It is part of the Angkor temple complex, one of the smaller sites that is far less known by the casual tourist.
Anyone planning on visiting Siem Reap and going to experience the treasures of Angkor needs to know that Angkor Wat is just one of dozens of sites in the immediate vicinity - it is the biggest and undoubtedly the most impressive, but is also incredibly crowded and not particularly relaxing.
Many of the other temples - such as Ta Prom - are far smaller, but also far less busy - when we went to Ta Prom, we had it to ourselves for about an hour, and wondered around Indiana Jones style and were blown away by the serenity and beauty - highly recommended.
Everyone identifies Angkor, and indeed Cambodia, with Angkor Wat, but in my view the piece de resistance is The Bayon.
Famed for its dozens of carved faces looking east, west, north and south, The Bayon is perhaps the most enigmatic ancient relic in the entire continent of Asia. Don't forget to examine the story-telling murals that encircle it either.
Even after a few hard days of wat-hopping in the heat and dust, The Bayon is one place that will draw you back to consider its mysteries one more time.
Dead centre of the ruined city of Ankgor Thom.
The DMZ Cafe runs tours of the former Demilitarised Zone. You can book similar tours in Hue. But the DMZ Cafe has an advantage in the shape of Mr Dien - a guide who worked for the US government as a translator prior to the end of the war in 1975.
Although tours from Hue are easier to book, you can call DMZ Cafe on Mob: 09851 97538 and book a tour, then just arrange a bus up to Dong Ha from Hue. Buses leave Hue around 06:00 and get to Dong Ha at 08:00, in plenty of time. DMZ Cafe is right in the centre of Dong Ha, about 50m south on Route 1 from where the buses stop. They will also pick you up from the night train from Hanoi.
Mr Dien lived through "interesting times", as the Chinese say. It was a fascinating day, and we won't forget it.
DMZ Cafe, 88 Le Duan St, Dong Ha
Mr Dien Mob: 09851 97538
It's a "secret" garden (biwon can be translated literally as secret garden) attached to Changdeog-gung palace in central Seoul. The garden used to be strictly off limits for the non-royals, but now it is open to the public to enjoy. The scenery is breathtaking all the year round, but in the autumn, the leaves turn to spectacular colours to the delight of visitors. The place is not too crowded if you time your visit well and can be a great place for quiet thoughts and reflections in the middle of one of the most hectic cities in the world.
www.lifeinkorea.com/Travel2/76; Underground (Subway) line 3, Anguk Station, exit 3, 5 minutes walking
Pass required to vist temple complex at Angkor Wat. Passes are available for a variety of days with some visitors spending considerably more to visit for anything up to 5 days. Despite the obvious attractions of the temples etc anything more than a day can become very repetitive... seen one ruined temple you have seen them all.
Impossible not to find it as it is the only reason that you will be there.
Banteay Chmmar is another of the many Angkorian temples that can be found across Cambodia. Unlike the main site at Siem Reap it is little visited which makes it a fantastic place to visit as you can take in the temple's beauty in relative peace and quiet. Unrestored it appears to be a jumble of rubble but on closer inspection features some stunning bas-relief carvings as well as towers decorated with the faces you find at the Bayon. Exploring the temple, it very much feels as if you have stumbled across a great discovery just like the adventurers of yore.
If travelling overland from Poipet to either Siem Reap or Phnom Penh then break your journey at Sisophon (about 30 miles from Poipet). Banteay Chmmar lies about forty miles north on a good road and can be reached in about an hour by taxi.
Extraordinary remains of monumental civilization dating from 7Ad-13AD:Angkor wat is the most famous temple of the complex, and can be seen on Google earth satellite pics. There are a whole lot of temples, and a stay of at least 5-7 days is recommended. Best time to go is between Nov-March, but the rainy season, from July-October is also good. Great photo ops, and a fascinating culture and people, who, in spite of the Khmer Rouge years and civil war, are friendly and approachable. But be careful of bag snatchers, and children begging in Siem Reap town. Read some guidebooks like Lonely Planet, but dont believe everything it says.
Siem Reap is linked from Singapore on Jetstar airways, from Bangkok on Bangkok Airways, but this last is a very expensive flight.The Singapore link is recommended. There are lots of cheap accommodation in Siem Reap from $5 per day upwards.
Gallipolini is an important world war one battlefield where the British, French and Anzac (Australian and New Zealand) troops suffered a monumental defeat in 1915, which cost 65,000 allies and 75,000 Turks their lives. The consciousness of this haunts you when you walk on the steep hills of the Anzac beachhead or see the unbelievable proximity of the allied and Turkish trenches in the Helles sector.
The old front lines have been turned into Commonwealth war cemeteries and carry evocative names like Lone Pine, The Vinyard, The Farm, Chocolate Hill and The Nek, the latter of which was the subject of Mel Gibson's 1981 film "Gallipoli" and showplace of a battle in which 650 Anzacs fell. The Farm is equally an important former battlefield though many details remain unknown.
Today Gallipoli looks lovely. The blue Aegean lashes against the beaches and the pine trees have long shrouded the carnage of 1915. Pay your respects but also detach yourself from the events and have a Raki and mezes with the friendly local Turks. Listen to their unlikely tales and bask in the sun. As you leave this place, you may still be wondering what on earth it was all about back in 1915.
Gallipoli is about 30 minutes drive from Canakkale.
The Castle of Counts was founded in the 12th century and after an interesting history that saw it converted to a cotton mill in the 19th century, has been restored more or less to its former glory. The armoury displays some startling weaponry but is surpassed by the exhibition of 'Instruments of Correction', a highly euphemistic name for the tools of torture seen here. Fascinating.
A classic Flemish cathedral with huge wooden pulpit and everything you'd expect, but made slightly more special by the presence of the van Eycks' polyptich 'The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb'. It's kept in a side chapel and you have to pay a few euros to view it, but it's expertly displayed with a welter of illuminating information in the audio guide, covering both the painting itself and its unusual history. The 12th-century crypt is also worth a visit.
Bonane Heritage Park is an opportunity to enjoy a 3 km walk on pathways while enjoying the monuments of the ancient past. The information signs guide you through the park while enjoying breathtaking scenery. The highlights were the magnificent ring fort and intriguing stone circle Ideal day for all the family. Must visit again.
On the N71, 10 KM from Kenmare on the Glengarriff Road.
Bonane Heritage Park is well worth a visit with lots of well preserved sites including a ring fort stone circle and standing stone to name but a few. And the cup of tea and apple crumble with Stevie and Francies in Molly Gallivans Open Farm is a must.
I also found in Bonane the chocolate factory, Advanced videos studio that will record your trip or any occasions for you. The Weaver shop, and Nicks recording studio, what a wonderful community with so much to offer.
I have also joined friends of Bonane to suport the work they're doing in the Herritage Park (15 Euro a year - you can get information on www.bonane.com).
You should add Bonane to your holiday list - thanks to all that made me so welcome on my trip. I will be back.
When in Kenmare you follow the N71 to Glengariff. Bonane is about 10km this will also join the ring of Beara more information to be found at www.bonane.com.
This is a wonderfully serene place to spend a few hours. Gandhi lived here from 1917 - 1930 and you can take a walk around the main Ashram where Gandhi and his wife lived and held meetings as well as the smaller huts, occupied by various people over the years. There is also a museum which gives you a comprehensive overview of Gandhi's life as well as his work in Ahmedabad. There is also a library collection of some of the letters Gandhi wrote - including one addressed to Hitler.
The museum's various galleries are well set out and the signs are written in Gujarati and English.
All this said, this Ashram is just a wonderful place to sit and read or think and watch Ahmedabad go about its business from the river. Many people do come here simply to meditate.
The best time to come is early in the morning when there are fewer people and the morning light is always the sweetest I think. The Ashram is open daily from 8.30am - 6.30pm and it is free.
At the northern end of the Ashram road.
Mind blowing years worth of history on a river bank in south Goa.
The drive towards Rivona is itself a spectacular green profusion. Keep following the green and red tourist signs, then follow the mud track past the turquoise quarry et voila.
This is the Goan Latin Quarter, tucked behind Pato Bridge. January sees an annual festival where the Portuguese Mansions throw open their doors to local artists and their work for a week-long celebration of music and culture.
Splash out and book yourself into the Panjim Inn where you will step back in time and style, and fulfill all your Rani and Raj dreams. The art work in the gallery will blow you away.
31st January Road
Goa 403 001
Travel around the coast of the lake and visit the Chateau de Chillon, on one side of which there is a precipitous underwater chasm where bodies were disposed of in the old days. This is a castle worth visiting if only to see the grimness of the appalling dungeons.
See those narrow slits in the rock where unfortunates were forced into and sealed up, only to be brought up in the evenings for the entertainment of the Duke and his guests. Tied to large vertical columns of wood which held up the roof while the guests tried to put out their eyes, many terrified prisoners twisted their heads away, - testimony of which are the scorch marks in the wood. But can we in the judgemental twentieth century point the finger at medieval cruelty? Remember Melei and Auschwitz and Bosnia and…..
Château de Chillon
Avenue de Chillon 21
Phone +41 21 966 89 10
Not far from Leysin is Gruyere, a medieval walled town with no traffic famous for its cheese and well worth going to for the castle. Inside, there is that indefinable fustiness of very old wood. Twisted ageless vines grow from the courtyard and entwine themselves around pillars as they stretch upwards. There is a permanence about this castle which appears to have grown from the rock on which it is built.
Outside in the cobbled street, sit and relax at one of the discreet little cafes. And if you must buy a souvenir, buy a Swiss chalet music box or a Swiss Army knife with a multitude of accessories ... as I did for my son, who promptly sliced himself open with it.
Gruyere lies north-east of Leysin in the canton of Fribourg.
If you fancy an adventure on the high seas, take a trip out to Cape Clear Island. These are waters haunted by the ghosts of pirates from the sixteen hundreds, principal among them O’Mahony whose clan ravaged vessels along this coastline. The sad remains of his castle sit grimly at the water’s edge of Hare Island while he paid the ultimate price for piracy in Cork Gaol.
Cape Clear Island is beyond the jurisdiction of the mainland as far as road tax and traffic regulations go. The result of this is a motley assortment of noisy vehicles in various stages of decay but still driving. Those that have succumbed to the inevitable lie around the island. These silent testimonies to abandonment are the most appalling eyesores on an island that is one of the most beautiful
on the south west coast.
Cape Clear lies just 8 miles off the West Cork mainland and can be reached by a 45 minutes boat journey from Schull.
Baga beach down by the creek at the quiet end of the Candolim - Calangute stip, is just perfect as a base for exploring north Goa. There are some excellent hotels, guest houses, restaurants and night clubs in the area. You can walk around the cliffs to Anjuna if you don't mind a bit of a hike. Half way round is a small secluded bay and beach shack imaginatively called "Cliffs" perfect for stopping of for a mid moring snack or drink.
Calangute is within walking distance in the other direction should you need the exercise, but a taxi or Tuc-Tuc will take you anywhere within north Goa for less than £10! The views from the top of Chapora fort or from Arambol lake are spectacular at any time of day and Vagator beach is fantastic for sundown.
The capital city of Panjim is also worth a visit as is Old Goa for the architecture and churches - a 3 day trip to Hampi is also well worth the time and trouble.
Dabolim airport is 70 mins away and Mapusa Station is 10 minutes away.
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