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Khmer Food 2

Sizzling beef strips with beans and peanuts. Scrimp spring rolls with peanut dip.

A word of warning – if you are allergic to peanuts you might want to bring lots of EpiPens to Cambodia. Almost every dish had peanuts in it.

Eaten at Palm Village Resort & Spa, Siem Reap, Cambodia.

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Prasat Kravan

I am doing the red route today. See partial map below.
The sun was glaring down when I finally reached this temple. I had quite a long way to cycle around Angkor Wat (8 km) to get to this small 10th-century temple. I really liked the reddish brick.
Kravan is located south of the artificial lake called Srah Srang.

Against the sun but I think it makes it look more impressive.

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Theam’s Gallery

To break up my excessive temple cycling tours I visited this gallery just around the corner from my resort.
Expecting lots of paintings I was pleasantly surprised to find something like a small artisan village. What a gem!

Unassuming entrance

This is what’s hidden behind: a selection of beautifully decorated rooms, houses, courtyards, lots of colour, interesting style mixes, tranquil gardens, ponds, lots of inviting seats, cute cats, miniature houses, a café, artisan workshop, art work, wooden buddhas, a display of traditional musical instruments, displays about silk, peppered with striking paintings from Theam himself.

Overview of areas but in reality everything flows into each other more closely.

This is the home, atelier and gallery of Master Cambodian Artist, Lim Muy Theam. His parents fled during the Khmer Rouge regime to France. Theam received artistic and technical education in Paris. Eventually he returned to Cambodia to help rebuild the country after decades of crippling war.
He researched traditional Khmer craftsmanship, and started teaching teams of apprentices from the countryside how to use them to create art out of time-honored materials like wood, lacquer, silk, and cotton. Skilled art trainees work in his gallery under Theam’s personal tutelage whose main objective is the teaching as well as advocating the value of authenticity and quality, featuring strong cultural and artistic Khmer identity with distinctly modern creative edge.

I spent close to two hours wandering around, sitting down, soaking up the artistic flair, cuddling cats, sipping a coconut, getting moved by the fear and pain in Theam’s portraits, trying to figure out how I could possibly move in without people noticing…

What an enchanting place. A must visit in Siem Reap.
Read more about Theam and his journey here:

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Water Buffalos

I felt a little bit vulnerable so close to them on my bicycle. They were just two steps away but not even my screeching brakes made them look up.

…and all I could think off was: tomato and mozzarella salad, oh yum, but just not local cuisine 🙁

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Monkey Business

They draw crowds, that’s for sure. The monkeys of Bayon. You spot a tripod, you spot a monkey.

The monkeys have an easy life. They get fed fresh fruit every day by tourists and photographers. I heard stories that they try to pick pockets, the monkeys, not the photographers.

Who is the entertainment here?

“Don’t get too close kid, they might have Covid.”
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Bayon North Gate

Pretty much like the South Gate but less impressive or intact decorations in front. And it being North-facing there is more moss. The moat is also pretty overgrown.
I still love it for its style and faces.

Love the tree. View when leaving Angkor Thom.

This is the view when entering Angkor Thom.

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Baphuon Temple

Many temples in Angkor started out dedicated to Hindu gods, but were later converted to Buddhism. Instead of destroying evidence of the former religion like in so many other countries, in Angkor you often find bas reliefs carvings showing different gods. Can be confusing but I concentrated on admiring the architecture and craftsmanship.

Quite a long walkway leading up to the temple. Baphuon used to be surrounded by a water moat like many other temples in Angkor.

Some monkey business going on here too.

Taken from the official Apsara website. Isn’t it stunning?