Today we are visiting a special little place.
We got up super early at five in the morning and check it out this is where we are – Angkor
Wat, Cambodia! We are inside Angkor Wat and this is the largest
religious structure in the whole world. This is my very first time visiting Angkor
Wat but Sam over here has been to this place a whopping four times. World traveler much? How is your forth time here different from
you the first, second and third? Tell us! Well the temples are certainly still as impressive
as ever but there are so many more tourists here than when I first came. I would say it
has tripled or quadrupled or maybe even more than that. It is just unbelievable how people
are sharing the experience. This is actually a Hindu temple that was dedicated
to the Hindu God Vishnu and the temple was built by a Cambodian King who helped unify
the country and to also spread the Khmer influence across Southeast Asia. One of the most impressive things about this
temple here is actually the massive moat that surrounds it. It is one of the first things
you notice as you’re coming up to the temple. There are several options for booking tickets
to visit the temples of Angkor. We went with the three day option and that was $40 USD
dollars but you can also go with the one day option, two day option or if you really love
temples the seven days. I would image that is quite pricey. A good time to come to Angkor Wat is actually
right at lunchtime because a lot of the tours, buses and tourists are out having lunch or
at that point in the day temple-d out, which means they are really hot, tired and sort
of seen enough temples for the day. If you want and alternative time to come definitely
consider coming around between 12 and 1:30. Coming back for the forth time was amazing.
I never get tired of this place but one funny observation I have is that I noticed that
any family’s dragging along their children really didn’t seem to be enjoy this as much.
They were just dragging their feet. I think it has a lot to do with the heat and humidity
outside right now. It is really really hard to be walking around and not sweating profusely. I really enjoyed getting up early and coming
to watch the sunrise at Angkor Wat. I thought that maybe the experience wouldn’t feel special
because there are literally hundreds of people also here at that time of day but it felt
like we were sharing the moment together, so I really enjoyed it. We boarded a river taxi, one of our favorite
ways of getting around Bangkok, to visit one of the most iconic landmarks of the entire
city. Today is
one of our last days in Thailand and actually
one of our last days in Southeast Asia. We’ve decided to do a bit of sightseeing around
Bangkok and we are visiting Wat Arun. This is the Temple of Dawn located on the
west bank of the Chao Phraya river. I’m already sweating profusely and now it
is time to go climb this massive temple. I’ve seen Wat Arun a few times while traveling
down the Chao Phraya river. It is really interesting because from a distance it just looks like
it is a grey temple made out of concrete but once you actually get here and walk up close
to it you can see all of the intricate little details like it is made up of broken tiles
and ceramics. It is really cool. It is a bit of a surprise. And it gets even steeper. That was easily the scariest set of stairs
I have ever climbed. The steps were like this high and they were only this wide, so your
feet could barely fit on there. I had to come down seated the whole time – like just on
my butt. Some tips for visiting Wat Arun. First, make
sure you bring tonnes of water. We brought two water bottles and we’ve just guzzled them.
I swear, I’ve sweated about half of my body weight. And second, even though it is a really
steep climb – even if you’re afraid of heights like I personally am – it is still worth going
up. The views are amazing. Walking up early in the morning certainly
has its advantages. We are the first people to arrive at this temple Banteay Srei. This is one of the temples we’ve been most
excited to visit and we are officially the first ones here. Here we are inside the temple. This happens
to be a Hindu temple and it is dedicated to the God Shiva. Most of the temples of Angkor were commissioned
by powerful Kings but this temple in particular was not. It was commissioned by a Brahman,
which makes it quite unique. Because we came here early we got a VIP tour.
Normally these areas are gated off as you can see by the white perimeter here and the
rope. Look at where we are – Yeah! The advantages of being the first on site
can’t be underestimated. I mean, anything to avoid those package tourists is a good
idea. There are many temples to choose from but
this one in particular Banteay Srei is considered to be the crown jewel of Angkorian art because
it has some of the most exquisite and intricate carvings. This temple is located very far away from
Siem Reap. We had to travel over an hour in a tuk-tuk and I slept most of the way but
I hear it was a very scenic journey. Yes? Along the way we passed a lot of rural villages.
We saw locals out doing various kinds of activities early in the morning – some farming related
and some business. We saw bikes packed to the total brim full of stuff. We saw a lot
of different things and it was just a really cool trip to get out here. Today we are here visiting Kek Lok Si temple
and this is the biggest Buddhist temple in all of Southeast Asia. In order for us to
get here we had to go through a bit of a market. I’ve never seen so many turtles in one place. Today we are visiting the Temple of Supreme
Bliss and I’m feeling particularly blissful this morning. Let’s have a look. This impressive temple took nearly twenty
years to build and was funded almost entirely by donations. Even today they’re doing more
renovations. This temple is located on a hilltop in Air
Itam and it offers excellent views of the city below. How sweaty are you? I have rivers flowing
down my body. Your shirt seems quite appropriate now. I am hot. I’m hot! These temples here combine Mahayana Buddhism
and Chinese rituals. That concludes our tour of the temples here.
For anyone who would like to come you can take the bus 201, 203 and 204 from the Komplex
Komptar – basically the main mall from George Town and it is about a 40 minute ride to here.
Overall, the temples are pretty cool. It is very much commercial but I guess that is to
be expected. But enough about the temples now it is time
for lunch. It is bright and early. It is only seven twenty
in the morning and I’ve been dragged out of bed by someone to go visit the Batu Caves
early in the day. How are we getting there? We are taking the commuter train from KL Sentral.
One Ringgit each. It was cheap! Today we are visiting the Batu Caves. It is
only 13 kilometers north of Kuala Lumpur and this is an important Hindu shrine. The caves takes its name from the Batu River
and is dedicated to Lord Murugan. It looks like it is feeding time for the pigeons
over here. Who said money or food couldn’t buy you friends. Here I am on step number one. I’ve only got
two hundred and seventy two more of these bad boys to climb. There are lots of macaques or little monkeys.
This is my first time seeing monkeys up close so it is all that I’m taking pictures of at
the temple. Finally two hundred and seventy two steps
later we have made it to the top. This is actually my third time coming to the
Batu Caves but this is by far the earliest I’ve come and what a difference
it makes. There is hardly anyone here and
it feels like we have the place to ourselves. We’ve had intimate encounters with pigeons,
monkeys, roosters and there is a performance going on. My tip to anyone is to come early. We beat the first tourist bus here. Look at
them coming. Hahaha! Now we are rewarding ourselves with a vegetarian
Indian feast. I swear I must have lost half of my water (body weight) going up and down
those Batu Caves. I ordered myself a delicious roti which I’m
going to enjoy right now. I am starving. Masala Chai! Now we are at another temple called Preah
Khan, which means ‘sacred sword’ and this temple is believed to have been a University
that housed over a 1000 teachers. This here is one of our favorite temples.
The reason why we really like it so much is that it is just not overcrowded. We’ve come
here early in the morning but there is hardly anyone here. It has that kind of eerie feeling
to it similar to Ta Prohm but without all of the crowds. You can be walking through
and you feel like you’re going through a maze. It is really quite fascinating. People who have come to this temple have picked
up some rocks and stacked them into a little formation and I do believe this has a special
meaning in Buddhism. Background music playing.
So we ended up at the Golden Mount in Bangkok and it looks like there is some kind of celebration
going on. We’re going to see what it is all about.
Thai speaking in the background. Coin noises.
So out here we’ve got all of the different animal signs. I’m the cock or rooster and
so I’ve got my lucky piece of Baht to put in here. Let’s see if it’s going to bring
some good luck. Background music playing.
So this is actually a really nice place to cool off because they have mist blowing on
you as you go up the steps. Background music playing.
Banging noises. Bells ringing.
Gong. Gong. Gong. Background music playing.
So I visited this temple about a month ago and there was no one here. Today happens to
be a big Buddhist holiday, so everyone is coming here to pay their respects and the
place is just packed. Bells ringing.
Background music playing. Some of the best views of Bangkok from up
here. Bells ringing. This morning we’re venturing up to Doi Suthep
and there is a temple atop the mountain overlooking Chiang Mai, so we’re going to be taking a
red songthaew to get there and hopefully the views of the city will be amazing. Here is the
songthaew crew! Say hi! Hi! We’re going to
Doi Suthep. Woo Hoo! We just got out of the vehicle and this is
our first vantage point. Unfortunately, it is still a bit hazy outside, so we don’t have
a great view at the moment. But the city is there somewhere. The long climb begins. I’m not entirely sure
how many steps we have to go but I know it is
going to be a long way. I think there is over
three hundred. Ideally you should be able to see the views
of Chiang Mai from up here but today it is just really hazy, so there is a cloud hanging
over the city. We can’t really see much, which is unfortunate. That concludes our visit to Doi Suthep. It
is definitely different than what I expected. I was kind of expecting this quaint little
temple on top of a hill and instead it is an extremely popular tourist attraction. It
is really crowded over here. I would say the exterior of Doi Suthep is
quite similar to a lot of the other Wats we have visited here in Chiang Mai. However,
the highlight for me was actually going inside the temple because there is a courtyard with
a golden stupa and you can walk around light candles and there is incense burning, so that
was a great experience. Today we are outside Siem Reap and we are
exploring the Temples of Angkor starting with Angkor Thom. The most fascinating thing about Bayon are
the cold faces that have a hint of a smile. This massive complex has 54 towers with 216
faces on them. Over here we have the Terrace of the Elephants.
It is 350 meters long. This was once used as a viewing platform from where you could
watch the ceremonies that took place for the King. Well, we’re traveling right now in Cambodia
in April and it is the hottest time of the year here. It is always hot in Cambodia but
this is literally the worst month. I’m just sweating buckets. As a tip for people coming
here – if you want to come at bit of a cooler time from December to January or even February
it is a great time to come. It is also peak season here so you will be sharing it with
more tourists but you won’t be sweating as much. Now we’re going to climb up 400 steps to visit
the Cave Pagoda. So why are you so sweaty boy? I just climbed
400 steps and I’m not just sweating profusely. This is beyond that. I’m probably going to
die. This is one of the more quirky temples I’ve
visited. There is a Buddha wearing sunglasses – that is pretty chill. This temple has beautiful views. It is just rice
fields as far as you can see. So this cave pagoda temple has been surprinsingly
impressive. It is actually quite stunning and elaborate and the views are spectacular.
If anyone wants to come here this is near the Vietnamese – Cambodian border in the far
south near Chao Doc. Hello! Hello! We are now visiting Ta Prohm, which is a Buddhist
temple where the jungle just dominates the architecture. Here the buildings are wrapped
in trees and some of the entrances are blocked. Indiana Jones would feel right at home here
at this temple. In fact, it was used for the set of Tomb Raider staring Angelina Joli. It is decaying and it is crumbling but it
is a great place to explore. This is an example of nature taking over the
temple. Here you have this massive tree that is just straddling the wall really. Some parts of the temple have been completely
destroyed over the centuries, which actually creates quite a fascinating atmosphere. I first visited Ta Prohm back in 2008 and
‘wow’ was it an entirely different experience. There was hardly anyone. I was able to walk
around without encountering mass crowds. It is completely different this time and instead
of sort of lamenting about it and just getting really negative about it – what I’ve actually
been doing is just taking a lot of time-lapse shots. I’m using the crowds and the people
as sort of a backdrop for filming. That is what I’m going to do throughout this entire
time that I’m here exploring the Temples of Angkor. A much quieter alternative, once you’ve explored
the temple, is to actually just walk around the perimeter. It is quite peaceful here.