Tuesday, 24 November 2009

temples at last

Your first view of Ankor Wat is stunning, it is surrounded by a square moat, it has 5 lotus like towers rising 65 meters from ground level,you walk across a causeway to the entrance, even in the rain it was more impressive than I had imagined.It was built by Suryavarman II in the Mid. 12th century it was dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu, but later to Buddha.

This is one of the "libraries"

I loved the pert bottoms on these lion statues but all had missing tails.

The inner most tower at Ankor wat,you are no longer allowed to climb up as the steps are very worn,not to mention narrow. A bias relief of temple dancers,all of which are well endowed in the bust department.

The windows are decorated with these lovely pillars

These statues guard the bridge to Angkor Thom a 3km walled and moated royal city the builing was started in 1181 by Jayavarman as his new capital.

One of the five gates to the city each have four faces.

Bayon is one of the temples in this complex and my favourite, all the massive stone Buddha faces are very impressive,there are 37 standing towers most of them with four faces.

Elephant terrace, many of them are damaged it is 300 meters long with the terrace of the leper King at the north end.

Ta Prohm built by Jayavarman VII and dedicated to his mother,the jungle really encroaches into this temple.

The children have such beautiful ,happy faces even in the rain.

This is Ta Prohm, massive fig and cotton trees grow out from the stones it is very atmospheric and the tree bark is a golden colour, this temple is where the film Tomb Raider was filmed.

The trunks look very fluid as they flow over the stones.

This is the path on the way out,it was knee deep in places, but at least warm.

Sunday, 8 November 2009


A Brahman cow and calf making use of the waste water. We flew into Cambodia to Siem Reap and it poured and poured but we still had a great time I was going to post the photos of Angkor Wat but blogger is playing up so will post them later. The typhoon which hit Manila came on through to Cambodia a lot of the roads in Siem Reap were under water, this is a small hotel.

Life carried on much the same they still rode their bikes and everyone worked so hard at clearing up, even though some of them had flooded houses and nowhere to sleep and they were still smiling.

The water buffalo have very regal faces.

We flew back into Vietnam to Hoian which had had 2 days before water 3 meters deep, some of the hotels had to close due to damage and down by the river it was still wet and muddy, our hotel had some damage to the roof.Health and Safety would have a hissy fit here ,they were repairing the tiles no hard hats no safety harness nothing, but they sure got on with it.

This is My Som a temple complex just outside of Hoian, quite a few of them were deliberately bombed my the Americans, they are made of brick.

This is part of the gateway to a Buddist temple at Cham Island.

We did a cookery course, which was great as we found out the ingredients for the fantastic food we had been eating, it is very fresh and clean tasting they use a lot of coriander and different types of basil.The tutor spoke superb English and we made spring rolls, Wassabi soup, tofu balls,stuffed cabbage rolls ,chicken and shitaki and banana flower salad it was all delicious,I came home with a suitcase full of dried shitaki, and a great gadget for doing julienne strips.

We even managed to make tomato roses.

We went on a sailing trip for 2 nights around Halong bay, on a boat like the one below.The bay has masses of small outcrops of rock, some of these are small some have caves which you can kayak into [you get to realise your age getting in and out of a kayak!] and some have fantastic grotto`s with stalactites.

People live on floating villages the photo below is of the school

and the village

One of the grotto's from the sea.

The islands are stunning but it was always misty and my camera is only a basic one so you do not see the masses of islands disappearing into the distance,it would make a great textile piece with organza.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Vietnam and Cambodia

I have not blogged for ages as we have been away on holiday visiting Vietnam and Cambodia two fascinating countries.We flew into Ho Chi Minh which is a fairly modern city where everyone seems to own a motorcycle which entire families ride together, this makes crossing the road an art form as they do not stop at crossings and not always at red lights.They park the bikes on the pavements and even ride on them if it means cutting the corner, to cross the road you have to walk out slowly and the bikes go round you, if it is really busy you wait for a little old lady to take you across. They carry everything on the motor cycles and pushbikes
The children get taken to school on them,they wear the masks not just for thr fumes but too prevent their faces from getting brown, a sign of a field worker.

They rest on the bikes.

and this is a coffin being transported I ptesume it was empty.

The food was superb very fresh and piquant,we did a mornings cookery course and made vegetable rolls with shrimp, soup, fried tofu and shitaki balls and stuffed cabbage leaves. My favourite is Pho a clear chicken soup with rice noodles mushrooms and chili which is eaten for breakfast.I came back with a suitcase stuffed with dried shitaki,they are so cheapthere but then everything is to a Westerner.

Roadside barrows selling grapes, pomelos, dragon fruit all manner of fruit.

The markets were a wonder all kinds of delights most of which I had no idea what to do with this photo is fungi.

Beans and pulses and


I shall post some more photo.s later if anyone is interested