In January 2015, I had the chance to visit some temples in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Angkor Wat

The largest temple complex and one of the “top three” for tourists, Angkor Wat was worth visiting but crowded.

Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei was my favorite temple that I visited. It’s about a 45-minute drive away from Siem Reap city, however the beautiful grounds set on wetlands with walking trails make it well worth a visit. It’s less crowded, and much smaller than the big three. When I was walking on the trails, I was completely alone. It was nice to get away from the crowds.

Banteay Srei Temple

Terrace of the Elephants

When I went to visit Bayon, the tuk-tuk driver dropped me off at Terrace of the Elephants. I then wandered through the temple complex until I made my way to Bayon. These temples are expansive. There are a lot of stairs and not so many handrails. I decided not to take my kids here until they are at least 10 years old. I don’t want to be carrying anyone around these temples!

Terrace Of The Elephants


Another one of the big three, Bayon is impressive in its size and the sheer number of the iconic faces looking out into the surrounding jungle. It seemed to just go on and on, and as I had to go to the bathroom once I was about halfway through, I worried I wouldn’t find my way out.

We also visited Ta Phrom, the final site of the big three. You can view the photo gallery here: Ta Phrom Temple Visit. I definitely recommend visiting all of these temples sites when you visit Siem Reap!

I love the start of a new year. It’s such a natural time to reflect and remember. In addition to thinking about what I learned this past year and what advice I’d like to give myself for 2016, I wanted to take verbal snapshots of some of my most memorable travel moments in 2015. There are actually many more, but these are the 15 which stood out to me this morning as I was journaling.

The “we” statements all refer to different people or groups of people. You might recognize yourself in these moments.


1. Trundling down Bayon’s back roads in a vintage military Jeep while my mom Holly clutched her seat belt to her chest and insinuated I was trying to kill her. She even took a cryptic photo to send home to Dad, just in case.
Siem Reap Jeep Tour
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In early 2015, my mom and I spent a week in Siem Reap, Cambodia. We had three different hotels for our stay. Here’s the run down.

La Tradition d’Angkor

Upon arrival by plane from Saigon, we went straight to La Tradition d’Angkor Hotel. I’d booked this hotel because the grounds looked beautiful, and I wanted a bit of a break from the urban environment of Saigon.

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After a free upgrade to the 5-star Borei Hotel Angkor Resort & Spa, my mom and I were feeling in a fancy mood and wanted to treat ourselves to a show. We decided on the Apsara Terrace dinner buffet and performance at the Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor.

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Earlier this year, I took a trip with my mom to visit Siem Reap, Cambodia. One of the highlights of the trip was a 4-hour horseback ride through the surrounding villages with The Happy Ranch.

As a certified horseback riding instructor, I’m always a bit wary of trail-riding ventures. Unfortunately, there are more times that I have decided not to ride once seeing the condition of the horses or the lack of safety measures. I’m pleased to say that at The Happy Ranch, things were run in a professional manner and adequate safety precautions for horses and riders were in place. The ranch is set on 10 hectares of land and has 51 horses. It was founded by a Cambodian man named Sarry Pann who spent 30 years living in California.

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