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love your travels posts! hi :) —by alyssaverano
Hi! :) Glad you like theeem! <3
Sembreak’s almost overrr! Last sem was so far the most stressful sem I’ve had and I’m really glad I got through it. It scares me to think, though, that the last few semesters will be much more stressful (Read: Thesis) ;___; But of course there’s no point in getting myself worried about that now! For now, let me share with you how our Phnom Penh trip last May went! :)
Royal Palace. Been serving as the residence of the King of Cambodia for over a century now.
Just like in Angkor Wat, visitors have to be properly dressed.
The palace grounds
So in love with this gate! Haha
National Museum - where one gets a glimpse of the Khmer culture. It exhibits really impressive Khmer art pieces and to better understand them, you can choose to walk around with a museum guide. We did… which made it harder to take pictures inside (yep, prohibited!) I took a few photos though so let’s all keep that a secret, shall we? Hahaha
Wat Phnom or the Mountain Pagoda, a Buddhist temple. We pretty much just rested here actually… But still a very pretty sight, yes? I personally find all the structures that I’ve previously shown very beautiful! :)
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Now this part of the Cambodian history was what left the biggest impact on me. Above is a photo of one of the rooms where a lot of Cambodians were held prisoners and tortured by the Khmer Rouge regime (1975-1979).
Thousands of Cambodians were physically tortured to make them confess to the crimes they were charged with. Because the beatings won’t stop unless they confess, these people would just confess to it even if it weren’t true.
Some of the buildings are still enclosed in barbed wires which then served to prevent prisoners from escaping.
This place used to be a school and later became Security Prison 21 (S-21).
Some of the many photos that show how much these Cambodians were tortured. There was so much sadness around the place. Looking at the photos, seeing the cells and reading stories of some prisoners were very heartbreaking. I can’t even describe how I feel about these atrocities.
Chum Mey, one of the few known survivors, witnessed his wife and son getting killed… He was there to sell his book that told his story. It is his way of telling the world the truths about the Khmer Rouge.
Okay… So before we get back to that again, let’s all take a break and have a delicious treat ;)
Coffee + Mint Chocolate. Ugh perfect :(( I wish we had The Blue Pumpkin in Manila!
Me hahahaha okay, end of break!
Choeung Ek Genocidal Center. This was just one of the hundreds of sites known as The Killing Fields where thousands of people were executed.
The Memorial Charnel which contains thousands of skulls
Visitors can buy flowers to pay their respects to the victims.
Bracelets that visitors left for the victims as tributes
The tree where children were beaten. INNOCENT children. Just… horrific. Cruel. The only reason behind this is that so no one would seek revenge in the future.
While walking around, you can still see bones and teeth fragments that have surfaced due to heavy rains and are yet to be collected by caretakers.
Also, there was also this tree (Magic Tree) from which a loudspeaker was hung once to play loud music so that no one from the outside would hear the cries and moans of the victims.
As we left this place, all I really hoped and prayed for was that none of these would ever happen again anywhere in this world. It was painful to know that such things happened before, but I am glad we went there because it opened my mind to a lot of things. If you go to Cambodia, you definitely should visit these places.
After all that, we had dinner and went back to Siem Reap the day after for our flight back to Manila.
I can’t really say that our Cambodia trip was one of the best ones we’ve had but it definitely was one of the trips where I learned from the most. The experience made me realize that despite whatever circumstances we are in, I am blessed and so are you.
Siem Reap 2013
Squeezed in a short trip to Cambodia last May after summer classes!
One of the things that I looked forward to the most about this trip was visiting the temples so when it rained pretty hard when we arrived, it was hard not to get disappointed. It was difficult to take pictures plus we don’t really enjoy seeing ourselves wearing raincoats on our photos… Thank God, though, that the sun decided to come out after an hour or so!
Horses around the Elephant Terraces!
A temple undergoing restoration.
Because it got pretty windy, the staff didn’t let us try the balloon ride. /sadface
Mah sister at the… ANGKOR WAT!!! We haven’t even entered the place at this point but it was already breathtaking from all angles.
Weather in Cambodia is just as bipolar as ours. After the rain, the heat was just too much to bear so we took an alternative route near the trees instead. Thanks to our fun tour guide Mr. Sowann, the long walk to the temple felt less exhausting!
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Apsara! There are more than a thousand dancing Apsaras carved around the temple that my sister and I ended up repeatedly singing the name to the tune of… Chacharap. Hahaha I still find myself singing it sometimes… Anyway, moving on…
Before visiting the Angkor Wat, make sure you’re wearing the right clothes so you could enjoy the beautiful view at the top!
SO KYOT THESE LITTLE BOYS <3
THE GORGEOUS ANGKOR WAT. #bucketlist Too many people were taking photos from this side of the area because the reflection’s just fascinating! :”)
After the temples, we headed to the floating village at Tonle Sap Lake.
The lake was so big one would actually think it was already the ocean.
The floating village also has its own school, basketball court, church and a hospital.
Um hi hahaha
I seriously think this girl was trying to sell the snake…
There was still so much to experience in Siem Reap, but since we wanted to see more of Cambodia, we included Phnom Penh as part of our itinerary.
Stopped at the Spider Market on our long ride to Phnom Penh. They are such pretty girls, don’t you think? <3
Up next: Phnom Penh!
Spent 4 hours catching up with my high school best friend last week at Cool Beans Cafe, Maginhawa. I could definitely spend hours in this cafe just reading from their huge selection of books!
Summer term isn’t taking much of my time thus far so might as well get this long overdue post done already!
One of the main reasons my dad chose to go to Korea during winter season was that he wanted to experience skiing. It was, honestly, one of the best decisions ever!
A place for all first-timers. We were taught how to ski in this area but were also allowed to go into the ‘real zone’ once we already felt skilled and brave enough.
Moving around in ski boots required a lot of effort so my first attempts were pretty embarrassing. When I couldn’t stop when I wanted to, I would eventually bump into another skier. That happened a couple of times until I finally knew how. I never fell though!
This was the ‘real zone’ that I was talking about. Haha and that’s me above! ;) It wasn’t too difficult to get used to but I guess it all depends on one’s determination and self-belief… I felt nervous at first when I couldn’t control myself, but knowing that others could do it, why couldn’t I?
It was such an awesome view to see professional skiers do their thing! If I lived in Korea, I would have probably chosen this as my sport. No kidding!
We were only given a short time for this, but it was definitely the best part of our trip. If, someday, an opportunity like this comes your way, don’t be afraid! It will surely be worth it. :)
What my life consisted of the past several weeks. Frequent visits to Moonleaf Tea Shop — delicious drinks + free wifi + only 10-15 mins from UP… Where else shall we spend our breaks? Loads of paperwork + exams. Imagine having to work on 3 case studies, 15 plates and 6 final exams on the last week of the sem… The most stressed I’ve been in a long time!
Sad to say, only a week left and I’m back to school. Yep, summer classes. ;_; This is why I’m sure I won’t be able to finish Project 52 on time (I’m not even halfway yet!!!). Boo… And since there’s really nothing interesting to blog about lately, I’ll still be posting some Ilocos and Korea photos (which I know are so last year huhu sorry).
Hope all of you are having a great summer! :)