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CambodiaDestinations

The highlights of Siem Reap

June 27, 2015 — 0

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Old Market of Siem Reap

So we reached Siem Reap after a good flight actually and a very supportive Isha who was a wonderful kid during the journey. In Siem Reap there are two main attractions, Angkor Wat temples (obviously!) and Old Market Area. We went to the latter the first and it was a nice easy evening to walk around the place. It was obviously very hot during the day but evenings were much more pleasant. Not totally but sufficiently to walk around for an hour or two.

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Cambodia – Land of Peace and Prosperity

February 14, 2015 — 0

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Empires rise and fall. Great empires have their peak and then they falter and while some fall slowly but surely, others simply decimate quickly and suddenly due to varied factors. Well, I am not intelligent nor well researched enough on which category the history of Cambodia falls, but what I can say is that visiting the country did showcase the Great Empire Cambodia once had and that it lost its way in between to become one of Asia’s lesser prosperous countries now (2015).

I do see signs that the country wants to get back on its feet and regain some of the lost glory and ironically, the ruins of the glorious past are its immediate catalysts that are helping it do the same. This brings us to the journey of Angkor Wat. Which we took in early 2015. Read on for more! It was surely a delightful / insightful experience.

CambodiaDestinations

Cambodia

January 12, 2015 — 0

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Let the family trip begin!

Click here to jump straight to the trip

So it was December xmas time and time to plan the CNY vacation. But with mom dad coming just before New year, CNY planning was never in focus.

So then, it was Jan 1st week and the five of us (me, wife, parents and our five month princess) were brainstorming where to go for the Chinese New year 2015… but we could not. Coz just as we were discussing, we realised that mom dad’s visa is a one time visa and hence we cannot go out and come back, before the end of March, till when they are to stay here. Hence, focus moved to easter break in first week April.

Out came the world map again (its hilarious every time we go to Google maps and see where we should go!).

So the brainstorming about which country to make the 22nd entry into our destination50 log book. Options – Japan (haha!!! – long story but, haha!!!) , Greece Turkey or similar trip, Australia which was a close second (but will not be a new one since we did Perth before) or somewhere in Asia.

Greece Turkey was an almost final thought till we realised that mom dad cannot get their visa processed from Hong Kong.

So next, look for countries which have visa on arrival or visa free entry for us, and that has a comfortable direct flight and has something for all of us.

Hence…. Cambodia! It’s easy, has visa on arrival and its world famous temples that we all always wanted to see.  Not to forget, the city life that should be exciting as well. Yep, that sounds like a fair plan!

Flights… done! Vietnam Airlines! Call it complacency, but some reason I thought Angkor Wat is near Phnom Penh and not Siem Reap.  Good we never made the bookings before I had a casual chat with friends who had been there and they corrected me!

Anyways, so there was a lot of pondering over whether we should take VN airlines but eventually looking at other comments and experiences, we thought we shall go ahead with this. A thumbs up by a fellow friend also gave us comfort to try it. Will post pics and reviews in due course.

As for hotels, we have booked 8-10 hotels on booking.com. Free cancellation till one week before. Heena will decide the final one out of the first cut made by me.

Note – so finally we decided on Lotus Blanc resort in Siem Reap. Between hotels in midst of Old Market and bigger resorts (with much bigger rooms) in bit further away from the city centre (which is small in itself), we decided to go for the luxuries of a resort about 10-15min Tuk-Tuk drive away from the city centre since with a baby, we were not sure how much we will really venture out. Turned out to the right reason.

There was Angkor Paradise resort that was a close contender and in the end, it was price that was the real determinant and 3 days before the trip, we got a secret deal from booking.com for Lotus Blanc at 50% its regular price. Angkor Paradise was also priced similar to Lotus Blanc at full rate and hence the deal we got was the deal clincher indeed. I have to add, it was not at all a bad decision and we absolutely loved Lotus Blanc resort, especially its service! TOO GOOD!

Right, so all set! Jump onto this link for the experience of Siem Reap and Ankor Wat!

ChinaDestinationsYunnan

Lijiang

July 1, 2012 — 0

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dLijiang has a rich history and the town still speaks every bit it, given the preserved look and feel of the town, partly thanks to the “UNESCO heritage site” status granted back in 1998. The town was an important waypoint during the old “tea horse” route from China to Persia and boasts of some of the world’s most scenic locales around itself.

 

The journey from Dali to Lijiang is actually breathtaking (though would add here that not as good as one to ).