The weather is warm and the people are kind and friendly.  They all speak English and are very stylish dressers!  The shopping is amazing and there is plenty to see and do!  Even though Singapore is pretty small geographically, we didn’t get to everything we wanted to do.  We heard that the zoo there is amazing and that there is a fun island called Sentosa that even has a Universal Studios.  We would love to go back again.

~Tiffany