Thailand & Cambodia 2015
On our 2nd foray into Asia, we left cold, snowy New Hampshire for nearly 2 glorious weeks in Thailand and then made a quick trip into Cambodia for 3 nights to visit a place I have long dreamed of seeing, the temples at Angkor Wat.
We began our journey in the bustling capital city of Bangkok. We spent 3 full days exploring the many Buddhist temples and the historic Grand Palace.
We soaked in the vibrant life along the Chao Phraya River crowded with express boats, river taxis and long-tail boats.
We relished the flavors and fragrances of that most famous Thai cuisine.
We strolled through the varied districts taking in everything from the modern financial and commercial areas of Sukhumvit and Silom, to the laid-back atmosphere of Khao San Road (the back-packer district) as well as the cities' notorious red-light district.
Next we flew 435 miles to the north to visit the moated city of the former capital of the Kingdom of Lanna, Chiang Mai.
Set in the foothills of Thailand's two highest peaks, Chiang Mai lies inside a partially walled old quarter filled with celebrated temples and has a relaxed vibe that makes it everything Bangkok isn't.
About an hour outside the city we had an experience that will stay with us forever as we spent a day at the Elephant Nature Park, an amazing organization that provides a sanctuary and rescue center for abused and mistreated elephants.
Without exploiting the animals, visitors get to observe free roaming elephants, feed them and LITERALLY WALK AMONGST THEM in their natural surroundings.
This was definitely a highlight of the trip!
500 miles south of Bangkok on the western coast of southern Thailand is Krabi...a majestically beautiful town situated on the Andaman Sea.
Our glorious 5 days here were spent in awe of the surreal landscape...a myriad of bays and coves set amongst impossibly angular limestone cliffs jutting out of the sea.
We took in the magnificent views from above the sea aboard long tail boats and from below during our 2 days of scuba diving where we saw stunningly colorful coral walls and sea life.
Our odyssey continued to Siem Reap, Cambodia...home of the marvel that is the Angkor Archaeological Park.
It contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century including the legendary Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm temples.
It was to amazing to stand in the midst of these imposing structures and admire the grandeur and harmony of the Khmer architecture.
Seeing the sunrise over the iconic Angkor Wat was a mystical experience that I will carry with me forever.
We were scheduled to end our trip with one last night in Bangkok before our early morning flight back home.
This turned into 2 nights due to a snowstorm back home. This afforded us an opportunity to spend a relaxing day partaking in what became one of our favorite parts of traveling in Asia....cheap massages!
We got 8 in all out of 16 days!
It also gave us another memorable experience....because of the 12 hour time difference, we sat in a bar filled with ex-pats and other tourists at 7:00 in the morning and watched the Superbowl! Now, THAT was fun!
This trip was filled with so many new, enchanting and captivating sights!!
My camera is my indispensable appendage and with todays technology I can utilize tools that help me express my artistic vision of the remarkable things I've seen.
I'm able to create something more than just a photo. I can put myself and my feelings into my pictures.
So, you'll see I've taken some creative license with some of these images.
I hope they move you in a way that you can feel how special these experiences were for me.