“Sunset Over Jakarta”

Apartment.jpg

Dear ________,

I remember taking this photograph back in 2010. Back then, I and my family were moving from a two-story suburban house to a one hundred square meters apartment in the city. We were excited to move in permanently (which we did in the next year) that every Friday after  school we would drove to the city and transfer portion of our belongings from the old house to “the apartment”, thats how we call it.

Most of the time, our car would be full of furnitures and stuff (I had seven boxes of toys and hundreds of book) that we wouldn’t be able to sit comfortably during the trip. However, since our apartment is located nearby a shopping mall we frequently visited since childhood, we were always excited to go to the apartment and have dinner at the mall. During the course of the weekend, my mother would clean the apartment and sort our belongings to the dedicated place, while I would study for school exam or play on my laptop when not helping her.

This photograph was taken on one of the Friday’s ritual we did that year, I was just beginning to learn photography at the time and I remember cursing myself for not having a tripod. We rarely watched sunset from a high-rise before, so it was an amazing view to us, and it still is today. Now I have been living on the same apartment for over six years, sunrise and sunset comes everyday, yet I haven’t got a photograph of it better than this one. Every now and then, when the sky was a mix of orange and blue, my mother would tell me to look into the sky and say, “the sky looks like in Cape Town”, a reference I would tell you for another time. I hope you find my early-year photograph enjoyable and inspiring, for I’ll sent you another one soon enough.

Your friend,

Kevin

WPC

This photo is available for sale (in digital format and prints), for inquiry contact kyky909@gmail.com

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Cambodia Day 9: Angkor Archeological Complex

Today we woke up very late at 9 am after 8 days waking up early, we missed the first sunrise of 2017. We rushed for breakfast then showered before taking a tug-tug to Angkor Archeological Complex. We were free today, so we could do anything we’d like in Siam Reap. We visited temples we haven’t visited yesterday, among them East Mebond Temple, Ta Som, Preah Khan, and also the royal bathing lake called Srah Srang. We walked around each temple and finished touring around those complex around 14.00.

dscf1636Banteay Kdei Temple inside Angkor Archeological Complex, Siam Reap

dscf1676Srah Srang inside Angkor Archeological Complex, Siam Reap

dscf1683Srah Srang inside Angkor Archeological Complex, Siam Reap

dscf1701East Mebond Temple inside Angkor Archeological Complex, Siam Reap

dscf1719Monks in Ta Som Temple inside Angkor Archeological Complex, Siam Reap

dscf1722Monks in Ta Som Temple inside Angkor Archeological Complex, Siam Reap

dscf1731Gate of Preah Khan Temple inside Angkor Archeological Complex, Siam Reap

dscf1739Preah Khan Temple inside Angkor Archeological Complex, Siam Reap

dscf1750Preah Khan Temple inside Angkor Archeological Complex, Siam Reap

dscf1783Preah Khan Temple inside Angkor Archeological Complex, Siam Reap

dscf1802Preah Khan Temple inside Angkor Archeological Complex, Siam Reap

Then we had our lunch at Crystal Jade Kitchen in the Duty Free Shop near the city. The DFS sold many luxury branded goods such as Burberry, Salvatore, Omega, Cartier, etc. The layout of the store is also great and feel luxurious. Since the weather was blue and not cloudy like the last several days, we planned to watch the sunset at Angkor Wat today.

dscf1807An Empty Fields at Elephant Terrace inside Angkor Archeological Complex, Siam Reap

After lunch and touring the DFS, we have a massage nearby before heading back to Angkor Wat. We had the best sunset in Siam Reap with Angkor Wat as the background. At around 5.30 the police will ask the tourists to exit the site, we waited until the last minute to take the clear view of Angkor Wat without people in it.

dscf1818Angkor Wat Populated by Tourists at Evening, Siam Reap

dscf1953Angkor Wat, Siam Reap

dscf1975Angkor Wat at Sunset, Siam Reap

dscf2017Angkor Wat at Closing Time, Siam Reap

dscf2040Two Monk Outside Angkor Wat, Siam Reap

Then we headed back to Pub Street and paid our tug-tug driver $21 for the whole day service. I had dinner at the Steakhouse and ate lok-lak, a local beef cuisine. Meanwhile, my father ate BBQ of chicken, fish, and crocodile meat. At night we had another massage at the Temple, which in our view is the best massage place in town.

dscf2043Lok-lak, a local beef cuisine at The Steakhouse, Siam Reap

The next day, early in the morning we went to the airport and headed back to Jakarta via Kuala Lumpur. I guess the trip is over for now, but journey still continues.

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Cambodia Day 8: Outer Siam Reap Tour

Today we did a tour on the outer part of Angkor Archeological Complex, we woke up at 4.30 am and departed at 7 am. We went about 30 Km away from Angkor complex and see several temples, among them Preh Ko, Ba Kong, Lo Lei, Banteay Srey, and Pre Rup. Touring around those temples took quite a while that we finished around 11 am (4 hours).

dscf1335Preh Ko Temple, part of the Rolous Group at the Outer Part of Siam Reap

dscf1352Ba Kong Temple, part of the Rolous Group at the Outer Part of Siam Reap

dscf1374Ba Kong Temple, part of the Rolous Group at the Outer Part of Siam Reap

dscf1391Banteay Srey Temple at the Outer Part of Siam Reap

dscf1392Banteay Srey Temple at the Outer Part of Siam Reap

dscf1405Banteay Srey Temple at the Outer Part of Siam Reap

dscf1410Pre Rup Temple at the Outer Part of Siam Reap
From the afternoon sky, we concluded that the sunset today wasn’t going to be good, and since today was new year’s eve the traffic around the city is going to be crowded when we got back. So we decided to finish all the tour in the afternoon and skipped the sunset for today. After visiting the temples in Rolous Group, Banteay Srey, and Pre Rup, we ride an air ballon near Angkor Wat complex to see Angkor Wat itself from higher point of view. For $20 /10 minutes it was worth the ride and the scenery from the top was great. Moreover, there wasn’t long que and the turnover was quick.

dscf1482Angkor Wat from the Balloon Ride, Wish I had a Telephoto Lens!

dscf1500Angkor Wat from the Balloon Ride

We had lunch at Genevieve’s Restaurant in the city center, a restaurant named after the Australian owner’s wife who passed away. The food was excellent, I had a pork chop, which is plenty and reasonably cheap ($6.5). Then we went to trek village and walked for about 15 minutes to see vast green rice fields.

siam-reap22Rice Fields at the Trek Village

The past tour destination was Artisan D’Angkor, a workshop and shops of local products (statue, silk products, ceramics, silver products, etc.). The place was neat and luxurious for local standards, and the price for most of the products are reasonable as well. Since we have nothing else to visit today (according to our itinerary), we went back to hotel and sleep until 5 pm.

dscf1577Locals Working at Artisan D’Angkor

For dinner we ate at Sokhak River, I had spicy seafood spaghetti. We also had seafood mix as appetizer and ice cream for desert. Food was great, however more expensive compared to Malis Retaurant and the atmosphere was better at Malis.

dscf1584Spicy Seafood Spaghetti at Sokhak Restaurant, Siam Reap

dscf1586Khmer Tom Yum Soup at Sokhak Restaurant, Siam Reap

dscf1589Pub Street at New Year Eve 2017, Siam Reap

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Cambodia Day 7: Siam Reap Tour

We woke up at 4 am today to see the sunrise at Angkor Wat. The trip from city center to Angkor Wat took about 20 minutes and another 10 minutes walk from the car park to inside the complex. We departed from Ta Prohm Hotel at 5 am, but actually we should have gone earlier at 4 am. When we arrive near the small lake outside Angkor Wat, it has already full of tourists and we can’t have a good spot for decent photographs. Certainly getting early and book a seat there is a better option.

dscf0829Waiting for Sunrise at Angkor Wat, Siam Reap
After the sunrise we went inside the Angkor Wat and go directly to the third level of Angkor Wat to see the surrounding from higher point of view. You should go there directly after the sunrise to avoid long queue (sometimes it took an hour to get there). We queue for 15 minutes before hiking to the third level. The panorama from there is quite good, but nothing spectacular. We toured around the temple further afterwards then got back to our car.

dscf0940Second Level of Angkor Wat, Siam Reap

dscf0967View from the Third Level of Angkor Wat, Siam Reap

siam-reap10Stairway to the Second Level of Angkor Wat, Siam Reap

siam-reap11Pillars at the Third Level of Angkor Wat, Siam Reap

dscf0984Apsara Carving at Angkor Wat, Siam Reap

dscf0988Angkor Wat, Siam Reap

dscf0994Inside the Angkor Wat Complex, Siam Reap

dscf0996Hallway at Angkor Wat, Siam Reap

dscf1002Angkor Wat Taken from the Moat, Siam Reap

The second stop was Angkor Thom, an ancient city nearby Angkor Wat. The complex was 12 Km2, but the temple inside was not very large, there isn’t a lot to photograph there, as tourists have crowded the area. We continue our trip to Ta Prohm, the famous temple in Tomb Raider movie by Anglina Jolie. It was also crowded in there, but it is amazing to see how nature and ancient architecture interwined together. Definitely should go in Cambodia.

dscf1059Bayon Temple at Angkor Thom, Siam Reap

dscf1065Bayon Temple at Angkor Thom, Siam Reap

dscf1078Bayon Temple at Angkor Thom, Siam Reap

dscf1090Elephant Terrace and Terrace of the Leper King, Angkor Complex

dscf1105Ta Prohm, Siam Reap

dscf1126The Jungle-Interwined Temple of Ta Prohm, Siam Reap

dscf1158The Jungle-Interwined Temple of Ta Prohm, Siam Reap

We headed back to town around 11 am and have slightly early lunch in the PubStreet. Our tour had ended, but we planned to go to Phnom Bakheng for sunset later on. We took a shower (we haven’t this morning) and slept for two hours until 14.00.

dscf1190Pub Street at the City Centre, Siam Reap

At 14.00 sharp we woke up and change our clothes, we departed to Phnom Bakheng by tug-tug, for only $ 15 back and forth including 3 hours waiting time. We also tour around the Angkor archeological complex for 45 minutes before going to Phnom Bakheng. We arrived at the foot of Phnom Bakheng at 3.30 pm and paid $5 to ride a motorcycle up the hill instead of walking. You could also took an elephant ride for $20, but the queue is quite long.

dscf1205Stairway to Phnom Bakheng, Siam Reap

dscf1211View from Phnom Bakheng, Siam Reap

dscf1214Tourists Waiting for Sunset at Phnom Bakheng, Siam Reap

dscf1290Phnom Bakheng, Siam Reap

The view from Phnom Bakheng was okay, but we can’t see Angkor Wat from the top and many trees were coverig our view. We descent the hill for 20 minutes then went back to the city.

dscf1310A kid (local vendor) Eating Spider at Pub Street, Siam Reap

dscf1314Fried Spider, Scorpion, Other Insects and Worm Sold at the Pub Street

dscf1316Fried Spiders

dscf1317Fried Scorpion

dscf1325Lively Environment of Pub Street at Night, Siam Reap

We ate at the Old House, a very recommended and affordable western and local restaurant in the PubStreet, I had a pork steak for $7 while my father had a tom yum for $5.

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Cambodia Day 6: SiamReap, Tonle Sap

We woke up a little bit late today because we have plenty of time before starting our trip to Siam Reap. We had breakfast at Classy Hotel, which is nice and touristy. Our trip to Siam Reap began at 8.30 am for 3.5 hours. We stopped three times on our way, the first to fill gasoline, second to visit a stone carving shop, and the last for toilet stop. We arrived in Siam Reap at noon, checked in our hotel (Ta Prohm) that used to be the most luxurious hotel, then continue to Hard Rock Cafe to have lunch. It feels great to see a familiar franchise after days of local foods. We finished lunch at 13.30, so we had 1.5 hours left to look around the city center, the Pub Street area before heading back to Ta Prohm hotel.

dscf0667Locals Selling Grilled Rats on the Street to Siam Reap

dscf0671Hard Rock Cafe Siam Reap
At 15.00 we met our new tour guide (we had just say goodbye to our Phnom Penh and Battambang guide). We headed to Tonle Sap Lake, the biggest freshwater lake in Asia to take a boat ride. It was 30 minutes away from the city. The boat ride itself was about an hour back and forth, in between the trip we stopped at a crocodile farm and shop where they are selling wallet and bag from crocodile skin.

dscf0673Village near Tonle Sap Lake, Siam Reap

dscf0676Village near Tonle Sap Lake, Siam Reap

dscf0708Crocodile Farm in Tonle Sap Lake, Siam Reap

dscf0710Tonle Sap Lake, Siam Reap

Since it was 4 pm already, we rushed back to the city to watch the sunset at the South Gate of Angkor Thom. The site was okay, but not spectacular for sunset view, tomorrow I was suggested to go for Phnom Bakheng to see Angkor Wat at sunset. We have our dinner in Malis, a Khmer luxury restaurant in the city. Then we walked back to hotel and sleep early, because tomorrow we have to get up at 4 am to catch the sunrise.

siam-reap4Sunset at the South Gate of Angkor Thom

dscf0826Malis Restaurant in the City Center, Siam Reap

The food at Malis Restaurant is reasonably priced for its class, we spent $25 for two person meal and drink there. For comparison, we spent $40 at Hard Rock and $45 at Sokhak Restaurant next to Malis. The local food was great and said to be authentic, I had chicken curry, which is delicious. If you want a decent local food with high hygiene standard, this is the place to go.

dscf0818Fine Dining at Malis Restaurant in the City Center, Siam Reap

dscf0821Fine Dining at Malis Restaurant in the City Center, Siam Reap

dscf0822Fine Dining at Malis Restaurant in the City Center, Siam Reap

dscf0823Chicken Curry Wrapped with Banana Leaf at Malis Restaurant, Siam Reap

dscf0824Fine Dining at Malis Restaurant, Siam Reap

dscf0825Chicken Curry Wrapped with Banana Leaf at Malis Restaurant, Siam Reap

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