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Angkor Wat

LOCATION: Siem Reap, Cambodia

Some 180 kilometers southeast of Poipet, on the outskirts of the town of Siem Reap, is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat Temple, surrounded by a number of other notable temple ruins. Covering an area of around 200 square kilometers, these atmospheric sites shed light on the once powerful Khmer kingdom. Walk through the remains of ornate stone temples, built amidst the jungle between the 9th and 15th centuries. Angkor Wat Temple itself is decorated with more than 300 heavenly nymph statues called Apsara, and within the complex, one of its bas-reliefs is 800-meters long.

Bayon is another popular temple. It has 54 towers and 216 stone carvings of the serene face of Avalokiteshvara, a Buddhist deity, which gaze over the complex. Ta Prohm temple is very atmospheric, still half-covered by jungle, and the 350-meter Elephant Terrace – a path studded with statues of the animal, once used as a viewing stand for ceremonies, is surrounded by greenery. Well-preserved Banteay Srei, some 20 kilometers out on its own from the other temples was dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva.

You need a site pass to visit these temples; touring with a knowledgeable guide will give you a fuller historical insight.

Pang Sida National Park

LOCATION: Sakaeo, Thailand

Just over two hours away by car, this lush parkland is best known for its year-round resident butterflies. Species include some that are no larger than houseflies, to large varieties with markings that exemplify a rainbow of colors.

Walking trails start from a well-marked popular 15-minute one to Pang Sida Waterfall. Its plunge pool is a popular place for swimming, and a path beside it follows a series of rapids uphill to its source.

Around six kilometers from the falls, you can stop and travel by foot to the Guar grassland, where you can observe the wildlife from a towering hide. A 25-kilometer drive from the entrance, ends at a lookout point over a vast valley that is part of the Sankambeng Range, which covers almost 600 square kilometers in the eastern Thai province of Srakaeo.

Rong Klue Market

LOCATION: Aranyaprathet, Thailand

Literally a few minutes away from Poipet, located at the Aranyaphratet district of Thailand, some people head out from Bangkok for a day’s shopping, as an alternative to the Thai capital’s weekend Chatuchak Market. Rong Klue is open daily and is a casual market with row up on row of stalls that sell all manner of goods. Casual clothing and bags are the most prominent, while others specialize in sunglasses, costume jewelry, watches, shoes, belts, mobile phone covers, DVDs and CDs. The market is also renowned for selling second-hand brand name garments at very cheap prices. When you shop there, be advised to thoroughly examine all goods before purchasing them. Real brand name goods are sometimes mixed with counterfeit ones. Sharp eyes may get visitors a bargain, though – whether genuine or not.



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