Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Angkor Wat

The mother/daughter adventure continued onwards to Siem Reap, Cambodia, where Gavin met up with us to tour the temples of the ancient Khmer city of Angkor.  We spent two full days wandering through the expansive sites with our diligent, kind, and knowledgeable driver Sorn Ram, taking in the sites and meeting the local sellers.  Rather than posting one mega-post, I thought it might be easier to take it all in temple by temple.

Our initial stop was the magnificent Angkor Wat, which is encircled by a brackish, green moat and two sets of impressive walls.  Built by developer extraordinaire/king Suryavarman II in the 12th century, this was once one hell of a prayer center for the piously-inclined.

What fine nips!

Pay a dollar, get a pic with these Khmer gals. Don't pay a dollar, get a pic of random tourist and Khmer gals.

A nearby monastery and orphanage.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ha Long Bay

After a harrowing four-hour bus drive from Hanoi, Mom and I arrived at Ha Long Bay for a day of adventure.  We boarded the Ha Long 08 and almost immediately tucked into a massive seafood lunch spread and took in the otherworldly surrounding.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the region is known for its stunning karst limestone cliffs, cave systems, and serene waters.

Thousands of years of erosion has left the cliffs sharp and unforgiving - a dream for intrepid rock scramblers.

Exploring caves (amateur spelunking). The colors are from fluorescent lights and do not occur naturally in the caves.

Late afternoon and the sun is waning.

There are over 2,000 islands dramatically jutting out from Ha Long Bay.

After a few hours of cruising, it was time to watch the sun fall into the horizon and head back to Hanoi to prepare for our next big adventure: Cambodia.