Up, Up and Away! – Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia Trip #1

October 9, 2008 at 11:52 pm | Posted in itchy backside | 2 Comments
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We spent a week at the famous Angkor Wat some time back. Since Day One I had been pestering Tisu Boy to bring me there, but it was not until the last day that I finally got my wish granted – to go up a helium balloon to view Angkor Wat from the sky! We didn’t go on the first few days cos we thought of exploring the place first, but by our third or fourth day there, it had started to rain in the afternoon, which was supposed to be a better time to go up the balloon cos of the direction of the sun. 

On our second last day when it was finally sunny in the afternoon, we made our way excitedly there only to find out from our tuk tuk driver that it was too windy and unsafe to fly. Disappointed, we had no choice but to come back the next day morning before leaving for our evening flight back home.

But I started to get stomach pain in the middle of the night. 😦 Kept running to the loo several times. Must be the watermelon that I took for dinner! I thought it tasted a bit sour…:O 

I wasn’t feeling too good even after brekky. We were contemplating whether to go and take the balloon in the morning or wait till in the afternoon when the lighting got better and hopefully for me to get better too. But fearing that it might rain again in the afternoon, we decided to just take the ride in the morning. 

The books and website had stated that it cost US$11 per adult to fly. But when we reached the ticket counter, we were dismayed that it had gone up to US$15! Wow! That was very expensive for a short ride! But since we came all the way to Cambodia, we just had to take the ride!

The queue was quite fast…er, well, we also found out the ride was quite short. 😦 We were joined by a group of local tourists when it was our turn.

The bright yellow tethered helium balloon had a donut shape base, not like the basket that we normally see on hot air balloon. We were free to move around on the balloon to take in the panaromic view. Soon the safety gate closed, and the engine started by the ‘captain’ of the balloon.

Moving up….

It was all surrounded by rope netting to prevent people from accidentally falling over or potential suicides from happening I guess…hahah…But this netting was kinda annoying when you were taking video, cos you just couldn’t move freely from one point to another without having the nets in your movie…


Tisu Girl trying to take a movie clip

Initially, it was a bit shaky moving up. I could still feel the pain in my stomach – the bloatiness building up made me feel a bit nauseous….so much so that I really worried that I would start vomitting from the balloon! Imagine someone walking on the ground below us receiving a surprise ‘bomb’ from the sky! :O I tried not to think about the pain but instead kept myself busy shooting photographs. All this while, we were looking forward to see Angkor Wat from the sky, but we looked right and left and couldn’t find it! It didn’t help that the glaring morning sun from behind the direction of the temple made it more difficult to get a decent view. Then finally Tisu Boy found it from his telephoto lens…

Wow lao leh! So teeny! Totally not like what the web showed, where
you can get so close view of the temple from the sky! :O 

With the help of our zoom lens, this was as close as you could get!
See how huge the temple as compared to the stream of people walking
towards it?

Aiyo! We should had guessed as much! The balloon was located approximately 1 kilometer west of Angkor Wat, and at a height of 200 meters above ground, of course you could only see a miniature model like Angkor Wat! I think those pictures with close up aerial views of the temple must had been taken from a helicopter, which would cost us many times more than our US$15 balloon ride! 😦

We stayed at the maximum height for a while and before we knew it, we could feel the balloon descending. Wow! So fast one leh! Good also lah, cos I dunnu if I could tolerate the tummy ache for how much longer…

Beautiful rice fields I think….

So less than 10 minutes and US$15 later, finally I got my wish fulfilled. Too bad we were facing against the light so we couldn’t get a better view of Angkor Wat and the other temples. But it certainly was an experience flying on a balloon…er…and having stomach ache up there…:O 

Tisu Girl, looking taller and slimmer thanks to the wide angle lens,
posing for a picture after the balloon ride while still fighting the devils
in her tummy.

Also see related post:
> Gimme a Lift 



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  1. Hmm dunno why decided to drop by ur site instead of sleeping more but think is worth it because I decided to make you my Cambodia tour guide when I plan to visit Cambodia =D. Oh and I will definitely sit that balloon you are in mentioned here too… because I also missed the DHL one (that was one irritating incident)

    Anyway as usual I alwaz love the way you take photos, a particular style. Though I have to admit you sure have the patience to take so many photos of those face towers… pei fu pei fu.

    • Haha….glad u enjoy reading Itchyfingers… ya the balloon should be nicer in the later afternoon…i read that for sunset ride u need to book in advance. think must be quite nice up there viewing the big egg yolk. heee….

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