Hello my dear loved ones… this is Ka and it is exciting to be back with another raw lifestyle video and blog for you – live from Thailand.
As you know, we all went to Awesomeness Fest and had a great time – and from there we went on to Cambodia where we discovered, amongst other things, one of the biggest wonders on earth – Angkor Wat – and I am just really excited to share my impressions with you of Awesomeness Fest, Cambodia and Malaysia so that you can start to dream and see what is possible if you follow your passion!
From Thailand to Cambodia
So, we started at Awesomeness Fest in Phuket where I was guest speaker and went from there to Cambodia to do a border-run after being in Thailand for a month. We landed in Siem Reap and then went to see some of the most amazing buildings ever built. Our traveling like this has been like an educational project for our kids – we want them to see, feel and experience places, not just teach them about them through books. This is very important to us and this trip to Cambodia and Angkor Wat was no exception.
A different world
Cambodia really is like a totally different world – from a totally different time, a different universe! Traveling through the streets, we just sat there in the car with our mouths open, taking all this in – truly amazing!
So we started our tour at Angkor Wat, a truly magical, spiritual, ancient place. And I just want to say how much respect we all have for this culture and this place – and we really wanted to share that with our kids by taking them here too.
Awesome Angkor Wat!
What is most amazing to me about Angkor Wat is that its ruins are spread over more than 240 square miles – almost 400 square kilometers – making it the largest hand-build temple/religious artefact ever built. It’s quite incredible to see the sheer size of it and the fact that it’s still standing after 1100 years is amazing. Also, the millions of tonnes of sandstone that were used to construct it had to be carried to the site by boats and elephants – it wasn’t found here.
Another very interesting fact about this temple is that it shifted from Hinduism to Buddhism in the late 13th century. We feel very connected to the Buddhist culture and the temple is still used by practicing Buddhists today. The Cambodian people are so proud of their temple that they even put it on the national flag! Over half the visitors coming to Cambodia come here to see this temple. The massive trees growing through the temple ruins really give you an idea of the age of the place – we really were all so mind-blown by this place!
Following some lunch close to the river, we took a bus to the main formal monument – this is the silhouette you see on the national flag. We hired a guide here because the kids really wanted to know about its history – why it was built etc – so we gained a lot of interesting facts about the place. The temple was ruined a bit by the Khmer Rouge war – which was a real disaster for the country – but it has been restored since then via trust funds and investors from around the world working together to restore this magical place.
The kids so loved being here – Ronja even started to paint a scene from the temple, capturing what she saw there. Then, after a good look around, it was back to our hotel.
From the boat villages…
A few days later we took another tour – to learn about some ancient boat villages we had heard about. These came about in order to deal with the monsoon rains – which you have to understand are nothing like the rain we know in the west! This is something quite different – the water levels literally rise many meters, meaning that some villages can only survive by building their houses on long stilts.
At the time of our visit, it was the hot, dry season and the water level was very low – but when it rains the water level reaches right up to the houses and people can literally go from house to house by jumping in a boat – hard to imagine just how much water needs to fall to make this happen!
We then followed the river to the lake – the biggest sweet water lake in Cambodia – where we found a restaurant with crocodile steaks on the menu – thank God we are vegetarian is all I can say to that!
… to Phnom Penh
After our time in northern Cambodia, we then hired a van and a driver who drove us a few hours south to Phnom Penh, the capital city. There you really experience Asian culture at its best! As the streets are so crowded, everyone just drives on the sidewalks instead! As we drove in we crossed the Mekong River and made our way to our hotel from where we proceeded to explore this amazing city.
So if you’d like to know the reasons why we love Cambodia:-
- Angkor Wat – incredible religious artefact
- Such an ancient culture – really feels as though it is from a different time
- We all loved Pnomh Penh – we loved all the food markets, it’s such a different city
- We all loved the Cambodian hospitality – the Cambodians were super-friendly to us
And those reasons alone are enough to make us want to go back there!
So after a week in Cambodia, we hopped on a plane again and went to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Wow, what a drastic change that was! From such an ancient culture to a high-tech city with so many different cultures and religions – making it very easy to feel at home here. Such a tolerant place – we really like it!
So we spent a few days here getting to know the city some more – we’ve been here before but we always love coming back again – it feels like the hub of South-East Asia to us.
A lesson in tolerance
We visited the King’s Palace whilst we were there. As I just said, one of the things I love about Malaysia is its tolerance. And I think that might have a lot to do with how the monarchy here is set up. There is one king, and then 9 (I think!) sultans – all of whom take turns to become king every 4 years – so they all share the king’s throne. I really like that!
So, that was our South-East Asian tour – hope you enjoyed it! Now check out the visual version below! I’m very happy to have been able to share some more of our non-stop traveling adventure experiences with you and promise to continue to do so.
I’ll be back!
Peace, Love and Rock ‘n Roll!