Sunday, December 19, 2010

Letter to God

Dear Lord,
Please help me stop contemplating on my life right now. I may not be earning like I used to but I didn't pass on food and being hungry and going homeless. I may not be the young lady before but I didn't feel like ageing. I may not have improved technically when it comes to work, with all my forgetfullness and easy-going habits and yet You continuously give me chances which makes me believe in myself again. I may not be the good girlfriend to B and yet he never failed to pursue and understand me despite that I always opted on quitting. You always do give me second chances, should I say, nth chances. To have me realized that living a life indeed is awesome and being human is beautiful with all my flaws You never failed to show Your love and bless me with things that matters more than money - my friends, my love and my family. I should stop worrying for things for tomorrow, for You always know when to provide, just enough to handle for the moment. I never had thanked You before when I resolve a problem in my project, when I'm safe on every after travel, on every birthdays, on everything. I'm such an ungrateful child, always complaining and whining. I'm loved, and You always show it.

Please help me have an open heart. To be sensitive enough for other people's differences. Please help me think twice on words before they come out of my mouth, or a hundred times thought when its unpleasant. Please make me a blessing to others, please take out my selfishness, my negative thoughts, my insecurities. Sometimes I doubt You on things I hadn't got a grip on, like when You took our parents so soon, and when I dont get what I want. What I didn't know is that You plan better than anyone else, and better things awaits when faith holds strong. You gave me & my siblings our Atcha and her family to support us on. We grew up normal, educated and healthy despite being orphaned early. Still I'm weak, yet you blessed me so much of some things I realized other people might be more of deserving more than I do. I'm ashamed of myself.

It is indeed a long list of things I should be thankful of, yet You never expect a return but a gratitude. Thank You. This year is a blast.

I had fun in the deserts of Dubai.

Had a chance to bond with Atcha in Ilocos Norte.

Made it through bad times with a true friend in Vietnam.

Felt like walking next to Angelina Jolie in Cambodia.

And redeemed my demoted feelings back to Indonesia.

Your daughter,

Friday, December 3, 2010

Off to Cambodia - Day II

Time travel back in August 1, 2010...

On our Day 2 stay in Siem Reap, we arranged our trip to the main reason why we went to Cambodia: to tour around the great Angkor temples. Regarded as a UNESCO World Heritage, we didn't miss this chance to be in one of the places me and E has been dreading to go. The night before, we arranged a transportation service with our Ton Le Sap tuktuk driver Tom, to fetch us at the hotel before sunrise. We get ready as early as 430am, but to our dismay, Tom arrived past 6am, with reason of his vehicle couldn't get through the flood in his area.

Before entering the Angkor Archeological park, we paid an entrance fee of $20 for a day pass. They have our picture taken and print an ID-like ticket which we have to present on every temple we visit. Im surprised to know that over a thousand temples were built in the Angkor region, but only a few hundreds was restored, some are ruined by war, some simply worn out by erosion and natural disasters since the structures are built as early as 800AD. We learned that they are simply not just mere temples, some structures are built as kingdoms by Khmer Empire. Visitors been rushing in, of about 2 millions annually, that even a famous Hollywood movie Tomb Raider shots most of the scenes in one of the temples within the park.

We had our first stop in the most famous structure - the Angkor Wat, built for king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. It was said to be the most preserved site, first dedicated as Hindu site then later as Buddhist . Its so famous that brought Cambodia as one of the most visited countries in South East Asia, Angkor Wat made a mark in their flag.The term Wat is a Khmer word for temple.

You can notice classic Khmer architecture styles, with the workers learned to used sandstones as the main material in building the city.Left image is the outer view of the temple.

Image on right is said to be the temple library, this structure is within the 350m causeway going to the central structure.

Entering the main temple gives me shivers. Such magnificent site that I never imagined before I could be setting my foot in. Such complex details that amazed me to know they're built years before proper schools for architectures are established, the Angkor Wat are stated by most travellers that it could match the grace of ancient cities of Rome and Greece.

Inside view of the main building, with my companion E on the other side of the temple.

Roaming around took me to Preah Poan (or Thousand Buddhas), dates back to the Middle Period. The prestige of Angkor Wat spreads around the Buddhist Asia. Over the period, the followers erected numerous buddhas in this site. Some of the Buddhas could still be found within the site, some are kept and restored.

An interesting carving on the wall, Hindu style.

Im dwarfed in this structure located in the upper terrace of the temple. Called Bakan, said to be the principal sanctuary, and could have been a shelter to the statue of Vishnu (great god of Hinduism).

Another view of the Bakan santuary.

Me on the steep stairs going to the uppermost worship site of Bakan.

Wall decorations within the area.

Touring Angkor Wat temple alone made us so exhausted, from walking to climbing up steep stairs, and decided not to roam the whole 820,000 square meter area. We decided to head next to the second temple. On our exit, saw these monks on their way to the temple.

Another interesting temple we visited, the Angkor Thom, one of the featured Temple in the movie Tomb Raider.Its said to be the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire. It was established in the late twelfth century by king Jayavarman VII.

At the entrance going to Bayon temple

Wall carving, Hindu style.

One of the massive stone faces of Buddha that makes the distinctive feature of the Bayon temple

Me and my travel buddy E, our pic taken at the Victory gate of Angkor Thom, with our Tuktuk ride

Our last stop of touring around the Angkor Park, was founded by the Khmer King Jayavarman VII as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and university. Ta Prhom means "ancestor Brahma" construction was in 1181AD after Jayavarman VII ascended the throne of Cambodia, made as a shrine to his mother.

The temple, noticeably flat, opposed to others as pyramid like.

It was one of the popular temple located within the jungle with large trees growing out of the ruins making it distinctive among the temples.

We haven't managed to visit more of the temples, as we're already tired from endless walking and climbing temples, only visited the most popular ones. Perhaps due to age that we complain of aching knees plus the humid weather season during our visit. Nevertheless, I 'm glad I accomplished another lifelong dream tour. Thank You Lord.