Monday, June 16, 2014

Cambodia: Ta Prohm

Not far from Angkor Wat is the beautiful temple of Ta Prohm. Ta Prohm is famous for being the featured in the movie Tomb Raider. It's also where I tossed my cookies.


The unique thing about Ta Prohm is that it has been left in much the same condition in which it was found. Trees grow from the top of buildings and the jungle surrounding the temple makes it insanely photogenic.







It almost made me feel like an explorer, discovering something unseen for the first time. Except for the all the other tourists that were there of course.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cambodia: Angkor Wat

We visited Cambodia in February during the Spring Festival. However, I've written very little about the trip. Unfortunately, I don't remember most of it. And what I do remember about those first few days, I sort of wish I could forget.

One of the spots I do clearly remember was the Temple of Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world and classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built by the Khmer King during the 12th century (113 BC), the site has served as a Hindu as well as Buddhist temple.

We awoke early and gathered ourselves for a sunrise view of the temple. We had hired a guide who helped us find our way through the vast darkness and waited for the first rays of light to appear.


Slowly, the outline of the temple became visible directly in front of us. As the sun rose, so did the giant towers of the temple.


Ankor Wat is nothing short of breathtaking. As someone who has toured a fair amount of temples and ruins, I can easily say this is the most impressive one I have visited. While walking around, I was awed by the size of the structure and by the simple fact that I was privileged enough to be seeing it.








In my opinion, Ankor Wat is best toured with a guide simply because the history surrounding this place is immense. Your inner nerd will thank you.

$20 USD will get you a single day pass to tour Ankor Wat as well as the surrounding temples in the Angkor Archeological Park. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

How Local Are You?

Matthew has been teasing my lately that I have become very Chinese. So when I saw this quiz on Urban Family, I thought I would test out his theory. Turns out, I have been acting pretty local. I suppose it's time for a trip back to the States.

How Local Are You?

Questions to test just how much influence China has had on you.

1. Your family mostly eats food from… 
a) the local wet market
b) Lianhua or Carrefour
c) City Shop or Sherpa’s

2. Your ayi brings a live duck to you from her village after Chinese New Year, you:
a) help her kill it and cook it
b) watch her cook it from the living room
c) freak out, it’s bird flu season and there’s a duck in your house!

3. The strangest place in Shanghai you’ve changed a diaper is…
a) what diaper? My child wears split pants.
b) in the back of a moving taxi, since my child isn’t in a car seat
c) in the grass next to the playground at the park

4. When you’re out with your children and one of them shouts, “I need to pee!” with no restroom in sight, you…
a) just let them go on the side of the street
b) look for the nearest tree
c) make them hold it until you find the nearest restroom

5. Your kitchen consists of…
a) a toaster
b) a toaster oven
c) a full-size oven

6. It’s Saturday morning, you’re still in your pajamas, there’s nothing to eat for breakfast and you decide to go out and get something, you:
a) head straight out the door, not bothering to change
b) leave your pajamas on, but wear a coat over
c) change your clothes

7. For special occasions, you’re most likely to give:
a) red envelope with cash
b) gift bag with present you bought on Taobao
c) a store-bought present wrapped and tied with a bow

8. When a Chinese grandma comments that your baby isn’t dressed warmly enough, you:
a) agree with her
b) debate with her
c) smile and walk away

9. At the dinner table, your family is most likely to put:
a) soy sauce on everything
b) chili sauce on everything
c) ketchup on everything

10. Your child was potty-trained at what age?
a) 18 months
b) 3 years
c) 4 years

11. When you cross the street you:
a) cross with authority; those drivers will avoid you if they know what’s good for them
b) cross when the people around you start to cross
c) wait for the light

12. When someone is talking with you and you want to reply in the affirmative, you:
a) make various “mm” noises, then add, "due, due, due"
b) nod
c) nod and say, “Yes, I agree”

13. When out at dinner with a group of friends and the check arrives, you:
a) insist on paying
b) break out the calculator
c) say you’ll expense it and ask for the fapiao

Give yourself 3 points for every (a) answer, 2 points for every (b) answer and 1 point for every (c) answer.

32-39 points = You’re very local. You’ve assimilated nicely.
26-32 points = Your local friends would be proud, but you still have a way to go.
Less than 20 points = Fresh off the boat. You’re living like you never left home.

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