Photo Hunt #33: Reflections

angkor wat reflection

Angkor Wat, the largest religious structure in the world, a truly magnificent Khmer architectural masterpiece, the highlight of every tourist’s visit, and the most photographed in all of Cambodia.

From afar, looking at this famous tourist attraction in Cambodia will fill you with awe and anticipation. The sheer beauty of the massive site can be overwhelmingly beautiful, especially when veiled in mist in the early morning hours. Mysterious passage ways, beautiful carvings adorning temple walls, tall towers and sweeping courtyards fill the temple landscape and create a sight unlike any other you may have seen. Scrutinized, admired and interpreted by thousands of archaeologists, architects and other designers, the blueprint of Angkor Wat Cambodia remains one of the most unique in the world. Even more beauty is added gracefully to this tourist attraction in Cambodia by a large expanse of gleaming water found in front of the main entrance.

Destination360

Seasoned photographers recommend that the best time to get a good shot of the facade is after 3pm when the sun is on one side and the front of Angkor Wat is illuminated.

Photo Hunt #32: Ruin(ed)

These are just some of the ghost villas of Kep. Kep, in its heydays, was once a favourite holiday town of the French colonial masters and the Cambodian elites.

Kep villa ruins 1

Kep villa ruins 2

The villas fell into ruin during the 70s when the Khmer Rouge took over and systematically burned and destroyed all the villas and murdered its occupants. This is probably what the Khmer Rouge meant when they declared Year Zero. At present, some of the villas are occupied but most are abandoned and lying in ruins. Vegetation has set in covering the remnants but one can still see the grandiose details of the villas alongside bullet holes and burn marks. The villas are but mere reminders of the golden days of Kep, and, ironically, of the cruelty of the Khmer Rouge regime that ravaged the entire country.

The first time I visited Kep was in 2002 and the sight of these decaying villas gave me shivers. To me, Kep, then, had a ghost-town feel to it. These days, however, Kep is undergoing a massive transformation. The once thick jungle is now slowly vanishing to give way to numerous constructions (hotels, bars, restaurants); villas being snapped up by local and foreign businessmen to refurbish into tourist accommodations, all in the name of “touristic revival”.

Oh, how I hate to see Kep transform into something like Sihanoukville.

P.S. Some scenes of the movie, City of Ghosts, which starred Matt Dillon, James Caan, and Gerard Depardieu, was shot in Kep.

Photo Hunt #0031: Family

gulp war

Gulp War of the borloloys!
In the photo are my nephew Joshua (middle) and nieces Beebop (left) and Chappi (right), about to have their siesta.

Borloloy is a term I borrowed from fellow blogger Toe and is used endearingly to refer to nephews and nieces. Our family is now growing in numbers, no doubt about it. Four years ago, Joshua was the center of attention being the first apo (grandchild) in the family. Two years after that, Beebop was born, and one year later, Chappi followed. Chappi’s birth somehow led everyone’s attention on me and my husband. The oldies in the family – composed of our uncles and aunts whose mission in life is to find a match to their single nephews and nieces and encourage procreation; you know, Noah’s ark and all- have stopped asking me when will I get married, as I already have,thanks very much. Instead they are now asking when will the husband and I are going to produce ankle-biters.

PhotoHunt #030: Lazy

adogslife

In 2006, I was assigned to the coastal town of Kep and the whole family – me, my husband, and our dog Max – relocated. We stayed in a guesthouse on a hill with a sweeping view of the Bokor mountain and the Gulf of Thailand. Almost every day, after lunchtime, we all retreated to our hammocks on the mini-patio and spent the lazy afternoon enjoying the view. The breath-taking view and the refreshing sea breeze lulled us all to sleep, Max included.

Photo Hunt #28 and 29: Wrinkled/Beauty

I am re-posting the image below, same one I used in last week’s PH. For some reason, I couldn’t leave my comment and link at the PH home.

Anyways, I used the photo again because I think last week and this week’s theme can be found in the said photo.

wrinkled beauty black and white

Her face may be marred by age and years of hard work , yet, I find her beautiful. Who says being wrinkled and old can’t be beautiful? The picture above portrays both.

Photo Hunt #26: Support

Coming back again for the PH after such a long time of being absent. My entry for this week is a photo of one of the towers of a lesser known temple Prey Rup found at the Angkor Wat complex. Shown in the photo is a re-assembled tower, a temple mountain design symbolically representing Mount Meru (characteristic of a Khmer classical architecture), the legendary home of Hindu gods.

DSC05953

Being one of the World Heritage Sites, the Cambodian government took measures to protect the temples. There have been several conservation projects supported by Japan, Germany, France and other countries that were implemented and some are still ongoing. As you can see in the picture, huge blocks of sandstone are precariously held together by what looked like a string. I wonder though, with all the support generated for the conservation project, could they get another string/rope strong enough to support the sandstone blocks from falling down?

Photo Hunt #24: Hair – The 70s

70shair

I know he would skin me alive when he sees this, but I am posting this anyway. Phnom Penh is thousands of miles away from my hometown of Roxas City (in the Philippines) so I am safe and far from his wrath *lol*. That’s my uncle and his posse, their big hair and side-part are trademark of the 70s. . I am not saying it’s a bad hair as it was the big thing in the 70s… all I am saying is… watta hair!