Wednesday, April 22, 2009

(Part Three, Saigon-Siem Reap-Hanoi-Halong vacation)

Around a week before the trip, i was enthusiastically telling a friend about our itinerary in Siem Reap, with stops to the various temples such as Ta Prohm, Banteay Srei, Angkor Thom, and the world-famous Angkor Wat.

"That's funny, i've never thought of you as a 'temple' person," she mused.

I just laughed, and gave her remark no further thought.

My friend turned out to be quite prescient.

It was 9:30 AM, the sun was shining its warm, radiant rays cheerfully over the hordes of tourists arriving at Banteay Srei, our tour group included.

Our guide, a rather funny-looking fellow named Chay, was extremely professional and well-versed in the intricacies of ancient Khmer history. He waxed eloquently on the gods Shiva, Vishnu and Rama, amongst other things.

Unfortunately, after twenty minutes or so of standing under the sweltering heat, i was already suffering from 'temple fatigue', and wanted nothing more than to pour a cold bottle of water over my head.

So it went with our visits to the other temples. I could barely remember any of the historical tidbits narrated by Chay!

But of course, to keep myself interested, i resorted to taking my usual 'trick' camera shots and enlisted tour groupmates R.T. and J.N.

"Let's take some artsy, meticulously-arranged yet supposedly 'candid' photos, just like they do in most travel magazines," i suggested.

Hence, our visits to the temples degenerated into horsing around, making weird poses. Here are some of the 'artsy' photos we took, which i henceforth dub the "Window Sill at the Temples" series:

This one above is me, leaning against the wall while thinking despondently of my stock portfolio.

This pic above is of J.N., grinning like a cat who just devoured a whole saucer of condensed milk (instead of mixing it with his iced Vietnamese coffee ;D). He's probably thinking of his latest painting.

Due to the overwhelming, insistent clamor from my readers [i can imagine my friend, amazonic R., muttering scornfully, "yeah, right!"], i've included a face pic of myself. Haha.

Seriously now, this one was taken at Bayon Temple at Angkor Thom. I really like the contrast of this one, the dark foreground hiding the subject (me) in the shadows while the smiling image of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara looks down benignly on me, as he gets a suntan.

Bye for now, folks! Stay tuned for posts regarding Halong Bay and the cyclos of Hanoi.


Anonymous said...

Great pics!


hey peter,

i enjoyed the photos! :) wish i thought of this while we were there...




Anonymous said...

spot on on the muttering comment. enjoyed this post - r.

Koryn said...

Haha, you're funny! Actually had a similar feeling during our second day. After the third temple, I was ready to stop and just go back to Pub Street and do some food trippin' :)