Siem Reap, Cambodia

Flight time to Cambodia, 7 hours 15 minutes. Although the flight time was long, there were three incredible lectures on the plane. I can not sing enough praises to our experts, David Silverberg, Paula Swart and Michael Melford. The vast knowledge and passion for their individual field of expertise is truly a blessing to us.

The Grand Hotel d’ Angkor welcomed us with such warmth. Since it was late, we retired to our beautiful room and ordered the most delicious in room meal I have ever had. We happened upon Cambodia at a challenging weather period, mainly a monsoon.  As it was the rainy season it rained most of our stay with sunshine peaking through occasionally. Unfortunately for the country, they were experiencing tremendous flooding.

Even with the weather conditions, the people of Cambodia smile and exude such a peaceful, loving presence. A country rich in historical suppression and sorrow, but kept full of souls with love, honor and joy. This country reminded me to look at the goodness inside and always keep hope.

We had a day of history and adventure at Angkor Wat , Banyon Temple and Elephant terrace. Yes, an elephant ride around was quite a spectacular way to view Angkor Wat. The temples built in the early twelfth century as the capital city for the king, Angkor Wat translates to “city temple”.  Following the tour of the temples we stopped at Artesian d’ Angkor a local handicraft workshop where we observed the traditional techniques of painting, sculpture, woodwork and textile art of Cambodia.

With some spare time prior to our dinner banquet, I took a rickshaw down a few streets to really feel the energy of Siem Reap.  Since we still had time to spare, a fellow traveler and I shared cocktails at the Elephant Bar inside the hotel.  The bar had a very Hemingway Cuba-like feel, and we had as good a time there as two gals could sipping locally named concoctions.

Dark at last.  We joined a poolside reception and then sat down for a dinner, which was incredibly diverse and delicious.  Our evening  treat was a wonderful local production of dance and instrumental flare.  I can’t describe the beauty and technical difficulty of the dances

.  Off to sleep now, and prepare for Chengdu, China.

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